Spicewood Branch Trail

MODERATE 70 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Spicewood Branch Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Wartburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall 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
1,971 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips






wild flowers



over grown


26 days ago

We went the first week in November and it was amazing! The leaves were fantastic.

1 month ago

beautiful hike but the campsite is not secluded. right off the trail. but beautiful none the less.

2 months ago

Awesome trail that winds around the mountain side. Just difficult enough with a pack and dog. We continued on the Chimney Top Trail and stayed the night at Mart Fields Campsite before backtracking the next morning. Beautiful views well maintained trail/site.

3 months ago

Ok. When you start stay to the left. Follow the purple dots. Then when you get to chimney rock stay left and follow the yellow dots. When you get to South Old Mac take that back to the trailhead. We clocked 8.3 miles. This trail is not for the weak-ankled folks. Listed as moderate but definitely on the harder side in places. Lots and lots and lots of rocks. Not the prettiest of hikes but it’ll definitely get your heart rate in the zone! We ran across 5 wild boar and mountain lion tracks so pay attention to your surroundings!

4 months ago

I hiked up Spicewood and down South Mac. The trails were well marked and in pretty good condition. Lots of rocks and roots to navigate and a moderate climb, but easy downhill on the way back. The views from the tower are nice!

7 months ago

Good trail very kosher

10 months ago

Out & Back-5.6 mi. Moderate. Well marked. Trail in ok condition. Erosion in some sections. 0.3 mi from parking to trailhead. First mi easy up broad trail. Short .1 mi section beyond campsite steep/rocky. Remainder is steady mod climb to jxn with Chimney Top Tr. Hike along stream down low and mult waterfalls higher. Really nice after a recent rain. Trail is a stream on mult sections. Many wild boar. Pretty hike.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Like House Mountain

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The trail was in great condition, though with the dry weather there wasnt much water in any of the creeks or waterfalls. Great hike though!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nice and easy trail. Well maintained. Was a little bit crowded at the waterfalls. Very good overall.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Awesome hike. Beautiful trails. Waterfalls. Challenging enough, and a wonderful view from the tower.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Truly a hidden gem. Frozen Head State Park is gorgeous and is always kept in top shape. I always stop by there when traveling close to that area. There is no prettier place to be during the fall. the trails are awesome. Love this Park!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Primitive camping spots are great. Loved being next to the water. Waterfalls were beautiful. The hike to tub springs was a disappointment. But half a mile up is the fire tower which was amazing!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Great place to backpack and hike.

Monday, April 06, 2015

I've been on many trails, this hands down is one of the prettiest that I've been on right up there with Virgin falls and Savage Gulf. Hiked up Emory Gap then up to Panther BranchTrail, this is an incline trail and a little challenging especially for first time hikers. From there to Tub Springs down to South Old
Mac Trail to Judge Branch and Interpretative Trail. Can't say enough of this beautiful hike. 6 hours 10 mile loop. What a wonderful day to spend Easter 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

We spent most of our time by the camp fire at our site at Big Cove Campground. Site 19 was right on the creek and there was quite a bit of rushing water thanks to rain and the unusual amount of snow this year. This was the cleanest, best-maintained campground we have visited in a while. There wasn't a single piece of trash at the campground or on Bird Mountain Loop trail, and the bathrooms were cleaner than most public bathrooms I've ever used. You can tell that the people who run the park and campground love the place like its their own.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being late in August when we made the trip to this park meant that the water levels were low but still worth the hike. We stopped first at Debord Falls made our way to the bottom for a look around and the rock overhang and to enjoy the cool air on a 90 degree day. We then made our way to Emory Falls. The low water level made this more of a drip than a fall but allowed us to get much closer. The hike is not too strenuous but care must be taken because of exposed roots and rocks especially after the first switchback.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I can't believe only 10 people have reviewed this hike including myself. Beautiful drive to the park,gorgeous well maintained trails, clear and clean waterfalls and swimming holes. One of my favorites here in Tennessee. The best part is that you'll never get stuck in traffic going to this hike! A hidden gem and a fun hike!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Amazing is not the word for this park. Trails are in great shape and there are beautiful camp sites. Cannot wait to go again and camp

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Amazing trails! I would recommend going during the fall or winter. Most of the park consist of heavily wooded areas. I went in the middle of November for a few nights, it was perfect because the leaves were gone and I could see a lot farther. Otherwise I don't think it would be easy to see many of the overlooks. Check out the old fire watchtower, highest point in the Cumberland Mountains! Another interesting fact about this park area, James Earl Ray (the man who shot Martian Luther King) was sent to Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary which is located just outside of the park. Ray escaped in 1977 and was found hiding in a cave in the parks land. When police found him, he was more than happy to go back to prison because he was bitten up by snakes and bugs!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What a wonderful place for family hiking!! We hiked up South Mack Trail & down Judge Branch, making a loop for a total of about 2.5 miles. Very well maintained trail. Along the trail we passed an old dynamite shack & later the trail crossed a shallow mountain stream that has enough flat rocks to make for a nice lunch stop. There is camping areas close to the trail head. There is restrooms and a water source at the trailhead. The visitor center has friendly staff who gives great info on the various trails (& there are a lot of trails here). Parking area C, has picnic area with playground equipment. We're going to hike this park again without the kids so we can do some of the longer trails.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nice hike with scenery, camping and low/mod. difficulty. Don't follow GPS to park, but do follow the brown signs to park entrance.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MOST WELL MAINTAINED PARK! Foot paths are wide for the most part. Lovely views. Waterfalls. Shelters. Picnic areas. Gorgeous. difficulty is mild to moderate :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

This is a very well maintained park. The scenery is beautiful with what seems to be a waterfall around every bend. I did the Panther Creek trail and there were two or three great waterfall landscapes within the first mile. The trail was well made and easy to follow. I did this on a Sunday and got there before noon and I a passed probably 10 to 15 other sets of hikers on the trail, most of which I passed on the way back to the trailhead. I'm still pretty new to hiking and this trail was easy but very enjoyable. I would recommend it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This is one of the most beautiful, well maintained parks in all of Tennessee, and it's tailor-made with the avid hiker in mind. Many differing trail options and a friendly staff at the ranger's station help tp make the trek up to Wartburg well worth it. Frozen Head is absolutely gorgeous at every corner of the park. Waterfalls and other water sources at verious campsites make for a pleasurable stay almost anywhere in the park. With so many options, make sure to pick and choose your route wisely and take the time to go back again and again to experience multiple trips. Two thumbs up!

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