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#15 of 433 state parks in Tennessee

Best trails in Frozen Head State Park

1,094 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee? AllTrails has 19 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 10 hard trails in Frozen Head State Park ranging from 6.9 to 21.2 miles and from 1,325 to 3,336 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area is in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee in the City of Wartburg. The park spans across 24,000 acres and is mostly undisturbed forest adorned with the most beautiful wildflowers in the area. There is an abundance of vegetation, streams, waterfalls, and mountains that make this one of Tennessee’s most scenic parks. The mountainous terrain varies in elevation from 1,340 feet to more than 3,000 feet across 16 peaks. Frozen Head is one of the highest peaks in Tennessee west of the Great Smoky Mountains with its elevation clocking in at 3,324 feet. On a clear day, adventurers can catch sights of the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee Ridge and Valley, and the Great Smoky Mountains. In winter, the mountain peaks are often capped with snow or ice which explains its name, Frozen Head. Other important peaks in the park are: Bird Mountain, Chimney Top Mountain, and Old Mac Mountain. Frozen Head has more than 50 miles of backpacking and hiking trails. There are also waterfalls for visitors to enjoy, such as: Debord Falls and Emory Gap Falls. 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.

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Map of trails in Frozen Head State Park
Park information
Acreage:
24,000 acres
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Contact
423-346-3318
Helpful links
Top trails (19)
#1 - Emory Gap Trail
Frozen Head State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(262)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 18 m
#2 - North and South Old Mac Mountain Loop
Frozen Head State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(164)
Length: 8 mi • Est. 4 h 33 m
#3 - Spicewood Branch Trail
Frozen Head State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(134)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 4 h 14 m
Challenging hike with a rocky path because of this, route distance can vary slightly. Wild boars are known to wander around this trail.Show more
#4 - Debord Falls
Frozen Head State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(92)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 35 m
#5 - Judge Branch Trail
Frozen Head State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(73)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 2 h 10 m
#6 - Frozen Head East Lookout Tower Trail
Frozen Head State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(84)
Length: 6.1 mi • Est. 3 h 20 m
Service road connecting Armes Gap with trail junctions atop Frozen Head mountain.Show more
#7 - Chimney Top Mountain Via Spicewood Branch Trail
Frozen Head State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(69)
Length: 8 mi • Est. 4 h 56 m
Note: As of October 2020, users report that the end spur trail to get back to the parking lot is closed giving you about a mile extra leading down to the road to get back to the lot. This trail is great year round but its peak time is April into early May. The trailhead is next to the restrooms. The first part is a base trail and doesn't have a name until it divides off several trailheads. At the .25 mile the trail will fork - go right and in .30 miles it will fork again. Take the purple blazed Spicewood Branch Trail to the right. Now your wildflower viewing starts, be sure to use your check list to see how many different species you can see. This loop has 3 campsites and at .70 the trail goes straight to Spicewood Branch Camp with ample water source but you veer right. At 2.70 miles you will come to an intersection, take the Chimney Top Trail green blaze. The next landmark is Mart Fields Campsite which does not have a water source but is a good level site. This trail loops back to the base trail turn left to return to your car.Show more
#8 - Old Mac Mountain and Frozen Head Firetower
Frozen Head State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(39)
Length: 6.9 mi • Est. 4 h 6 m
#9 - Bird Mountain Trail
Frozen Head State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(48)
Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 4 h 7 m
Wild flowers abundant on this segment of the Cumberland Trail The preferred route will start from the campground on the Lookout Tower Trail. You will follow this wide well graded trail for about 4 miles before it intersects with the Bird Mountain Trail. You are now traveling on the Cumberland Trail, the Frozen Head Segment, which when completed will run from Signal Mtn. to Cumberland State Park covering more than 300 miles. On a spring day you can enjoy many different species of violets and Bloodroot. A great lunch or campsite is on top of Bird Mountain where more wildflowers such as Spring Beauty and Jack in the Pulpit can be spotted. You will navigate over 15 switchbacks as you descend back to the trailhead. An interesting section to be explored is the Castle Rock, which located just off the trail. This is a great trail to be enjoyed year round but especially in the spring to view more than a dozen varieties of wild flowers.Show more
#10 - Squire Knob, The Garden Spot, Bald Knob, Bird Mountain and England Mountain
Frozen Head State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(7)
Length: 16.4 mi • Est. 9 h 5 m
This hike begins at Cove Campground & incorporates Lookout Tower ("Jeep Rd"), Coffin Springs, Cumberland (CT), Ross Gap, Rocky Fork, & Flat Fork Creek Trails. This includes the complete CT through Frozen Head State Park which makes this a worthy hike. Show more
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