Scott and Ariane March 8, 2012 3

Big Frog Wilderness – Big Creek Trail

Just east of Chattanooga, along the Tennessee-Georgia border, resides some of the oldest known mountains in the world. Today, protecting these ancient peaks is the Cohutta and Big Frog Mountain Wilderness Areas. The majority of the Big Frog Wilderness lies within Tennessee, while the largest portion of the Cohutta Wilderness resides in Georgia.

This trip was a moderate hike and had some amazing views. One of the places we found to camp was at the intersection of Grassy Gap Trail  and Yellow Stand Lead Trail.  At that intersection there is a ridge that  you can climb and camp in a nice flat spot. Almost in a bathtub type setting. (Unless it’s raining)

Big Creek Trail #68 (5.6 miles) Popular camping area along trail.

Grassy Gap #67 (3.5 miles) Also known as Barkleggin Trail, this hike offers seclusion as it meanders through the wilderness. The trail ends at the intersection of the Yellow Stand Lead and Big Frog trails.

Yellow Stand Lead #73 (2.9 miles) Hikers will enjoy several mountain views along this hike, as well as a few good fishing holes.

This loop hike offers some really nice campsites, creek crossings, and views. 

We started at FF221 that you can get to by Hwy 64 (in TN) right behind the Power Plant hovering over the Ocoee River  The FF road will take you all the way up to the trail head of Big Creek Trail.  Follow the Big Creek Trail (#68) to the Grassy Gap Trail (#67) (The intersection is tricky here) Becareful you don’t end up hiking up to Big Frog Mountain.  Work your way around to Yellow Stand Trail and at the intersection climb up the ridge where you will find a great camp spot. NO WATER however. The next morning it’s all down hill back to the Yellow Stand Trail Head. Follow the old road to the gravel road to complete the loop. This FF is now closed. You used to be able to park at the Yellow Stand Trail Head, but no more.


The nearly 300 mile Benton MacKaye Trail traverses the Big Frog Wilderness, providing a long distance thru-hike, or a backbone to loop with other trails for overnight backpacking opportunities. The Big Frog Trail provides access to several other trails that cross the Wilderness along ridges and streams. From the top of Big Frog Mountain you can hike south into Cohutta Wilderness on the Hemp Top Trail (eight-tenths of a mile). Even in the wet season (spring and early summer), water may be hard to find, so carry plenty.