North Old Mac Mountain Trail

MODERATE 30 reviews
#3 of 6 trails in

North Old Mac Mountain Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly 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.

7.2 miles
2319 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


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.

12 days ago

19 days ago

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.

27 days ago

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.

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.

2 months ago

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

6 months ago

6 months ago

7 months ago

By far, the easy way up to the fire tower. Plenty of elevation gain over a longer distance. One overlook and small camp site on the left right before you meet up with Panther Branch Trail. Always enjoy this trail.

Beautiful area! Frozen Head is know for its dense wildflowers which are highly concentrated within the parks boundaries! Absolutely amazing variety of stunning wildflowers 3 seasons out of the year!

11 months ago

Thursday, June 02, 2016

North Old Mac is definitely the easiest option to get to the observation tower from thr Old Mac parking area/visitor's center. Its a little bit longer than South Old Mac and not as scenic, but the grades up arent as severe as South Mac or Spicewood and more spread out over the length of the trail. The trail was also in better shape with fewer downed trees/obstacles than the other two as of May 2016. Definitely recommend taking it up to the tower, then going back down South Mac for a low-intensity day hike good for transitioning from beginner to intermediate hikes.

trail running
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sunday, May 01, 2016

My first back country camping trip. Had a blast

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Recently went to Frozen head for the first time. Really enjoyed the park, especially the view top of the fire tower. Definitely recommend this trail if it is your first time at frozen head. The trail says moderate but that only because it is mostly uphill on the way to the fire tower.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Most forgiving of the trails I backpacked throughout Frozen Head. Had taken Chimney Tops to camp at Panther Gap Rockhouse - but not conducive for hammock camping. So I hauled tail along N Old Mac to the campsite. Beautiful spot for a sunset - spur near the Panther Branch junction. Continue past the fire ring, for an even more spectacular overlook. A lot of spots were muddy - despite not having rain for more than a week...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I recommend hiking this trail in Spring. The wildflowers are amazing!! I hiked up South Old Mac and to the observation tower and descended North Old Mac. The grade was not as steep as some of the other trails at Frozen Head. It was much easier on my knees.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Good fun. Nothing exceptional about the hike, but if you're searching for some time in the secluded wilderness then this is a good little day hike. The view from the observation tower is good---wish it rose further above the treetops.