Panther Falls is a swimming hole that attracts a decent crowd on hot summer days. It provides what anyone would want in a swimming hole. Plenty of places to soak up the sun, little pools to wade in, and some decent sized boulder to leap off into the refreshing water. I was very excited to discover this gem while making my way down the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Getting to Panther Falls Swimming Hole
You can easily GPS the location which will bring you right up to the side parking lot by the swimming hole. Panther Falls is located in Buena Vista off Route 60. If you’re coming down south from Blue Ridge Parkway, take the exit for Buena Vista (milepost 46) and head east on Route 60. Immediately take a right onto a dirt road called Panther Falls and go down around three miles. You’ll see the side lot with a kiosk sign of information. The walk is about fifteen minutes from this sign.
My Day at Panther Falls
Luckily, I went during a weekday that wasn’t too busy. The trail opens up to large boulders with little tree coverage that goes right into the water. The trail brought us on top of the tall boulders where we saw some local high school kids jumping off into the deep pool below. There is a huge rock that splits the river into two swimming holes. The other swimming hole had a smaller jump and wading area that you could relax in. Instantly, I stripped my clothes off and ran down there.
My travel partner and I made chatted with the locals as they gave us info of where to jump and the track to get to the top. As the day progressed, the swimming holes became a bit more popular but not enough to feel crowded. After spending a couple hours jumping off the boulders and laying in the sun, we decided to be on our way. We said goodbye to our new found friends and trekked back to our vehicle.