Panthertown is part of the Roy Taylor National Forest within the Nantahala National Forest. Maryland-based Moltz Lumber Company logged Panthertown Valley in the 1920s and 1930s. It sold in the 1960s to Liberty Properties, which wanted to convert the valley into a resort. The Blue Ridge Parkway had plans for a route through the valley, but those plans fell through. Duke Power Company purchased the land and built a large electrical transmission line spanning the valley’s width. In 1988, the Nature Conservancy purchased all but Duke’s right-of-way for $7,875,000, and immediately sold it to the Forest Service for $8 million as an addition to Nantahala National Forest.
The valley contains the headwaters of the east fork of the Tuckaseigee River and is designated as a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area natural heritage site, and as one of North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures by The Wilderness Society.
Thirty miles of backcountry trails in Panthertown are open to hikers and many to mountain bikers and equestrians.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates more than 25,000 visitors from around the world explore Panthertown each year.
Elevation in the valley ranges from 3,000 to 4,777 feet.