Frozen Head State Park

Frozen-head spring



The Audubon Society recognizes Frozen Head as part of the South Cumberland Mountains Important Bird Area. Important Bird Areas, or IBA’s are sites that provide essential habitat for one or more species of bird.

Frozen Head supports high breeding populations of several Neotropical migrant birds, including the cerulean warbler, as well as breeding populations of a few high elevation species which are rare in Tennessee outside of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Acadian flycatcher, blue-gray gnatcatcher, northern parula and yellow-throated warbler and Louisiana waterthrush are common during spring and summer along the creek. Swainson's warblers have also occurred in this area. Check the fields and field edges for brown thrasher, American robin, and Eastern bluebird. Eastern wood pewee, red-eyed vireo and yellow-throated vireo, wood thrush, black-and-white warbler, ovenbird and scarlet tanager are common in the roadside forests. Cerulean warbler can occasionally be seen - or more often heard - from the main park road. They are much more numerous along many of the park's hiking trails. The park's breeding populations of veery, chestnut-sided warbler, black-throated blue warbler, blackburnian warbler, Canada warbler and rose-breasted grosbeak are only observable by hiking to higher elevations. Ruffed grouse can often be seen from the parks many hiking trails. The Natural Area is within the Cumberland Mountains Important Bird Area.  Over 130 species of birds have been observed throughout the year.


The parks trail system is for hikers only but a nine mile fire road offers a great view of the park all while climbing to the parks high point.

Trail Length: 9 miles
Trail Rating: Advanced


We are happy to report that we have received the first stocking of trout in Flat Fork Creek!

Flat Fork Creek flows through the park and is stocked with Rainbow Trout each spring. Fishing is allowed anywhere below DeBord Waterfall down to the park entrance. A TWRA trout stamp is required. The park does not rent boats nor does it have a boat launch ramp.


Bird Mountain Trail — 4.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Chimney Top Trail — 6.6 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Coffin Spring Trail — 0.8 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Emory Gap Trail to Falls — 0.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Fodderstack Mountain Trail — 1.6 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Interpretive Trail — 0.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Judge Branch Trail — 1.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Lookout Tower Trail (116 side) — 2.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Lookout Tower Trail (Big Cove) — 6.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
North Bird Mountain Trail — 7.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
North Old Mac Trail — 3.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Old Mac Trail — 0.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Old Prison Mine Trail — 0.1 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Panther Branch Trail — 2.1 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Panther Gap Rockhouse Trail — 0.1 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Spicewood Trail — 2.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
South Old Mac Trail — 2.4 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Visitor’s Center Trail — 0.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is only offered in the Emory River Valley of Frozen Head State Park. (Riding is no longer offered in the Flat Fork Valley area.) There are no overnight facilities or camping for horses in the Emory River Valley of the State Park. Visitors must bring their own horses. Trailers should be unloaded and parked in the Gate # 5 area of the State Park known as the Emory River Headwaters Trail Head. Horseback riders may access all roads and trails located on the State Park & Conservation Easement property. 

Horse Health: Note that proof of a negative Coggins Test for Swamp Fever is required to bring horses into the Emory River Valley of Frozen Head State Park .