Frozen Head State Park

Quick Facts

Frozen Head State Park

Tennessee

(423) 346-3318

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area is situated in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee. The park offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, biking, horseback riding, camping, and fishing. The 13,122 acres of relatively undisturbed forest contain some of the richest wildflower areas in Tennessee. The mountainous terrain varies from an elevation of 1,340 feet to over 3,000 feet on 16 different mountain peaks. Frozen Head, with an elevation of 3,324, is one of the highest peaks in Tennessee west of the Great Smoky Mountains. From its observation tower on a clear day, visitors can plainly see the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee Ridge and Valley, and the Great Smoky Mountains. In winter, the mountain peaks are often capped with snow or ice while the lower valleys clear. The area's lush vegetation, small streams, waterfalls, and beautiful mountains make Frozen Head one of Tennessee's most scenic parks. In 1988, all of the Frozen Head State Park acreage except approximately 330 acres was classified as a Natural Area.

Map of Frozen Head (TN)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.118145, -84.458408

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    The 6.9-mile unpaved Lookout Tower Trail is open to mountain bikes. Originally a logging road, the trail climbs from the Big Cove campground to the top of Frozen Head Mountain. This trail is shared with horseback riders.

  • Camping

    The park has opportunities for rustic frontcountry camping and backcountry camping. Twenty rustic campsites are scattered throughout the Big Cove Camping area. Visitors will find a modern bathhouse with hot showers. There is a water faucet and a sink basin for dish washing. Each campsite has a parking slip, picnic table, grill, lantern hanger, and fire ring. Electricity, water hookups and dump stations are not available at Frozen Head. Campers may gather any dead wood found on the ground. Cutting trees is prohibited. Two group sites for 15 to 20 people are available in the Big Cove Campground and may be reserved up to two weeks in advance; all other sites are first come, first-served. The Big Cove Campground is open from March 15th to November 1st.

    There are eleven backcountry campsites. There is no charge for backcountry camping, but a permit is required. Visitors can register at the visitor center. There is a bathhouse available to backcountry campers at the main trailhead.

    Eight primitive group tent camping sites are located along Flat Fork Creek. Each site accommodates up to 15 people. A portable toilet is provided. These campsites are available year-round on a first come, first-served basis.

  • Fishing

    Visitors can fish for rainbow trout in the mountain streams. Flat Fork Creek is stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. Fishing is allowed anywhere from below DeBord Waterfall down to the park entrance. Anglers must have a valid Tennessee fishing license. A trout stamp is required.

  • Hiking

    The park features over trails that meander by waterfalls, rock shelters, and giant mountaintop cap rocks. A portion of the Cumberland Trail passes through the park as well. This park has one of the finest trail systems in Tennessee. There are over 80 miles of very scenic and challenging foot trails throughout this wild and rugged 13,122-acre mountain park. The trails feature waterfalls, giant sandstone rock formations, bluffs, abundant wildlife, and 14 mountain peaks over 3,000 feet in elevation. Each of the 20 trails are color blazed and most of the trails connect, giving a choice of 7 loop trails ranging from .6 mile to 15 miles round-trip.

  • Horseback Riding

    The park has one trail that is open for horseback riding. The Jeep Road trail is a 6.9-mile trail, one-way. From late spring until late fall, trail riders should pack their own water. This trail is for day-use only. There are no overnight facilities or camping for horses. Visitors must bring their own horses. This trail is shared with bicyclists.

  • Picnicking

    The park features a wooded picnic area along a mountain stream with 32 picnic sites, including tables and grills. Three group shelters are available and may be reserved throughout the year. Water fountains, restrooms, and two playgrounds are available in the picnic area.

  • RVing

    Electricity, water hookups and dump stations are not available at Frozen Head. Small RVs may fit in the parking spaces located in the campground.

  • Water Sports

    While there is no swimming pool at Frozen Head, many people enjoy the cooling waters of Flat Fork Creek, where larger pools allow for wading and splashing.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open year-round. The Big Cove Campground is open from March 15th to November 1st. It can be quite cold during the winter, with the mountain peaks receiving snowfall. Summer highs are in the 80s. In the spring, over thirty species of wildflowers are in bloom.

Directions

Driving

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.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(423) 346-3318

Links