One of the trailless peaks in the Santanoni Range, Panther is usually hiked in conjunction with Santanoni and often with Couchsachraga as well. The trail is most easily and frequently accessed from Bradley Pond via the old Tahawus Club Road, and be prepared with a map and GPS if you have one – the Santanonis are out there!
Distance: 12.5 miles (if only hiking Panther)
Elevation: 4,442 ft
Ascent: 3,762 ft
The initial approach to Panther, Santanoni, and Couchsachraga all begin the same – with a 1.8 mile walk along a gravel road. Then it will turn somewhat abruptly (so keep your eyes peeled!) to the right onto the trail. The trail will take you another 1.6 miles where you will see a view of some cascades on the left – go another 200 yards and you will see a cairn marking the turn-off to the herd path for Santanoni. Continue on another .9 miles, where you will find the cairn marking the herd path up Panther. The path will continue mostly flat past Bradley Pond and then climb steeply up past the pond before tapering to a less steep incline. The trail will then drop briefly to Panther Brook and follow the brook to the top of the mountain ridge. You will reach a junction of paths where the trail to Panther goes to the right and the trail to the left will take you to Santanoni and Couchsachraga. Follow the trail to the right .4 miles to Panther’s summit. The summit is mostly treed, though there is a west-facing view that is worthwhile in clear weather.
Starting in Newcomb at the intersection of Interstate 28N and Newcomb Lake Road, follow 28N southeast for 5.2 miles. Turn left on Blue Ridge Road and follow it for .3 miles. Take a slight right to stay on Blue Ridge Road and follow it for another .9 miles. Here, turn left onto Tahawus Road and follow it for 6.3 miles. Then turn left onto Upper Works Road and follow it for 2 miles. Finally, turn left onto Santanoni Road, where you will find the trailhead fifty feet ahead.