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Chimney Top Mountain Via Spicewood Branch Trail

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Frozen Head State Park

Chimney Top Mountain Via Spicewood Branch Trail is a 8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Wartburg, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 8.0 mi Elevation gain 2,532 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Forest Views Wild flowers Snow
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Getting There

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.

Frozen Head State Natural Area 423-346-3318

From Knoxville: I-40 West to 162 West Pellissippi Parkway into Oak Ridge. Stay on Hwy 62 to Wartburg. Turn right on Flat Fork Road and park entrance is 4 miles ahead. Trailhead at picnic shelter C Park hours 8 am until sunset Access fees apply call park for details Backcountry camping/fire permit is required for hikers who stay overnight Be sure to stop by the visitor's center for great park information including spring flower checklist for spring time hikes.

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Reviews (70)
Photos (124)
Recordings (55)
Completed (121)
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Wendi T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 9, 2020
Hiking

We took Chimney Top to Spicewood Branch. CT: Steep, switchbacks, climbs. Spicewood: rocky descent Fun fact: take selfie with yellow start gate at campsite. If you know...you know. Headquarters: friendly staff, restrooms, gift shop, 3D map, paper maps (NEVER trust your devices)

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Chris Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Steep in places, seemed every time I thought we were at the top, it was even farther up. The trail out spice wood was rocky but dry. Hard loop, but awesome

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James Magaha
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Hiking

The end spur trail to get back to the parking lot was closed giving you about a mile extra leading down to the road

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Benjamin Honaker
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HikingGreat!
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Gabriel Miller
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Hiking
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Samantha Genno
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Hiking

Good trail, but no real views. The trail itself is beautiful. We started by going up Chimney Top Trail and down the other side which I would recommend as I can’t imagine having to go down the Chimney Top side. The total distance was around 10 miles according to my GPS.

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Thomas snyder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 1, 2020
Hiking

Trail length 11.2.

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Erica Ahlschwede
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I wish I would have taken the loop in the other direction, up Chimney Top and down Spicewood. My knees were crying the entire way down Chimney! It's a tough hike, but good. There is water access on Spicewood, but not many chances on Chimney

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Kurt Rosenberg
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HikingIcyRocky

Long. Much longer and harder than planned. Recorded 10.5 miles followed the map too.

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Zac Crickenberger
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Hiking

A very nice trail, just don’t end up off trail or you double the length of your hike. Ask me how I know.

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Justin Groce
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HikingBugsMuddyOver grown

Just completed this today. I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. My g/f and I started out on Spicewood, then proceeded to Chimney Top. We only saw one other hiker the entire time, but saw a full campsite at the campground just past the Spicewood/Chimney Top split. Per the GPS this was about 9.5 miles total. Spicewood was well-marked and appeared to be well-maintained. However, Chimney Top wasn't well-marked during some of the trek. Also, it was rather overgrown and seems like it needs more love. Sadly, even though today was beautiful, there weren't any great scenic look outs due to such high trees. I could imagine during the fall/winter when the trees are barren you could see much more clearly.

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Bill Farrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2018
Hiking

Great trail. Fairly challenging. Started on Old Mac North to Chimney Rock for 11.2 miles. Only complaint was that Chimney Rock was poorly marked in some areas.

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Rene Sexton
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Hiking

Amazing view

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Roy Liuzza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 4, 2018
Hiking

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).

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Holly Ehninger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 23, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Michael Hawkins
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My favorite hiking loop in Frozen Head.

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David Schroeder
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Backpacking

I would say this is the third most difficult trail at Frozen Head due to the elevation gained over a shorter distance than North Old Mac and South Old Mac. Once you get up to the Chimney Top Trail, a lot of nice rock features. Stayed at the Spicewood Branch Campsite which had water near by.

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Micajah Spoden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2016
Hiking

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.

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Melissa McCartney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 12, 2016

This trail is marked very well. We started on South Old Mac trail. It had lots of elevation changes. Wild flowers are starting to bloom.

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Shauna Anschuetz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 20, 2015
Hiking

We hiked up Chimney Top and down Spicewood Branch 2 weeks ago. There is a lot of elevation change on this one. Multiple climbs and descents. The view from Chimney Top is nice. This is an wesome hike if you want solitude and a workout.

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Peyton Gupton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 23, 2014

The best trail I have done yet in Frozen Head. Perfectly secluded and very very little foot traffic so if you're searching for some truly quiet hiking then this is a great contrast to the likes of the Smokies.

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Mike Reano
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Hiking

This was a very demanding hike. For the first few miles there are switchbacks that help a lot. After that the trail goes straight up for the last while, thats where it gets painful. There are great views of the valley along the way. There are water sources along the way, including one just above the Mart Fields campsite. The trails are well marked. The signs at the trailhead say to plan 6 hours to go up to chimneytop and back.

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Jonathan Barber
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Hiking

Just to add to others review this is an amazing place, I don't know why you can't find more info on the net about frozen Head. There IS a water source about 100 yards away from the Marts Field Campsite. I did the Chimney Top trail but didnt go spicewood I came out on the South Old Mac trail. Good thing is you can make this as long or short as you want to, all the trails kind of tie in to each other. I camped at Tubb Springs. Nice campsite and a lookout tower 1/2 mile away for awesome morning views! This is not an easy trail up to Chimney Top, very steep and demanding.1st time I've gotten blisters in a Looong time. As a side note: there was no one at the Ranger Station the day we went in or came out. There were numerous people trying to get info/ maps but no help. I printed a good map of the net before I went, ended up giving it to someone else at the end of the trip.

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Rachel Richter
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Hiking
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James Magaha
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Hiking
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Karen Duncan
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Hiking
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Thomas snyder
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Hiking
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