Our hike will start at the Salt Rock Gap parking area (bulletin board) at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers.
We plan to hike up Blackrock Trail starting at 9:am, across Overlook Trail, down Carlton’s Way, and back up Panthertown Valley Trail. It’s about 3 miles each way and has some wonderful views from Blackrock Overlook and Salt Rock Gap Overlook. We plan to be back to the parking area by 3:00pm.
This trail is in good shape at the beginning. It climbed steadily but not steeply, and wraps around as it climbs up the ridge onto an old road bed. The surface from there on is wider as it connects to an old road bed, hiking right on top of the ridge during this entire section.
As you approach the summit of Blackrock Mountain, the grade steepens a bit but never becomes excessive. It’s about here that you should start looking for the junction with the Overlook trail on the right. The trail gets narrower the last few feet up to the very summit before starting downhill. Yes, down a little, to get to the view of the Panthertown Valley. You can see Big and Little Green Mountains closer by with numerous other peaks on the horizon, it’s stunning!
This will be a perfect spot for lunch!
Next, we’ll make our way down to the Carlton’s Way trail, the trail is eroded in spots, and descends through a few switchbacks before arriving at its bottom junction with the North Road trail, turn right.
Shortly thereafter, you’ll find a nice new bridge, hang a right on Panthertown Valley trail before going left on the Mac’s Gap trail, which winds through a White Pine forest toward the creek. It crosses the creek on a rickety old bridge, just past the bridge, hang a right on the Granny Burrell Falls trail – take to the end an enjoy the falls.
Climb up past the falls, to the Great Wall trail, and hang a right. The trail crosses the creek on stepping stones.
Check out the Wilderness Falls trail if time permits on the way back. Or, climb up past Salt Rock and back to the parking area.
Take US 64 to Cedar Creek Road to Breedlove Road, turn right and go to end of road to entrance to Panthertown.