I was supposed to do the steep section of the Foothills Trail over the weekend, but someone set Pinnacle Mountain on fire. All trails in the Table Rock area were closed. My timing has never been very good.
I was all packed and ready for a weekend in the woods, so I went back to Panthertown Valley. This time I parked in the east lot and hiked Mac’s Gap Trail until I found a suitable campsite.
The sun sets early now (around 5:30 p.m.), so I wasn’t really tired. I used my rechargeable headlamp to night-hike to Greenland Creek Falls. The falls were so impressive in the moonlight that I came back the next morning. I loathe backtracking, but I thought this spectacle was worth the retreaded steps.
I saw a lot more of the valley, but none of it apart from the falls was as majestic as what I did a week ago. The hike up to Devil’s Elbow was pointless. There are no views and several side trails only led to more disappointment. Even though I was in the area, I somehow managed to miss 3 waterfalls on the Tuckasegee River. It’s just as well, as I would have had to wade in the water to see 2 of them. It was too cold for that.
Still, I really love this valley and plan to go back for another weekend to finish the remaining trails in the park.
This map will take you to the east parking lot where you’ll find the trailheads for Panthertown Valley Trail and Mac’s Gap Trail. Take Mac’s Gap Trail to Greenland Creek Trail, which dead ends at the falls.
Do a 9-waterfall loop
I used various trails in Panthertown Valley to piece together a 9-waterfall loop that includes Greenland Creek Falls and nearby Mac’s Falls and Pothole Falls. It’s around 15 miles long and features mostly easy to moderate hiking. It’s worth doing if you’re planning to stay overnight in the valley.