Atlanta: Panther Creek Trail

Count five waterfalls--including one of Georgia's most scenic--on this 10.8-miler in Chattahoochee National Forest. Go midweek for more solitude.
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Count five waterfalls--including one of Georgia's most scenic--on this 10.8-miler in Chattahoochee National Forest. Go midweek for more solitude.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.7

Waypoints

PCT001

Location: 34.69886, -83.41979

Head south from trailhead, trail crosses highway in first half-mile.

PCT002

Location: 34.695179, -83.412209

Hemlocks create tunnel high above rhododendron gorge. Listen for creek

PCT003

Location: 34.693726, -83.410881

Walls get narrow; make sharp L, climb 8 ft., crawl through wide cut in rock

PCT004

Location: 34.693336, -83.409935

To R of trail, a small but powerful waterfall slides around a rock wall. Keep heading SE into broad, flat plain where tributaries join Panther Creek

PCT005

Location: 34.679962, -83.399895

Go L off trail a few yds. and find a shaded creek bank overlooking swift water sluicing between two boulders

PCT006

Location: 34.678146, -83.399086

Pass large bend in creek

PCT007

Location: 34.676003, -83.387177

Upper Panther Falls tumbles down several short, wide drops, then maytags down narrow chute. Circle N and descend

PCT008

Location: 34.676414, -83.387672

More cascades: Lower Panther Falls drops a steep 50 ft. Nearby is 3-tent campsite with its own swimming hole. Stay, or continue N through three horseshoe bends

PCT009

Location: 34.677067, -83.382256

Steep ascent up ravine as trail turns from creek and ascends into poplars

PCT010

Location: 34.675446, -83.380638

Highest point on hike. Begin descent among tightly packed oaks

PCT011

Location: 34.6707, -83.369995

Join creek again; rolling singletrack enters hemlock stand

PCT012

Location: 34.667675, -83.364983

Trail ends @ confluence of Panther Creek and Davidson Creek on far end of bridge. Retrace steps to trailhead

Big, Big Falls

Location: 34.676815, -83.3871

Finally reaching the lower falls, Panther Creek tumbles from 50-foot tall ledges into foamy cascades and misty vapors. Great swimming holes around. ©Marcus Woolf

Wide upper falls

Location: 34.675819, -83.387177

The broad terraces of Panther Creek provide many watercourses. ©Marcus Woolf

Waterslide

Location: 34.693451, -83.409485

Here Big Panther Creek drops down and shoots along a rock formation. ©Marcus Woolf