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North and South Old Mac Mountain Loop

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(164)
Frozen Head State Park

North and South Old Mac Mountain Loop is a 8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Wartburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.0 mi Elevation gain 1,975 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

The parking is ample as there is a picnic pavilion for gatherings etc. Additionally, there are full service restrooms complete with showers, toilets, sinks, etc. There is also a little playground in this area as well.

To get to Frozen Head State Park. From Harriman take Hwy. 27 North to Wartburg. Turn right (East) on Hwy. 62. Travel 2 miles and turn left on Flat Fork Road. Travel 4 miles to the park entrance. The trail head for North Old Mac is at the first picnic pavilion on the right past the visitor center of the park.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (166)
Photos (360)
Recordings (139)
Completed (336)
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Brett Cash
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020
Hiking

North is longer and gradual. South is shorter, more steep and rockier. Fun hike.

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Brent Ammons
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Hiking
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Melissa Magro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 18, 2020
HikingGreat!

Really pretty, lots of mushrooms, awesome fire tower

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Randy Wille
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 10, 2020
Running
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Jordan Van Druff
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Hiking
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Misty Marshall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking
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Gene Jeter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
HikingGreat!

Awesome hike, awesome view from the observation tower at the top. Be aware that the NORTH trail is moderate. The SOUTH Old Mac trail is rated Hard. So if you want to do the whole loop, consider going up the north trail and then come back down the south trail (alternatively, you can just go back the way you came down the north trail again and it's still 8 miles total). The parking lot has excellent facilities including bathrooms, shower, bear-proof trashcans, picnic area, etc. Much of the hike is fairly narrow, so be aware that it is difficult to avoid people when passing each other. Steady elevation gain the whole way. On your way up the north trail, when you get just over halfway to the tower, take a left at the Old Mac Camp Site and check it out. It's marked by a sign, and it's quite a beautiful spot. Then return to the trail and go see the observation tower at the top. Killer view of the town in the distance. Head back down and follow the signs to the south trail to complete the loop. The south trail is even more narrow, steep, and craggy, with lots of roots and rocks, so it's much easier when going downhill. It's really cool though - huge, mossy boulders and rock formations everywhere. Keep a lookout for wild ginger growing all along the way. This hike took us just under 5 hours with breaks and snack time at the top. It was strenuous, but absolutely awesome.

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Cristen Anders
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Hiking
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T R M
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Hiking
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Mike Parrish
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Hiking
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Chris OBara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingGreat!

A nice hike. Uphill all the way to the top on the old north Mac trail. A bit disappointing the last section before the tower walking on a gravel road and the cell phone towers. The fire tower was quite unique. The old south Mac trail was a bit more challenging and interesting. The facilities at Frozen Head area are outstanding Only encountered a few hikers

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Lyndsey Donnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

We did the south trail up and back. Mostly a single file trail. Some overgrown areas. Saw very few others. Saw one deer. Most of the elevation gained the last mile up. Overall a really good hike!

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Jeff D'Angelo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
WalkingBugsOver grownRocky

Fun hike up the mountain with our dog. Took the south (yellow) trail up and north (red) trail down. About 4 hours total including a break at the tower. The yellow trail is steeper but still gradual. Most of the trail is very thin and overgrown in certain parts so expect to walk single file. We ran into a wild boar about 3/4 of the way up the yellow trail and it ran away after making eye contact. Only saw four groups of hikers the entire day, but we did go up during scattered thunderstorms. Would recommend this hike!

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Kathy Fitzgerald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingRocky

We decided to just use the South Old Mac trail, and then hiked a little further, up to the lookout tower, returning via the south trail. The south trail has steeper rise, but shorter distance. In hindsight, at least for my husband and I, who are both in our 60s, it probably would have been better to use the north trail on the way up and south trail to come down. We enjoyed everything about this hike, and the views from the lookout tower were amazing. We hope to return in the fall as the leaves are changing.

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Josh Palmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 14, 2020
HikingRocky

A good but not great hike. Up hill all the way at a pretty constant, slow grade. A lot of dried up creeks intersecting paths that provide very interesting rock formations! We took a lunch break at a camp site just before the junction where north old Mac meets south old Mac and spine wood. The view was not too great at the top of the fire tower due to the tree line but got some good pictures of the valley on the side where Warburg is. Coming down, it was very rocky but some places to stop and take breaks frequently.

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Craig Bradley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 1, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful 4 hour walk. Be sure to check out the view from a rock outcrop at the North Old Mac campsite near the Panther Gap trail junction.

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Lizzy C
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HikingMuddy
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Lisa Richard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 27, 2020
Hiking

Went up the north and down the south. Beautiful. Lots of running water. Saw 20 other hikers so good social distance. 8 miles on the dot.

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Carlos Castellanos
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Hiking

nice trail

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Thomas snyder
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HikingMuddy
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Rick Parrish
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. I’d recommend going up on the north and down on the south. 1900 elevation rise. Great time

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Adrian Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 31, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Great trail! Very rocky and lots of roots in the way down South Old Mac.

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Meghan Lamm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 20, 2020
HikingIcySnow

trail was fun but a bit too difficult for us. next time we'll try in nicer conditions

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B. BIV
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 15, 2019
Hiking

super fun hike. plenty of waterfalls. anyone in decent shape could attempt this trail.

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Julia Thorn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 19, 2019
Hiking

As others have said, very nice to do this trail when the trees have lost their leaves so you get mountain views on the way up and down. I took South on the way up and started on North to come down but then took Panther Branch where it meets up with North. I preferred walking downhill to the sound of trickling water, even though it’s at first a bit steeper, rather than a series of switchbacks as the trail shows on the map, and also this allowed me to detour to Emory Falls and Debord Falls which were both fun. I got warm on the hike up but soon cooled down sitting at the fire tower.

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Jim Eubanks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 18, 2019
Hiking

Did this trail this past weekend with my daughter. Absolutely loved it. Started with North trail, up to lookout tower then back down on south trail. Nine miles total with little detours along the way. Wish I had discovered this park when I was thirty years younger and 60 pounds lighter. We had a blast though. Time to go ice my Achilles’ tendons.

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