Panther Creek State Park, TN
What can we say about this place? It’s nice for a getaway from everything, but not for people who need to work… We had no cell service in half of the park including the campground, hardly any Wi-Fi signal but you can pay them for internet, the grass is overgrown, the office closes early and on Sundays, no signs to tell you where to check in at, there is no camp host, and they don’t sell firewood. Now, for the good things. The trails are great, there are beautiful views here, the lake is quiet, people are nice, the store is very close, gas is cheap, and disk golf is fun.
Monday we worked all day, we did stuff around here and caught up on things. We took a short hiking trail around 7 sinkholes. Don’t worry, they’re not like our sinkholes in Florida. These are actually sturdy and we even got to walk in one.
Tuesday morning we got up and went hiking and geocaching. The kids had a blast and so did we. They found the cache pretty fast and we signed the log. The hike went around the front part of the park and seemed a little long, but it was a relatively easy hike.
Wednesday morning we got up and went hiking and geocaching again. This time at the top of the park, the hike was steep going back up and we stopped to have a snack. After we got back home we fixed lunch and then Sean dropped Kevin and me off where we had reception so we can upload stuff for work and Sean took the kids to play disk golf. After work Sean took Kevin to play disk golf and he loved it.
Thursday we got up a bit earlier and went for another hike. It was supposed to be around the one side of the lake, but we couldn’t make it, so we took the lost road trail and that led us straight back to the campground. After lunch we played the first 9 holes of disk golf again. We came back home, did some work and played the rest of disk golf. Boy, are we tired!
Friday we were supposed to hike to point lookout and geocache again, but I woke up a little under the weather and we decided against it. We were also supposed to go play disk golf again that afternoon. We took a lazy day and Kevin worked ahead on work in hopes of next week taking some extra time to go hiking and such.
Since Saturday was our last day there and we didn’t want to miss the last geocache, we went ahead and went to point lookout. It was beautiful and I was super glad that we went. The cache was the same as the rest, so we signed the log and kept walking. Got back to the RV and cleaned up and got ready for the trip the next day.
The park is very busy in the mornings, in the evening and on weekends. There are a lot of housing developments around the outskirts of the park. The hiking is great and we didn’t get to get all of the trails in, but they are fairly long. You’ll need to be in pretty good shape in order to do half of them or take your time and pack plenty of water, snacks and maybe lunch. The one I really wanted to do, was just over 5 miles long and that makes it a little extra hard when there are so many elevation changes. Thursday we got just over 17,000 steps on the Fitbit!
Since they don’t sell firewood, you can either grab some at Lowes or Home Depot down the street or you can do what the other people did there and make sure you take your 5 gallon bucket and an axe. There were multiple people every day walking out of the woods with buckets full of wood. The park has quite a few dead trees and they encourage you to collect downed trees.
If you make your reservations online like we did, they don’t tell you which ones are full hook ups and which are not on the picture, make sure you click on list view in order to see which ones have sewer if that is important to you! We had our tote, so we dumped the grey tank every day, no big deal. Although, you do save money, about $6 a day if you don’t need sewer. We were in site #9 and it was shady all day, but there was a dried up creek next to our site that took away from our “green space” and it made the fire pit on an angle. It was plenty of room for 2 people for sure, but 6 chairs were pushing it. Some sites have trails that start right behind them, some have more green space and then others have space up a small hill on the same site. Just make sure you do your research before you go.