August 20, 2016

Ride Information - Panther

Panther - 50.8 miles

Total Elevation Gain: 4180 ft.

This ride is a moderately challenging 50 mile route with some of the most spectacular views and rolling farm country you could experience in Haywood County!

The Panther will begin at Lake Junaluska with a mostly flat ride through the Jonathan Creek community. Riders will then turn on to Coleman Mountain Road and experience their first climb and descent of the day at Mile 8 where they will continue on into the Iron Duff community at what locals know as "Frog Level" on to Iron Duff Road. Along Iron Duff road you will coast along rolling hills with one moderate climb then will descend and cross over the bridge and take a left onto Riverside Drive. Along Riverside Drive you will enjoy the scenes of the beautiful Pigeon River before beginning another moderate climb into the Panther Creek community. Gorgeous views and a stunning descent await you here! Riders will then come to an intersection where they will turn right and head into the Fines Creek community where the first rest stop is located at Mile 22.2 at the Fines Creek Community Center. Once through the Fines Creek rest stop, riders will then experience the most difficult climb of the ride up and over what is known as "Rushfork" on Highway 209 beginning at approximately Mile 24. The descent is truly breathtaking and totally worth the climb up Rushfork! At mile 31.3 riders will turn left onto Upper Crabtree Road and enjoy a mostly flat ride through some gorgeous rolling farm country for several miles before turning left onto Bald Creek Road. This section of the ride begins with some moderate rolling hills and then has a short fairly steep climb to the top of Bald Creek Road to a cul-de-sac turn around where a water stop is located. Once at the cul-de-sac, riders will make their way back down Bald Creek and Upper Crabtree Roads with a beautiful descent to return to Highway 209. Riders will make a left turn and a short climb up to the 2nd Rest Stop at Crabtree United Methodist Church at Mile 41.4. Once passing through the second rest stop, riders will continue on Highway 209 for a short distance before turning left on to Golf Course Road and then a right onto Hyder Mountain Road for a couple of moderate climbs before a nice descent back down to river level. Riders will then take a right onto Richland Creek road and follow the river before coming to an intersection at Highway 209. Riders will then turn left onto Highway 209 and make their way back to Lake Junaluska to continue on to the much deserved finish line!

Please note that this ride is not for beginners but for riders looking for a moderately difficult 50 mile ride.


Route Map and Cue Sheet (pdf)

Paid for in part by HCTDA 44 N. Main St, Waynesville NC 28786 - 828.452.0152