Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area is situated in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee. The 13,122 acres of relatively undisturbed forest contain some of the richest wildflowers areas in Tennessee. The mountainous terrain varies from an elevation of 1,340 feet to over 3,000 feet on 16 different mountain peaks. Frozen Head, elevation of 3,324, is one of the highest peaks in Tennessee west of the Great Smoky Mountains. From its observation tower on a clear day, one can plainly see the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee Ridge and Valley, and the Great Smoky Mountains. In winter, the mountain peaks are often capped with snow or ice while the lower valleys remain unadorned, thus giving the park's namesake, Frozen Head. The park's lush vegetation, small streams, waterfalls and beautiful mountains make Frozen Head one of Tennessee's most scenic parks.
I don't know why this trail is rated moderate. It's very flat and wide. Probably one of the easiest trails in Frozen Head State Park! Always lots of family traffic on weekends. The falls are beautiful and a lot of families bring there younger kids to play there during the summer.
Started up chimney top trail. The final 1/4 mile to chimney tops is brutal. I hike difficult trails regularly and completely underestimated the ascent. I did enjoy the challenge along with the rest of the hike. I will definitely be coming back in winter when the lack of foliage will open up the views.
North Old Mac is definitely the easiest option to get to the observation tower from thr Old Mac parking area/visitor's center. Its a little bit longer than South Old Mac and not as scenic, but the grades up arent as severe as South Mac or Spicewood and more spread out over the length of the trail. The trail was also in better shape with fewer downed trees/obstacles than the other two as of May 2016. Definitely recommend taking it up to the tower, then going back down South Mac for a low-intensity day hike good for transitioning from beginner to intermediate hikes.
Excellent hike in the early Spring, especially if you like wild flowers! The trail is wide and easy It runs beside the North Prong of the Flat Fork the whole way. There are lot of picturesque waterfalls long the way, but don't miss Debord Falls, which is about half way. It' a great hike for beginners! I imagine it also be a great hike for the fall when the leaves are turning!
Recently went to Frozen head for the first time. Really enjoyed the park, especially the view top of the fire tower. Definitely recommend this trail if it is your first time at frozen head. The trail says moderate but that only because it is mostly uphill on the way to the fire tower.
Most forgiving of the trails I backpacked throughout Frozen Head. Had taken Chimney Tops to camp at Panther Gap Rockhouse - but not conducive for hammock camping. So I hauled tail along N Old Mac to the campsite. Beautiful spot for a sunset - spur near the Panther Branch junction. Continue past the fire ring, for an even more spectacular overlook. A lot of spots were muddy - despite not having rain for more than a week...
Day 3 backpacking in Frozen Head - hiked up the Lookout Tower, connected to Bird Mountain Trail to camp on Bird Mountain. If you go that route, fill up your water at the start or Linlog Branch (filter!) You are without water sources again until final mile.
Saw a few turkeys and numerous deer.
As I approached summit, and down toward the campsite, noticed 5 fresh bear scat on the trail... Rather problematic when there were no trees to hang my bear bag from.
It was REALLY windy, several branches fell in vicinity. Decided to haul tail back to trailhead before sunset. (less than 90 minutes)
Castle Rock looked cool, but didn't have time to explore. Some blazes btwn the campsite and the switchbacks were hard to locate. I am not one to use hiking poles, but they would definitely be helpful - especially after a rain.