A moderate hike offering one of the best views over the 6700
acres that make up Panthertown Valley.
Distance (round trip):
Round trip time:
Big and Little Green mountains are named after John Green, an early settler who
grabbed a mountain lion by the tail, swung the animal over his head and beat it with a
stick. So the story goes. He was supposedly killed by a panther, as they are called locally,
in the late 19th century.
Arriving at Meadow Ridge from the clubhouse, turn right before the pavilion and drive 1.1
miles on gravel to the left-hand turnoff into the Panthertown parking area. Park
somewhere along the road, which ends at a gate in front of a power-line tower.
Take the trail leading to the right of the parking area. Within five minutes, you will cross a
footbridge to arrive at an old logging road. Turn left on the road, and pass a signboard
with information about the forest. The road, which follows the route of railroad tracks used
by lumbermen in the early part of the century, will be visible on your left as it switchbacks
down the steep hillside. Instead of remaining on the road as it makes these curves, pick
up the footpath before the first bend. You’ll notice it near a rain-collection station with a
solar panel. Bear right immediately and soon enough you will rejoin the logging road
farther down the mountain.
Turn right, and as soon as you cross a wood-plank bridge over Greenland Creek, turn
left onto a trail leading through the woods to Schoolhouse falls. When the falls are within
view, take note of the trail on your right leading to the summit of Little Green Mountain.
Stop at the falls for a snack or a swim. Then retrace your steps to the steep trail up the
mountain, which will take about 30 minutes. At the top the trail splits in several directions,
offering a number of different options to sit and enjoy the view over Panthertown. The
valley before you is defined by Blackrock Mountain on its right wall, Big Green Mountain
on the left, and, at the far end, a bare granite face called Salt Rock, near the trailhead
closer to Cashiers Valley. Little Green’s best sitting spots are at the end of a path leading
off to the right through a pine forest.
You will return the way you came. Take the same trail down the mountain to the falls and
turn left to return to the logging road. Take care when it goes around a rightward bend to
find the footpath leading back up the hill to the weather station. Just before the road
enters private property called Canaan Land, catch the trail at right to reach your car.
|Copyright 2007 by Tony Austin