Hiking Sapphire Valley

and The High South

Enjoy the great outdoors hiking in and around Sapphire Valley! Here we give you the top three options for a quick access and great hike!

Whiteside Mountain

The trail takes you on a hike to 4,940 ft. elev. along the eastern Continental Divide, which offers spectacular views from a high ridge top, 2,100' above the valley floor. Whiteside Mt. has the highest sheer cliffs in the Eastern US.
[More Info]

Length: 2 mi. loop.
Rating:Easy to moderate
Trail Head:
Whiteside Mt. parking area.
From the intersection of N.C. 107 and U.S. 64 in Cashiers, drive west on U.S. 64 in the direction of Highlands. After 4.7 mi. on U.S. 64, turn left on Whiteside Mountain Rd. (SR 1690) at brown "Whiteside Mountain Trail" sign. Continue 1.1 mi., passing Wildcat Cliffs Country Club on right. Turn left into gravel parking lot.

Panthertown Valley

Hiking on the old logging roads of Panthertown is a good way to familiarize yourself with this large scenic valley. Panthertown is distinguished by its broad flat valley floor flanked by granite cliffs abruptly rising 200 to 300 feet. These granite domes with exposed rock are uncommon in the southern Appalachians and offer spectacular open vistas.

Only a 20 minute drive from Sapphire Valley and the Cashiers crossroads, Panthertown Valley is a treat for hikers visiting the mountains in the state of North Carolina, as it contains a curious mixture of threatened and endangered species and natural communities. 
There are several entrances to Panthertown Valley, but the most accessible route is as follows: Approximately two miles east of Cashiers on US 64, turn left or north on Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120). Continue on Cedar Creek Road 2.2 miles. Bear right or northeast on Nicholson Lane (SR 1121). Continue 3.4 miles on SR 1121 to a flat parking area at a gap where the National Forest boundary begins. The access road from the gap makes an excellent foot travel path. No motor vehicles are allowed beyond this point.
Support the Friends of Panthertown!
The mission of the Friends of Panthertown is to work in partnership with the USDA Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.
Some Content,Images and Trail Map Courtesy: Friends of Panthertown

Fairfield Lake

...and a hike to the top of Bald Rock Mountain. The 3.2 mile trail around Fairfield Lake is one of the easiest and most accessible. The hike to the top of Bald Rock is a bit of a different story, but worth the effort....

Fairfield Lake Trail
This trail is open from Labor Day through the winter and closes on Memorial Day. Camp Merrie Woode girls camp closes the western end of the trail for the safety of the campers. 
Park at the Sapphire Valley Boat and Beach facilities and depending on your preference, go right or left! That's it. The trial is easy to follow and offers great views of Bald Rock Mountain. 

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