Panther Falls

Buena Vista, Virginia 24416

Panther Falls

Panther Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Panther Falls is on Pedlar River in the George Washington National Forest. The waterfall’s name harkens back to a time when panthers (often called mountain lions) roamed these parts. It would seem that the river’s name recalls a time when peddlers roamed these parts too.

However, in his Hiking Guide to the Pedlar District, Michael T. Shoemaker notes, “Although peddlers were common along the Pedlar River, the river’s name derives from the surname of an early settler who drowned in it.” And he continues, “The name of the Pedlar River was in use at least as early as 1742.”"

More Panther Falls Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Waterfalls in Virginia (Falcon Guides)
Andy Thompson
View more trails from this guide book
"Panther Falls is the quintessential waterfall-swimming hole combination. When the weather is nice, this is one popular place-and for good reason. Not only are the multiple swimming holes beautiful, they're deep enough to safely jump off the overhanging boulders." Read more

Panther Falls Reviews

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This short, easy walk through the forest to the waterfalls is very lovely. The drive to the trailhead takes you up into the mountains and allows you to see the beautiful Virginia countryside. The entrance is very near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trailhead is on the left, about three miles down Panther Falls Road, which is a gravel Forest Service road just east of the Blue Ridge Parkway/US 60 intersection. Park at the kiosk and wander down the trail (it's not that well marked but you can see the foot path). The trail has a fair amount of stairs at the beginning. Once you get through those, the rest of the short trek goes by fast and isn't too steep at all It's so worth it to get to the top of the falls! Beautiful boulders, gorgeous scenery, and a fast flowing river will greet you upon your arrival. The rocks can get pretty slippery when wet, so use caution, but this is an otherwise easy and fun place to take your kids to enjoy the falls or even cool off in the pool below. Please consider taking a trash bag with you to pack out garbage that you or careless others may have left behind. Be sure to check for ticks before returning home.
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Panther Falls Photos

Trail Information

Buena Vista
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Mt. Pleasant Special Management Area
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Dec 2018