Frozen Head Judge Branch, Interpretive Loop and South Old Mac with Dad

ben pounds/special to go knoxville Trickling, shallow waters near Judge Branch Loop make for great wading spots at Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tenn.
I published this piece last summer, but the hike, while not the most landmark-y is good all year long. Below is an excerpt with some of the more basic information.

The loop at Frozen Head State Park took us over, above, next to and, in one case, through the trickling waters of Judge Branch. The water is too shallow for swimming, but wonderful for wading.

On this Father’s Day hike, my dad, Dr. Larry Pounds — plant ecologist and enthusiast for many different kinds of green growing things — joined me. He was among my first hiking partners, going back to my early childhood and my coauthor for my recent book about a series of hikes we did in 2012. It had been a while since he and I had hiked together, and Father’s Day on a route at Frozen Head, which included the Interpretive Loop, Judge Branch and South Old Mac trails proved a great chance.

While it does include an uphill section, it’s not strenuous and all of it’s in the shade at this time of year. The route, while more than a quick jaunt, took only a few hours, even with me snapping photographs, meaning that both of us could fit it into our schedules.

The trail is, however, an excellent one on which to spend the night. A backcountry creek-side campsite, maximum capacity 12 people, sits next to the trail. People who want to camp there can check in at the Frozen Head Visitor Center. It’s a good way to try out backcountry camping, as the route there is shorter and easier than more difficult routes like the Appalachian Trail.”

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