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Frozen Head State Park & Too Many Photos

July 26, 2011

Our Weekend Away:
Our plan to get an early start was thwarted by the flat tire, but no worries – the tree cover should make this short hike tolerable. Sears patched the tire & we were on our way to Frozen Head State Park – DH chose this location for our hike because of the name on this hot, July day.

The 13,122 acres of relatively undisturbed forest contain some of the richest wildflowers 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, elevation of 3,324, is one of the highest peaks in Tennessee west of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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Once you get past the Morgan County Correctional Facility, it is a short drive on a narrow road to the park entrance. A few groups were gathering around the pavilion & playground equipment – playground equipment! What in the world! With open mountain meadows, a rock-lined stream, lots of hiking & walking trails – playground equipment! Sorry, I tend to be a purist regarding outdoor activities. Playgrounds are for cities where there is nothing else to do.

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We were in search of Emory Gap Falls, a short hike of just over 2 miles round trip in a Class 1 Natural Area.

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I am the mountain goat of the family, which means I usually lead on hikes & because I deal with back issues, it also allows me to set the pace.

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Wearing my Vibram Five Finger Shoes, the rocky trail was like a foot massage all the way up – not kidding.

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Taking our time we walked a 30-minute mile up to the falls. Beautiful, secluded, cool-ish (low 80’s), almost glowing green with all the light through the trees & the moss on the wet rocks.

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I climbed as high as I could to get a look above the falls, but couldn’t see over the top, so I took photo looking down.

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