Route: Big Frog Mtn (TN)

Submitted by jztrailgangster on Fri, 09/18/2020 - 01:00pm
Tennessee, US
10.73 mi
Vertical Gain
2,119 ft

Although not particularly tall, Big Frog Mountain is one of the most prominent peaks in the Cherokee National Forest and overshadows the entire Ocoee River valley.


Out & back route (10.7 miles / 2120' gain):  Start at Big Frog TH, run up the trail to the junction on the top of Big Frog Mtn, then turn around and finish the way you came.


Loop route (27.8 miles / 5290' gain):  This is the most epic route I've yet found in the Appalachians. It has steep climbs, beautiful views, long and fast descents, a mountain summit, and lots and lots of water.  Start at the Jacks River Trailhead in Alaculsy. Follow the Jacks River about 10 mi take a left on the Penitentiary Branch Trail, take the next left on Hemp Top Trail, summit Big Frog Mtn. Continue on Hemp Top Trail to the trailhead, take a left on Big Frog Road, take a left on Peavine Sneed Creek Road, and return to start.  The Jacks River Trail is infamous for the high number of river crossings. I tried to track how many there were but lost count. The rocks are slippery and you will get very wet. The crossings can get very confusing, so I highly recommend taking a GPS map of some sort. The roads along the route are infrequently travelled, gravel, forest service roads. They often stay muddy for a while after rain, but shouldn't get too slippery.   This route is pretty remote. Big Frog Mtn and the first few miles of the JRT are fairly popular, but the rest of the route is not. There are gravel roads within 4-5mi to the west, north, and east, but if something goes wrong, it could take a very long time for someone to find you.