hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

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.

This past weekend we hiked a loop starting at Spicewood connecting via Chimney Top to lookout tower, and back via South Mac. As mentioned below Spicewood was all uphill in the beginning, but Chimney top offered a nice reprieve with gorgeous scenery and wildflowers. The lookout tower is an absolute must see and the picnic tables made for a nice lunch break. South Mac had 3-4 trees down that would make passing difficult with a walking cane, large rucksacks, or leashed pets. All in all we hiked about 8 miles and loved every minute of it. Will definitely plan to come back and try some different trails soon!

Today I took Spicewood Trail up to the top of the mountain, jumped onto Chimney Rim for a mile plus then up to the tower. It was such a beautiful view. My dog actually climbed up to the top with me. Surprised me. Then I went down the North Mac back. A few things to note. I fell a few times on the way down North Mac. Lots of rocks and roots. If you let your dog(s) run loose, it is much easier. If you leash them the trail is very tight. Overall, I loved the hike. I measured 3.5 on the Spicewood. It was all uphill and a bit tough. Then 1.1 on the Chimney Rim. That was totally easy. Then 1/2 mile up to tower then down 1/2 mile. Then about a 1/4 mile to the North Mac and 3.5 down to the parking lot. Total = ~8.5-9.2 miles. Great day.

North Old Mac was a delight today. Good single track tread with plenty of quiet woods. The tower had good views. Coming back down South Old Mac is a lot different—more rocks, more roots, more toe-biters and ankle-grabbers. Tub Spring Campsite is a great place to string up a hammock and rest a bit before heading back down.

took the panther branch trail to Mac, upto the lookout total mileage was 8.4 .pretty much uphill the whole way. was not bad though at all. amazing scenery.worth every step,to top out frozen head.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This review is for the overweight and even obese people who may lurk on this app.

I'll begin this by saying I am not a small woman. In fact, just this year I crossed back from being morbidly obese to the higher end of the overweight category.

I read everyone else's reviews, packed my gear, and headed out on a trip for 3 days, and 2 nights.

It wasn't as easy as the reviews say. Not by a long shot. It took me and my boyfriend (also overweight) over 4 hours just to get UP the north trail. Please don't take this as a complaint. Just keep in mind that a majority of the people reviewing this trail are in shape and in hiking condition.

We made it though. We camped two nights at the Panther Gap Rockhouse, wandered around on day two exploring other campsites, including Tubb Springs, and we made it up to the firewatch tower (which was swarming with wasps). It was totally worth it.

On our initial ascent, we huffed, we puffed, but we did it. We didn't see many other people on the trail, but it was layer in the day, raining due to the remnants of hurricane Harvey. There weren't views, but along the way many small creeks, tiny waterfalls, and giant rock formations. To me, it's a journey worth taking just for those things.

The descent took us just less than half of the time it took us to get up. It was super hard on my knees despite using trekking poles. I spent the entire next day at work limping, with leg pain and weakness like the after effects of a hard leg day at the gym.

We plan to lose 30 more pounds by spring and try the trip again. And again.

my little one enjoyed swimming in debored falls and we loved the tree swing on the way up to Emory falls! I wish we would have brought swim trunks and swim shoes though. great kid friendly hike! spent 3 hours on it round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

I took Spicewood up and South Old Mac trail back. The .5 to the Lookout Tower is worth the views. Several downed trees along the path, but the crew is working to remedy this.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail for beginners. Went with my daughter and the grade and difficulty of the trail were well suited for a child, she's 7. There are a number of flat back-county sites for camping and hammocks if that how you roll that aren't too far up the trail. Its easy enough that we are going to use it as a conditioning hike trail. Definitely worth the doing