Panther Creek State Park, covering approximately 1,435 acres, is located on the shores of Cherokee Reservoir, an impoundment of the Holston River. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located about 45 miles south. Legend has it that both Panther Creek and Panther Springs, located about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the park, received their names from the claim of a Colonel Bradley of Virginia who, while exploring the area, shot a panther that fell into the spring.
The park has 17 different hiking trails covering more than 30 miles of terrain at all levels of difficulty. Hikers can enjoy magnificent views of Cherokee Lake and the Cumberland Mountains from Point Lookout Trail reaching 1,460 feet above sea level. There are also more than 15 miles of mountain biking trails that range from easy to difficult. Cherokee Lake provides year-round catches of bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, rock fish and bream. Panther Creek offers seven miles of horseback riding trails with more under construction. Panther Creek has 50 campsites complete with water, electrical hookups, grills, picnic tables, fire rings and a bathhouse facility.
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