Monday, November 16, 2009

Panther Creek Falls

This weekend I joined the Oconee Hiking Club for this trek to Panther Creek Falls. The directions to the falls, take US 23/441 south from Tallulah Falls . In 3 miles, turn right on Historic 441 to the Panther Creek Recreation Area on the right (fee area).The western end of the trail begins across the highway from the Recreation area.
Panther Creek Falls is 3.5 miles from the trail head. The trail soon goes under an overpass US441 and for a short distance seems to be sort of boring. Then the trail comes high above the creek below. The trail seems to be mostly flat with a few mild inclines. In a few places the trail is mostly a ledge with a steep hill side down to the creek so footing should be watched in these areas.

Cable handrails have been provided to assist with traversing in the worst areas, but in one place very near the falls the post holding the cable has pulled out of the ground in the worst possible area so extreme caution should be used here.

While the trail is high above the creek in some areas, in other areas it runs right along side of it with many great views of shoals and cascades.

This is a great hike, but that also makes it a very popular one. Expect large crowds at the falls or go through the week or in colder weather if you prefer a little more solitude, but it is one one worth seeing.

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