Panthertown - The Yosemite of the East
Panthertown is located in Sapphire NC. It encompasses over 10,000 acres of protected public land in Nantahala National Forest and contains Panthertown Valley, Bonas Defeat, and Big Pisgah (located in Pisgah National Forest). Panthertown lies on the eastern continental divide in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
In 1989, the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy purchased 6,295 acres of the valley from Duke Power. This became Panthertown Valley and is one of the most spectacular areas in the southeast with cascading waterfalls, trout streams, panoramic views, sheer granite cliffs, the headwaters and the east fork of the Tuckaseegee River, and biologically diverse habitats for wildlife and rare plant species. Because of its outstanding geologic formations, forests, streams and native plant life, Panthertown is designated as a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area natural heritage site and by The Wilderness Society as one of North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures. Thirty miles of backcountry trails in Panthertown Valley are open to hikers. Many of those trails also allow mountain biking and equestrian activities.