The USDA Forest Service announced that it is opening the Panther Top Fire Tower to the public for viewing on selected dates during October and November 2017. This Forest Service fire tower is normally closed to the public.
The Panther Top Fire Tower is located in Cherokee County, near Hiwassee Lake. The 40- foot tall lookout tower was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940. Standing atop a 2,293 foot summit, the Panther Top Fire Tower is the lowest situated lookout tower in western North Carolina, and it is also the most western tower in the state.
The tower will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday: October 28th & 29th and November 4th & 5th. Hours will be 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, call the Tusquitee Ranger District Office at 828-837-5152.
DIRECTIONS TO PANTHER TOP TOWER FROM MURPHY:
– Take Hwy 64 West for approx. 7 miles. Turn right onto NC 294, then go 0.8 miles to Panther Top road (SR1303), and go 2 miles. The road forks and the pavement becomes gravel. Take a right, continuing on Panther Top Road for another 1 mile. At the top of the hill, turn left. Continue approx. ½ mile to the tower.
The shooting range is in the general area. If you traveled about 0.7 of a mile on Panther Top Road, you’ll see the entrance is on the left, up the hill and through the gate with another 0.2 miles to the range.
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