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Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area is situated in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee in the City of Wartburg. The park's lush vegetation, small streams, waterfalls, and beautiful mountains make Frozen Head one of Tennessee's most scenic parks. This remote park is about an hour outside of Knoxville and makes for great for a weekend escape into the mountains. 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 hosts more than 50 miles of backpacking and hiking trails. The park has some great waterfalls along its miles of trails, including Debord Falls and Emory Gap Falls. Frozen Head is one of the highest peaks in Tennessee west of the Great Smoky Mountains with an elevation of 3,324. From its observation deck, which replaced the old lookout 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. Other peaks to note in the park are Bird Mountain, Chimney Top Mountain and Old Mac Mountain. Popular hiking trails in the park include Chimney Top Trail, which leads to Chimney Top Mountain, Lookout Tower Trail which summits Frozen Peak, and Bird Mountain Trail, which climbs Bird Mountain. The park has a variety of primitive and backcountry campsites for those looking to set up camp. Make sure to check in at the Visitor Center and secure a parking permit if you are planning to camp.

on Debord Falls

4 days ago

Easy short hike. Waterfalls much better after a good rain. This is one of our go-to places.

We left from the Old Mac trail head parking lot at 1:00 pm and made it to the Tubs Spring campsite around 3:30 pm. We were suppose to stay at the Panther Gap Rockhouse campsite but it was way to muddy. Tub Springs camp is very nice especially with the actual spring being so close, maybe 100 yards. From there it's an easy mile hike to and from the watch tower. We left Tubs Springs in the morning around 10:00 am and made it back by 11:30. We took the North Old Mac trail home which was easy being mostly down hill the entire way.

Either trail you take in (South Old Mac or North Old Mac) its going to be a difficult hike its up hill the entire way. But you are rewarded on the hike back with a gradual down hill for miles. I highly recommend this trail for a fun and short backpacking trip or a long day hike just make sure to bring the water. The water sources were drying up along the trail you so you can only fill up at the begging or end at Tubs Spring.

Great little hike! Fun little spot to play in the water!

backpacking
18 days ago

Good trail very kosher

This is a pretty difficult hike -- the trail includes a lot of steep uphills and precipitous downhills, with some clambering over rocks. It's a challenge! But beautiful, especially at the top, and very isolated; I didn't see another soul for the whole hike. Chimney Top really does go right to the top of the mountain, up, over, and around the rocky summit. I can confirm that the Mart Fields campsite does have a water source, a hundred yards or so down the Chimney Tops trail -- but when I was there it was a meager trickle. One note: they have moved the Chimney Top trailhead so that it comes out by the Visitor's Center, about 1/4 mile down the road from the Spicewood trailhead. So the last bit of the hike is along a paved road (but one with very little traffic).

It was so pretty even for a dreary cold day. It was pretty intense in some places. I loved all of the water features and views of the huge open valleys.
The flowers were just starting to bloom but it was unusually cold on this particular day. We were the only people out there and my dog also had a blast! Super fun day despite the cold.

hiking
2 months ago

This was an enjoyable hike. I agree with most of the others. I don’t think the last third could be called easy:) Of course I’m 71 and far from the fittest hiker on the trail!

Beautiful area and not very populated! We did North Old Mac then The Fire Tower then South Old Mac back to the car. Directions are correct for parking. We will be back to hike the other trails one day! Saw a coyote on the way out too.

Oh, and no martinis allowed on the trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail lots of water after a rain event. Second half of trail was like walking in a creek! Looking forward to the next visit.

Easy from trailhead to Debord Falls, some areas rocky so watch your step. To continue onto Emory Gap Falls is doable but defiantly closer to the moderate range. You are going up hill more and there are a lot more rocks and tree roots.
( I did see and older man fall, he was not injured). If the the first Falls (Debord) do not have plenty of water flowing you may want to wait to do the second leg another day.

Hard loop hike joining multiple trails and old "jeep roads". Begin in Cove campground going up Lookout Tower Tr to Coffin Springs Tr. Take Coffin Springs Tr to the Cumberland Tr. Go East on the CT to the FHSP boundary. Return West completing the Cumberland Tr through the FHSP. The CT ends on a short stump beyond Ross Gap. Go down Ross Gap Tr which is an ugly rutted\rocky unmaintained dirt rd. Return to Cove Campground hiking through the FHSP on Rocky Fork & Flat Fork Creek trails. About 16.5mi. The Cumberland Tr is the focus of this hike. The eastern section is pretty rough with plenty of up & down. Nice views along the ridge up & over Bird Mt. Plenty of solitude. Nice hike.

A hard loop beginning @ Cove campground. Incorporates Lookout Tower ("Jeep Rd"), Coffin Springs, Cumberland, Ross Gap, Rocky Fork, & FlatFork Creek Trails. Lots of elevation gain & solitude. The eastern section of the CT is pretty rough. Fortunately the trails are well marked, but be aware that the eastern section of the CT is primarily blazed in red with few white rectangles (this was the old N Boundary Tr). Although this hike begins/ends on really mundane "trail", the Cumberland section earns 4 stars; just no other way to get access.

