Frozen Head State Natural Area

Located in Morgan County, Frozen Head State Natural Area is one of Tennessee's largest state parks, with over eleven thousand acres of beautiful, rugged land. Surrounded by the environmental scars of coal mining, Frozen Head represents the last major property of the Cumberland Mountains that is protected from surface mining. Its history began in 1893 when the state acquired over eleven thousand acres for the construction of the remote Brushy Mountain State Prison, where inmates would mine coal. Coal mining continued at Brushy Mountain until 1966. Most of the forested land was set aside later as Morgan County State Forest. Although the forest was managed for hardwood timber, few trees were ever taken. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) located a camp at the forest, where the men constructed roads, miles of trails, and a bridge. In 1971 the Division of State Parks improved the old CCC roads and built visitor facilities. Three years later, in 1974, the Tennessee General Assembly designated the state forest a Class I Natural Area.

The park is centered around Frozen Head Mountain (elevation 3,324 ft.), the second highest mountain between the Great Smokies and the Black Hills of the Dakotas. The area is also noted for its rich array of wildflowers. Hiking is the primary recreational activity.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Frozen Head State Natural Area
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date June 13, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018