Summary: The Old Mac Trail loops around Old Mac Mtn providing excellent viewing of over 50 species of wild flowers in its peak time of April.Your trailhead is located at parking for Picnic Shelter C; follow this trail for about a .10-mile and turn onto North Old Mac Trail (NOMT) with red blaze.At the 3.3 mi and a gain of 1580 you will reach your halfway destination.You may choose to eat lunch here or pull up a log next to the trail. After lunch it's time to explore a little, across the trail from the campsite there is a trail to Panther Gap Rockhouse.There is a short hike down to a unique rock cave that is worth checking out. From here back track to the trailhead and up the ¼ hill to the lookout tower. There is a campsite located here for a night spent on top of the mountain. Return to the main intersection and now join the South Old Mac Trail.This trail is yellow blaze and is a short 2.75-mile descent to conclude your hike.We recommend this hike in the early spring and fall.
Trailhead: From Knoxville: I-40 West to 162 West Pellissippi Parkway into Oak Ridge. Stay on Hwy 62 to Wartburg. Turn right on Flat Fork Road and park entrance is 4 miles ahead.
Park hours 8 am until sunset
Access fees apply call park for details
Backcountry camping/fire permit is required for hikers who stay overnight (Lat:36.12728 Lon:-84.50124)
Trail Guides for Old Mac Trail:
by Evan Means (Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Frozen Head State Natural Area 423-346-3318
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Bobby Trotter, who has posted 74 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Bob on 5/26/2010
The route here is good. North Old Mac is longer, but the grade is very managable. South Old Mac is much steeper. The tower is open and in excellent condition. Great views. Wonderful park facilities as well. Hot shower at the trailhead!
Reviewed by Stansberry on 9/7/2006
Very calm and well-marked trail; the tower atop Frozen Head was still closed as of April of 2006, and if you're doing high-point photography, this makes a huge difference (a power-line opening in the forest still allows a good view from the summit of Frozen Head to the south).
Reviewed by Gary on 7/31/2005
Take the South Old Mac trail to Tub Springs campsite, visit the spring, then hike up to the lookout tower. A new lookout tower is under construction, perhaps 2006 it will be complete. Head down the jeep trail and visit the rockhouse--beautiful winter iciles. Head down the North Old Mac trail back tot he parking lot. There are very few vistas in this hike and the completion of the new lookout tower will make it more interesting. The North Old Mac trail is cooler than the South Old Mac trail, so it makes sense to plan accordingly during warmer weather. Lots of spring flowers. Park access fee ($3) is waived on Wednesdays.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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