Panther Creek State Park




Cherokee Lake is a beautiful lake for boating. The park provides a boat ramp for visitors to launch from mid-April to late September. Nearby commercial marinas provide boat launching and rental boats and motors, as well as a bait shop that supplies fishing and picnicking needs.


The pool opens for the 2017 season on Saturday, May 27.


Wednesday through Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Closed Monday and Tuesday


Admission is $5 per person, ages two and older and $3 for camping guests (maximum 6 people per camp site). Pool passes are $100 for 40 visits and can be used for your entire party.

All infants must wear swim diapers which can be purchased for $1 at the pool.


Pool parties can be scheduled after normal operating hours from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for $150 (plus tax) for parties with up to 50 people. For larger parties, an additional $20 will be added for 25 people.. For more info, please call the park office at 423-587-7046. Please wear your sunscreen and stay hydrated! Keep swimming, just keep swimming!


The pool will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. The pool will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday during this week.
The pool will be open on Tuesday, July 4 and will be closed on Wednesday, July 5.


Panther Creek does not allow swimming in the lake from park property. The shore line does not offer safe access for visitors. This policy is strictly enforced for the safety of park guests. 


Old Farm Trails are easy 1.0 or 1.5 mile loops.
Trout Lily Trail is a 2.0 mile loop developed by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. It’s for experienced bicyclists.
Deer Run Trail winds back and forth for 0.8 miles
Piney Cove Trail after 0.6 mile, connects with either Old Wagon Trail or Panther Path.
Panther Path starts near the park entrance. It connects with the Old Wagon Road Trail to make almost a 2 mile bike ride or hike. 
Old Wagon Trail is great for youngsters. It’s flat for 0.8 mile and bicyclists and hikers can connect to Piney Cove and Deer Run trails for an extended ride or walk.

Trail Length: 8 miles
Trail Rating: Intermediate


The shores and islands of Cherokee Lake at Panther Creek State Park offer great opportunities for seeing wintering waterfowl, osprey, and eagles. The forest has a good resident population of songbirds as well.


Cherokee Lake is a 30,000 acre impoundment on the Holston River and provides great fishing, boating, skiing and other water recreation activities.  Bass, crappie, Walleye, and Sauger are abundant. Bass and crappie fishing are best in the spring. Rock Bass fishing is particularly good and it is not uncommon to catch them in the 20-30 lb. range. The Lake is stocked annually with Hybrid Striped Bass which commonly reach 7 lbs. or more.


Norris Blackburn Trail — 0.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Road To Recycling Trail (Self-Guided Nature Trail) — 1.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Ore Mine Trail — 1.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Lost Road Trail — 2.1 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Seven Sinkholes Trail — 0.6 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Ridge Crest Trail — 0.7 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Point Lookout Trail — 1.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Trout Lily Trail — 2.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate to Difficult
Old Wagon Trail — 1.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Panther Path Trail — 0.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Pioneer Trail — 2.4 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Piney Cove Trail — 0.6 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Deer Run Trail — 0.8 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Old Farm Trail (Outer Loop) — 1.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Old Farm Trail (Inner Loop) — 1.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Hunt Knob Trail — 3.8 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate to Difficult
Maple Arch Trail — 3.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate

Horseback Riding

Panther Creek offers seven miles of horseback riding trails including Hunt Knob and Maple Arch trails. Horse riders can access both of these trails from the parking area located past the boat ramp. The trails offer a variety from easy, straight, gently sloping sections to strenuous, hilly sections along Cherokee Lake with captivating views. You must bring your own horse. There are no camping facilities on the trails. Please stay on the trail and remember to bring current Coggins papers on each horse.

Horse trailers must use the parking area off Panther Creek Road, just to the west of Boat Ramp Road.