The land that once served as the heart of Cherokee country is now a state-protected area frequented by anglers, campers, and daytrippers looking for a great afternoon hike or bike ride. Located next to the Cherokee Reservoir, the park also encompasses a part of Panther Creek, which snakes through its grounds for about a mile. Tucked into the Holston River Valley, the park and its bike trails offer wooded seclusion on the land where America’s first inhabitants lived for centuries.
What Makes It Great
Panther Creek State Park offers a diverse menu of options for those who want to explore on two wheels. All of the bicycle trails are near the boat launch ramp, separate from most of the horse and hiking trails.
The park’s network of six trails range from the Old Wagon Trail, which runs .8 miles of flat surface and is easy enough for youngsters to use, to the rigorous two-mile Trout Lily Trail, which was developed by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and is meant for cyclists with some miles on them.
In between, are the easy one-mile and 1.5-mile loops of the Old Farm Trails, as well as the winding Deer Run Trail, which zigzags back and forth for just under a mile. The .6-mile Piney Cove and two-mile Panther Path trails are connector trails best suited for beginning to intermediate bicyclists. If the Old Wagon Trail proves too easy for you, take it to Panther Path for more of a challenge.
Who is Going to Love It
All the way from beginner to experienced riders, there are options for everyone, even families with children. With birdwatching, hiking, and fishing at the park as well, it is a great place to spend the day.
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 trails. Panther Park Trail is the closest trail to the entrance of the park.