About an hour outside Knoxville sits a 1,435-acre state park. Here, you’ll find fishing, 30 miles of hiking trails with spectacular views, and 50 campsites for those who’d like to call it home for a few days.
Panther Creek State Park is a verdant paradise spanning more than 1,400 acres and surrounded by water, thanks to its situation on the banks of the great Cherokee Reservoir as well as Panther Creek. Rising more than 1,400 feet from sea level at its highest lookout point, the park boasts elevated views as trails peek out from underneath dense forests, and a modern campground to use as a homebase.
What Makes It Great
Offering 50 campsites with electrical hookups, fire rings, grills, picnic tables, and a common bathhouse, the park’s comfortable campground is great for experienced and first-time campers alike. With a laundromat on-site and a two-week maximum stay, there are plenty of opportunities to kick back and relax on or beside the reservoir after hiking some of its 30 miles of trails. Self-contained rigs can take advantage of the dump station, and pull-through sites make RV camping a snap.
There aren’t any backcountry sites here and while a couple of the park’s trails are strenuous, none of them are long enough to constitute an overnight hike. As a result, it’s an ideal escape for visitors who aren’t quite hard-core outdoor enthusiasts, but who want to experience some fun in the fresh air all the same.
Who is Going to Love It
Casual campers, hikers of all ability levels, freshwater anglers, and bird-watchers who enjoy camping near the water will enjoy this fairly small but densely-packed park with plenty of activities to enjoy.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Knoxville, take US-11E north for 36 miles to TN-342W, i.e., Panther Creek Road in Morristown. After 7 miles, take a right into the park at Panther Creek Park Road and follow signs to the campsites.
Only certified heat-treated firewood and wood collected within the park is allowed; untreated wood is prohibited from being brought into the park.