Get Out & Play: Frozen Head State Park

Carol EvansAround Town, Feature

Frozen Head State Park is located just one hour from Knoxville, though you might feel like you’ve traveled straight into a wilderness. The 24,000-acre natural area is located among genuine mountain country with only forests and hillsides surrounding. With many hiking routes available, there’s enough scenery for days of sightseeing. Along your way, you’ll find giant sandstone rock formations, waterfalls and some of the highest mountain tops in Tennessee.


Trails range from easy to strenuous, from wide old roadbeds to tighter singletrack. There are historic trails that pass by old homesteads, abandoned mines and by remnants from the CCC days when the Civilian Conservation Corps was developing the park. Over 80 miles of trails are open to hikers and trail runners. Each of the 20 trails are color blazed and most trails inter-loop giving a choice of seven loops ranging from 0.6 mile to 15 miles round-trip with portions of the Cumberland Trail passing through. The mountainous terrain varies from an elevation of 1,340 feet to over 3,000 feet with 14 mountain peaks.

A seven-mile trip on the appropriately named Lookout Tower Trail will take you to the park’s highest point where the observation deck yields a 360-degree panorama of the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee Ridge & Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains.

The fascinating rock outcroppings are common throughout the park, especially in higher elevations and some form natural rock shelters. The most substantial rock shelter is located near the summit of Frozen Head and is accessible via short spur trail from the main tower trail.

Find out more ways to get out and play at Frozen Head State Park at outdoorknoxville.com and check out the full list of upcoming events!

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