My favorite hiking loop in Frozen Head.

hiking
2 months ago

We enjoyed this hike today, but the description is inaccurate in many details, resulting in a misleading description. The total loop is 7.8 miles (not 6.4) and the total elevation gain is 1832. With this distance and elevation gain, this is a difficult hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful fall.

hiking
3 months ago

Love this trail! Not sure I would say easy especially the very end of trail but can be done!

Begin @ Big Cove. Drive through campground to limited pkg @ trailhead.Hard hike. Well blazed but N Bird Mt Tr is rough in some places with plenty of deadfall & poor/ rocky footing. Lots of up & down.Rock formations & nice winter views from Cumberland Tr. This loop is a workout but you'll get plenty of solitude in a nice forest setting. N. Bird Mt Trail is the rehabbed N. Boundary Trail. This is the most remote & toughest trail in FHSP.

hiking
3 months ago

NOT EASY. This is definitely a moderate hike—especially closer to the falls. They were beautiful and well worth the effort. The Debord Falls are on the same trail, so stop and see them on your way.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy and short. The falls were beautiful and my kids had fun playing in them.

Loop hike joining Ross Gap, Cumberland &Bird Mt trails. Hard on both trail and washed out rocky roads.Well marked. Begin in nice wooded section w stream xings. Then long mod ascent on old forest rd w sections of wash ,rocky footing, & deadfall. Ross Gap @ 2.5mi. Turn right following white blazes to Castle Rock. At Castle Rock, 4.5mi., join Bird Mt Tr and begin descent through switchbacks & exit woods @ Big Cove Campground. Aprrox 1.5mi back to beginning using walking path and park rd. A nice circuit with pretty streams, rocky features & some wintertime views from the upper ridgeline.

Combines Chimney Top & Lookout Tower West Trails to create a loop hike. Moderate. Begin @ park office on Chimney Top. Two sets of switchbacks & steep climb @ the top. Rock houses, rocky bluffs & views along a ridge line. At 7 mi begin Lookout Tower W Tr. At this site there is a juncture with mult trails including 0.5mi up to the lookout tower. Lookout Tower West is an easy 6.3mi walk on a dirt service rd. At 12.6 mi enter campground @trails end. Enter Flat Fork Walking tr. (0.45mi) on other side of campground. Finish back @ park office @ 13.4mi. Nice walk through forest. Climbing/hard work front loaded.

Begin @ Armes Gap. Hike up gated gravel service rd. Moderate continual uphill. Jxn with Old Prison Mine Tr @.65mi. 2.1 mi to Tubb Spring & jxn with Chimney Top Tr. 2.5mi to lookout tower on Frozen Head. Nice views. Old Prison Mine Tr. is .3 mi to historic site with mine portals & several structures. Interesting/fun afternoon.

hiking
3 months ago

Out & Back-5.6 mi. Moderate. Well marked. Trail in ok condition. Erosion in some sections. 0.3 mi from parking to trailhead. First mi easy up broad trail. Short .1 mi section beyond campsite steep/rocky. Remainder is steady mod climb to jxn with Chimney Top Tr. Hike along stream down low and mult waterfalls higher. Really nice after a recent rain. Trail is a stream on mult sections. Many wild boar. Pretty hike.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is beautiful. We went after some heavy rain and the waterfalls were amazing! We ended up filling a few side trails to explore also and hiked about 4 miles. It was moderate in difficulty. Not bad. I did it with an 18 month old on my back and didn’t struggle. I recommend this hike a million times!!

hiking
3 months ago

Short easy spur off Panther Branch Tr. Rocky footing. Pretty waterfall after a rain. 3mi roundtrip up Panther Br. to access. This is on old roadbed & adds Debord Falls & pretty stream side hike.

Easy on well marked & maintained trail. This is actually a loop combining North & South Old Mac Trails. South is steeper than North & has rocky sections at the top with tougher footing than North. Not much to see but a nice hike through hardwood forest with the occasional small stream xing &waterfall. Go see the Panther rockhouse & lookout tower. I added Panther Br Tr & Emory Gap Tr. This was 12mi & added nice waterfalls & a pretty stream. Panther Br is moderate as the top section is steep with sections of poor footing, washed out trail & deadfall on trail. All in all a nice hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy. Well maintained & marked. Footing solid even after a rain. Nice walk along a pretty stream. Falls at the end. Will get your feet wet when crossing the branch at the end. Return via South Mac Tr to vary the scenery.

GPS had the loop at 8-miles including the extra mile up to the tower. Beautiful crisp hike up the north trail and back on the south trail. A light dusting of snow from the previous day but some awesome icicles hanging from the rocks in most of the streams. Elevation gain is very gradual with no steep inclines, Good family hike

very nice trail enjoyable hike

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