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Frozen Head State Park Named State Park of the Year

November 3, 2020  |  Permalink

CONTACT:  Kim Schofinski                                                 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020                                          
(615) 350-3431




NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has recognized Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg as the 2020 State Park of the Year.

“This is a tribute to the dedication of the hard-working staff at Frozen Head,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said. “It says a lot to stand out among 56 state parks, but Frozen Head State Park has earned this recognition, and Tennesseans can be proud to have such an excellent park in our system.”

State parks considered for the Park of the Year honor are those that have demonstrated excellence in the areas of innovation, sustainability, interpretation, resource management, facility management, and customer engagement, as well as fiscally responsible operation. 

Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area encompasses more than 24,000 acres of wilderness and is named for a 3,324-foot peak in the Cumberland Mountains, the top of which is often shrouded in ice or snow in the winter months.

The park has three shelters, 28-front-country campsites, 10 backcountry campsites, and 60 miles of hiking/biking trails. The park has seen an increase in programs and visitors and has strong community engagement.

In 2006, the park replaced an aging Civilian Conservation Corps fire tower at the summit of Frozen Head with an observation deck. A scenic seven-mile trail leads to the observation deck, which rises just above the tree line and allows for a 360-degree view of the surrounding terrain. The Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee Valley span the eastern horizon, and Walden Ridge, where the Tennessee Valley meets the Cumberland Plateau, is visible to the south.

The 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence were awarded on September 29 at Montgomery Bell State Park as part of an in-person and virtual annual park management meeting. Managers had an option of attending in person with social distancing or participating virtually.

Other winners included: Norris Dam State Park for customer engagement; Montgomery Bell State Park for facilities management; Cummins Falls State Park for innovation; Booker T. Washington State Park for interpretation; Fall Creek Falls State Park for resource management; and Warriors’ Path State Park for sustainability. 

Below:  The Tennessee State Parks Park of the Year Award is presented to Frozen Head State Park. From left are Mike Robertson, director of park operations; Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of TDEC; Jacob Ingram, park manager; and Kim Moore, area manager.

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