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Hike to Panther Creek Falls
|Event Location:||Panther Creek Falls|
|Date(s) & Time:||Sun, Mar 21 2004 9:00 am >> N/A|
|Registration Opens:||Mon, Jan 1 2007 12:00 am|
|Registration Cut Off:||Fri, Mar 19 2004 11:59 pm|
|Event Duration:||per itinerary|
|Difficulty Rating:||D2: Easy to Moderate|
|Trip Leader(s):||George David Nunnally|
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|Who's Invited:||Members Only, 21 And Older Only|
|Maximum Group Size:||20|
|Minimum Group Size:||2|
|Number Registered So Far:||15 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)|
|Are Dogs Permitted:||No|
|Moderate (6 miles)|
The trail is about 6 miles in length. The waterfall itself is rated in the top 5 in Georgia as to spectacular and beautiful. We will hike to the falls, have lunch and return to Atlanta. Hopefully be back at the park and ride by 5. If people desire, can have dinner at a great nearby Mexican restaurant. If you have never been to this waterfall, you do not want to miss this one. Best of all, it is close to Atlanta.
This trail follows Panther Creek through stands of white pine and hemlock along the steep, rocky bluffs of the creek. Passing a series of roaring cascades cut through solid rock, the treadway culminates in a waterfall at Panther Creeks junction with Davidson Creek. From 1882 until 1961 a railroad known under a variety of names, most common of which is the Tallulah Falls Railway, carried passengers and freight from Cornelia to Tallulah Gorge and beyond to Franklin, North Carolina. The 98 foot trestle across Panther Creek was the tallest of the 58 mile shortline mountain run.
The footpath immediately enters a wooded area only to open up for a four-lane overpass within a couple of hundred feet. The overpass is in the general vicinity of the Tallulah Falls Railroad trestle mentioned earlier. The trail then returns to the woods, following Panther Creek on a long, gentle arc. In this area there are a few side paths to the creek that are an easy trek. Also, the soil on this path is not the traditional Georgia clay. This area of the northeast corner of the state, technically part of the Gainesville Ridges, is geologically different than the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and most of the state.
Shortly after the overpass Panther Creek cuts deeply from the path, often wandering more than 70 feet below down a steep drop. A well-worn access path to a cascade is a near vertical drop and more difficult to get up than may first appear. At the third outcropping the path makes a left turn, climbing through a small crack in the rock up 30 feet to the top of the mountain. Watch the trails blue blazes carefully, for the path appears to continue. The word trail is barely visible on the rock beneath the crevice. We have missed the double blue blaze on the tree at the turn.
From this point on the trail hugs the ridge, following the creek. About halfway into the walk the trail regains the creek and takes on a new personality after crossing Panther Creek on a wooden bridge. The steep slopes have been replaced by flat bottomland and the noisy cascades are mere gurgles. A more diverse ecological community forms in the moist climate indicated by the ferns. Several tributaries join the creek, crossed by logs or well-placed stones.
Within a mile the steep cliffs return, with Mill Shoals Falls on the left. Panther Creek Falls is shortly ahead, almost directly on the Brevard Fault Line.
|How to Get There:|
|Event Directions:||Habersham Stephens County 9:00 am at the Indian Trail Park and Ride. Meet at the Park and Ride only.|
Are dogs allowed? No. This is not a very dog friendly trail.
Is this a rain or shine event? YES, however the leader reserves the right to cancel due to inclement weather. You will be contacted by email or phone in the case of a cancellation.
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