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Frozen Head State Park- Where Trail Legends are Made

Tennessee Valley Stories
Brad Wiegmann

Deep in the shadows of the Cumberland Mountains is Frozen Head State Park, a naturalist park featuring 24,000 acres of wilderness, 50 miles of backpacking trails, and waterfalls to play in. While on the surface, this park simply seems like the perfect outdoor spot to get away from it all, but digging deeper, it is a park with a backstory worth telling. Join in as we learn about the park history and hiking the trails with Park Ranger David Brady.

Ranger David also talks about the history of Brushy Mountain Penitentiary, best known for the escape and recapture of James Earl Ray, and the ultra- secret, 160 mile Barkley Ultra Marathon. Today, Brushy Mountain Prison is operates as a tourist venue offering up tours, meals, and special event concerts. We didn’t have time to visit on our trip to Frozen Head, but we hear that the venue is worth a stop.

When you visit the park, be sure to stop by the Welcome Center to learn more about the history of this wilderness park. If you only have a few hours, hike to DeBord Falls. If you can stay longer, this park is a camping and backpacking paradise. Check out the onsite library in the campgrounds.

For hikers traveling the Cumberland Trail footpath, Frozen Head is on the route and an excellent stop to camp or rest.

If you would like to see more videos from my travels exploring the Tennessee River Valley, click here.

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