hiking

dogs on leash

forest

views

wild flowers

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.

hiking
14 hours 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 days 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

hiking
3 months ago

easy hike, beautiful foliage in October. wish there was more water in the streams. Should be awesome in the springtime.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail, beautiful foliage. Waterfalls would be nice if there was more water . They were barely dribbling.
But i thoroughly enjoyed the walk.

hiking
3 months ago

You want to wait after a good rain if you want to be impressed by the falls. But it was very pretty, even the drive there. Lots of rocks so you have to pay attention. Uphill whole way.

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!

hiking
4 months ago

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.

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
6 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.

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

Took Spicewood out and Old North Mac back - slightly longer but easier downhill grade. Decent trail for dogs. All uphill for the first 3 miles or so. Would hike again.

10 months ago

This is a great trail for families. I took my 4 and 6 year old and they absolutely loved it. We hiked up to Debord Falls and then to Emory Falls. There were wildflowers and butterflies everywhere, much to the delight of my daughter. Trail was easily followed and well trod.

on Emory Gap Trail

hiking
10 months ago

So many bugs! I have never seen this many bugs out on other trails. We all got bit several times. The first mile is easy, after that it is just slightly into the moderate category, it is some steeper climbing.

There were a ton of people and dogs on this trail, while I prefer solitude on my hikes, this seems to be a popular hike. Also, several people just let their dogs bark and bark, which I find very disrespectful to others. Also, lots of cigarette butts.

The trees were still completely bare, which made it very unappealing today. I will probably try this hike in the Fall and see how different it is.

The falls are very small and I would rate them about a 3 out of 10.

This is more of an afternoon stroll to me, just not a fantastic "hike" in my opinion.

It is also about 3.3 miles round trip.

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