North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
 

Panthertown

8,765 acres NCMT

Recommendation: This area should be managed as Backcountry/ Special Biological Area.

Naturalness: Panthertown Valley, is often referred to as the “Yosemite of the East” because of the massive rock outcrops soaring up to 800 feet high to surround the level valley floor. This 8,765-acre Mountain Treasure is the unspoiled headwaters of the Tuckasegee River, which begins where Greenland and Panthertown Creeks join in the valley and then drops through the nearly inaccessible Devil’s Elbow gorge. The valley is geologically unusual in having a flat, sandy bottom bordered by the big rock knobs.

There is a very unusual large bog bordered by a pine forest lying along Panthertown Creek between Big and Little Green Mountains. Among the scenic delights of the area are its waterfalls, with a large one on Greenland Creek east of the Little Green.

Panthertown Creek cascades just northeast of the bog and again upstream, northwest of Big Green Mountain. The Mountain Treasure runs all the way to the Bonas Defeat Gorge of the Tuckasegee River and there is a 250-foot waterfall on Flat Creek in this area

Opportunities for Solitude/Backcountry Recreation: This exquisite piece of wild land, once severely clear cut, is today a place of outstanding recreational value, with its exceptional trout streams and a wide variety of exploring possibilities on trails that follow old logging roads. Panthertown attracts many outdoor enthusiasts including hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, rock climbers, photographers, anglers and birders.

Panthertown is contiguous with the essentially trackless Big Pisgah area, with its rocky outcrops and the extraordinary Dismal Falls.

Ecological and other values: Biologically, Panthertown is noted for its extensive mountain bog and high quality grantite domes, all of which have several rare species. This areas has 246 acres of old growth forest,

This area contains the following State Natural Heritage Areas:Panthertown Valley (NCNHP proposed for new priority SIA)

Big Pisgah Mountain/Dismal Falls (portion is currently recognized as SIA)

Manageability: The area is manageable as a Special Biological/Special Interest Area.

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