Panther Creek Falls Panther Creek Recreation Area, GA
DURATION 2-4 hours
There And
Back Again
Panther Creek Falls

One of the best hikes in north Georgia, Panther Creek offers a relatively easy trail with an impressive waterfall as the payoff. Panther Creek Falls trail is a well maintained, 6.5 mile round trip trail that’s great for families or for hikers looking for a relaxing half day adventure. However, due to the close proximity to Atlanta, this can be one busy path. Get there early or expect a crowd at the falls.

This trail goes all the way to Yonah Dam road but this report covers the trailhead on Old Highway 441 to the falls and back which is by far the most popular option. Taking the trail on the East side of the road, the path quickly crosses under Highway 441 and then shortly through a power line clearing. Along these open sections you will find raspberries and blackberries in the summer.

The trail is very easy to follow. For the first half of the hike, the trail stays above the creek, following the contours of the hills. It slowly begins to make its way down to meet the water and the first footbridge. This is roughly the half way point. Along this first section you will notice several camping sites and many more near the base of the falls.

From here, the trail stays on the south side of the creek for the remainder of the hike. This section is flat and easy. The water is never far away from here on, making this a very relaxing and enjoyable hike. The last half mile of the trail gets a little more interesting, with the path making several steeper climbs above the creek and along rock ledges. Due to the popularity of the trail, these are all safeguarded with metal cable railing, making it safe for all ages and abilities.

The falls can be heard as you make your approach, which ends with a steep descent. The main falls is 40 feet high, but is wide and impressive. The pool of water at the base is great for swimming and the falls itself can be explored along the base. The trail continues toward Yonah Dam road and the South Carolina border, but few go further that the falls.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
2.5 mi
228 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.6 mi
227 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.3 mi
182 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.2 mi
185 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
340 ft
79 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
length6.5 miles
difficulty6.2 Easy-Medium
duration2 - 4 hours
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain810 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestPanther Creek Recreation Area
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtChattooga River District
9975 Highway 441 S
Lakemont, GA 30552
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.698856, -83.419356 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°41.93, W 83°25.16 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°41'56'', N 34°41'56'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.698856, -83.419356 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°41.93, W 83°25.16 most GPS units use this one
N 34°41'56'', N 34°41'56'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Travelling north on 441, look for the sign on the right of the highway for Panther Creek Recreation Area indicating a left turn onto Glen Hardman Rd. Make a right on Old Hwy 441 for 1 mile. Parking is on both sides of the road.
Get here early for a quiet hike. Weekends will be busy.
The climb down to the falls is the only difficult section along this hike.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4.5 (2)
cropduster-6 years ago
Scenic hike but can be crowded
This is a great hike but beware! It can be crowded! Try to go early in the morning or in the off season. The hike is relatively flat but has some technical sections, especially at the end right before the waterfall.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Summer 2017
hikethesouth-6 years ago
North Georgia Classic
This is one of the best hikes in North GA. Easy enough for most with a powerful waterfall at the end. A great place to rest and relax or go for a quick swim. This should be on your short list.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Summer 2011
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