If you’d rather not hike that far and your car (and driver) can handle rough terrain, drive to the top and hike down to the jutting rock overlook. The dirt/gravel Currahee Mountain Road is passable, but travel is slow and dicey near the top. You need to be especially careful choosing your path if your car has a low chassis. Take Hwy. 123 North from Toccoa, turn left onto National Forest Road #62 directly before Ayersville Road at the Milliken plant. Look for a large brown sign that says "Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area, Chattahoochee National Forest". Broad River Trail – This trail is located in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area and is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service because it is in the National Forest System of Trails. Don’t hike any trail or road that will take you on Wildlife Management Areas or privately owned land during deer hunting season. You may call the Department of Natural Resources at 770-535-5700 to verify hunting seasons in these areas. Broad River Trail is a camping, hiking, and fishing paradise with an abundance of wildlife. This is a relatively easy hike and is excellent for novice hikers and family groups. The trail follows streams, waterfalls, lush mountain foliage and runs 3.8 miles from Farmers Bottom to where Dicks Creek intersects with Forest Service Road #87. To get there: Take Highway 123 North from Toccoa and turn left onto Ayersville Road at the Milliken Humphrey Plant. Go .8 mi. to Forest Service Road #87 and turn left onto the dirt/gravel road. This service road is rough and rocky in some spots so you need to be careful if you are in a low-chassis car. As you travel 2.1 miles, you’ll pass the Ranger’s checking station on the left. Bear to the left at the fork in the road and drive until you see the brown and beige sign on the right that says "Hiker Trail." Follow the blue blazes. Panther Creek Trail – This trail is in Habersham and Stephens Counties and is under the jurisdiction of the Chattooga Ranger District in Habersham County. It is part of the National Forest System of Trails and is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. It is a six-mile hike, one way, and is for the sure-footed and those unafraid of heights. For the experienced hiker, the scenery is well worth the effort: cliffs, huge boulders and waterfalls make this stream one of the most scenic areas in Georgia. The starting point in Stephens County is near Yonah Dam. To get there: Follow Prather Bridge Road (Highway 184) until it becomes Yonah Dam Road. After you cross the bridge where Panther Creek meets the Tugalo River before you get to the dam, bear left and take the first dirt road to the left, which is Panther Creek Road. Follow this road until it dead ends. Cross the metal footbridge and take the trail up the hill to the right. To the left is a large grove of walnut trees, growing in rows. The symmetry is an odd juxtaposition to the natural setting.
This trail is considered easy to moderate and is 6.0 miles, one way. Most of the typical mountain streamside plants abound along Panther Creek. Rhododendron, mountain laurel, large white pine, hemlock and beech grow beside the stream. The first 2.0 miles is difficult because it is less defined and more dangerous than the rest of the trail. You’ll come upon a large, enticing pool at the base of a series of waterfalls that has a splashing slide in the middle. Not knowing what to expect, most people are astounded by the beauty, size and power of the waterfall, especially during the high water levels of winter and spring. The steep path goes up the side of the falls to the next protruding vantage point, then goes upward to the outer edge of an immense outcropping and winds along the upper falls. Path-narrowing outcrops past the falls lead to the high shoals near the logged area. For approximately one mile, the path rises and dips, conforming to the creekside topography. The stream becomes calm and the trail is sidewalk flat for a while, then you have to negotiate guy wires, rocks and fallen trees as you walk under the Highway 441 Bridge. Across the road is the Panther Creek Recreation Area, which has restrooms and picnic areas – perfect for a break before you start back to your vehicle.