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The two RV Gypsies
hiked to Panther Falls
in Virginia
April 7, 2019

Panther Falls is an extremely popular local swimming hole and waterfall on the Pedlar River east of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Buena Vista. On summer days, the falls are packed with people jumping from the top of the two rock shelves that frame the 10-foot falls. The very short hike to the falls is only .4 miles. But the road driving in requires caution.

  • In the summer, the parking lot is packed until the early evening. If you want to skip the crowds, come early on weekdays or in the early evening. Avoid weekends if crowds are undesirable.

welcome to Panther Falls sign

Below: Panther Falls Road (FDR-315) is a narrow, curvy, gravel road, 3.5 miles long, with steep drop offs and ditches. As Lee drove their car, Karen tried looking as far ahead around the corners for on-coming cars.

Panther Falls Road Panther Falls Road
curves on Panther Falls Road curves on Panther Falls Road

The hike was short and level and not very hard.

hiking to Panther Falls Lee Duquette ready to cross the stream

The two RV Gypsies found the trail to be muddy from being crossed by small streams. They recommend caution and proper shoes.

Lee Duquette hiking around the water and mud water, mud, logs on the hiking trail
Pedlar River Pedlar River
Lee Duquette on the hiking trail Lee Duquette bending under the tree branch

The two RV Gypsies arrived at Panther Falls just as a group of young people had finished swimming, so they took a photo of Karen and Lee.

The two RV Gypsies arrived at Panther Falls The two RV Gypsies arrived at Panther Falls

Then Lee took a couple of selfies. Lee has finally learned to smile while taking the photo. Often he is so focused on what is in the background that he forgets to smile.

The two RV Gypsies at Panther Falls The two RV Gypsies at Panther Falls
The two RV Gypsies at Panther Falls The two RV Gypsies at Panther Falls

Below: This is where the young people had been swimming. An undercut ledge rings the pool and currents can be strong, making climbing out of the water challenging and requires caution.

the swimming hole area
the swimming hole area the swimming hole area

Below: Different views of the waterfall.

Panther Falls Lee Duquette photographing Panther Falls
Panther Falls Panther Falls
Panther Falls
Panther Falls swim area and Pedlar River flowing

Below: Karen photographed the flow of water from each side of the big boulder she was standing on.

Pedlar River flowing Pedlar River flowing
Lee Duquette on the big boulders Lee Duquette on the big boulders

Then it was time for the two RV Gypsies to hike back to their car.

leaving the boulder and hiking back
   
a careful Lee Duquette on a log Log across the stream

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