PANTHER CREEK STATE PARK
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.
Panther Creek has 50 campsites complete with water, electrical hookups, grills, picnic tables, fire rings and a bathhouse facility. A laundromat facility is also available.
The two bathhouse facilities provide hot showers, commodes, and lavatories. The campground also has a dump station for self-contained trailer rigs. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum stay is two weeks.
Panther Creek State Park's large fan-shaped swimming pool opens Memorial Day week-end and is open Tuesday through Sunday until mid-August. From then until Labor Day, the pool is only open on week-ends. There is a high dive, a low dive and a wading pool for small children. A lifeguard is on duty during pool hours.
Aside from lots of nice grassy areas on which to sunbathe, there is also a small shelter for those who want to get out of the sun.
Contact the park for more information on the openings and closings.
Cherokee Lake is a beautiful lake for boating. Nearby commercial marinas provide boat launching and rental boats and motors, as well as a bait shop that supplies fishing and picnicking needs.
Cherokee Lake provides year-round catches of bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and bream. Rock fishing is particularly good and it is not uncommon to catch 20-and 30- pound fish. There is no park fee for fishing but a valid Tennessee fishing license is required. Nearby commercial marinas provide boat launching and rental boats and motors, as well as a bait shop that supplies fishing and picnicking needs.
Panther Creek State Park is located near Dandridge, Jefferson City and Morristown
Conveniently located in shaded areas throughout the park are approximately 78 picnic tables. Grills are spaced throughout the area to be available to every four picnic tables and water spigots can be found near each site.
The park has two large picnic pavilions that may be reserved up to one year in advance for larger groups.
Smallman Shelter:This shelter seats approximately 85-90 people and overlooks beautiful Cherokee Lake, where gorgeous sunrises and sunsets can be viewed. There are four grills in the center of the shelter with restrooms located on the side. Several other picnic tables are found immediately off the shelter area. There is also a horseshoe pit beside the shelter.
Spoone Shelter:This shelter contains 14 picnic tables and seats approximately 140 people. There are four grills located in the center of the shelter. The shelter is equipped with a water spigot and electrical outlets and restrooms are conveniently located nearby. This shelter is near a nice wooded area about 1/4 mile from the pool and playground.
Contact the park for reservations and for more information.
Panther Creek offers 13 hiking and biking trails, 5 are hiking only. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails. Experienced mountain bikers are encouraged to leave their cars in the parking area near Panther Creek Road, just to the west of Boat Ramp Road. Less experienced riders may use any parking area. A sign at each trail head gives the name of the trail and its distance. The sign may also state how far it is to a connecting trail.
Hiking and Biking Trail Descriptions
1. & 2. Old Farm Trails are easy 1.0 or 1.5 mile loops.
3. Trout Lily Trail is a 2.0 mile loop developed by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. It's for experienced bicyclists.
4. Deer Run Trail winds back and forth for 0.8 miles
5. Piney Cove Trail after 0.6 mile, connects with either Old Wagon Trail or Panther Path.
6. Panther Path starts near the park entrance. It quickly joins Piney Cove Trail which leads to all other bicycle trails.
7. Norris Blackburn Trail is a 0.2 mile uphill to a wildlife observatory.
8. Old Wagon Trail is great for youngsters. It's flat for 0.8 mile and connects with Deer Run Trail which is more difficult.
Hiking Trail Descriptions - Open to hikers only
9. Nature Trail is an easy 1.2 mile loop. The self-guided nature trail was developed by Friends of the Park.
10. Ore Mine Trail is a hilly 1.5 mile loop with a scenic wooden bridge.
11. Sink Holes Trail is a 0.6 mile loop that runs by seven limestone sink holes.
12. Point Lookout Trail is a 1.2 mile loop. After climbing a long steep hill, there is a scenic overlook 400 feet above Cherokee Lake.
13. Ridge Crest Trail descends 0.7 mile to Cherokee Lake. It's steep - and so is the climb back.
Contact the park if you need more information on the trails.
Lake N Lodge
2237 Peninsula Dr
Jefferson City, TN
From East on I-40 travel through Knoxville and take Exit 394 (Hwy. 11E North). This is about 35 miles from the park and Morristown.
From South on I-81 take Exit 12 (Hwy 160). Travel North on 160 to Hwy. 11E, turn right and then take the next left. The park is approximately 2.5 miles on the right.From Gatlinburg, get on I-40 East and take Exit 417 (Hwy. 92). Travel toward Jefferson City. At the light, turn right (Hwy. 11E North). Travel to Morristown and Panther Creek State Park.