Polk County High Point Trip Report

Big Frog Mountain (4,224 ft)

Date: July 18, 1999
Author: Fred Lobdell

Big Frog Mountain lies in the Big Frog Wilderness in Cherokee National Forest. There are several trails that intersect at or near the summit of Big Frog Mountain. The route given below has the twin virtues of being both the shortest route to the summit and the one having the highest trailhead.

From the intersection of US 64 & US 411 in western Polk County, go east on 64 about 2 miles to Cookson Creek Rd. (This is about a half mile west of the bridge over the Ocoee River.) Turn right (south) on Cookson Creek Rd. and follow the main road as it turns left (east). The pavement deteriorates, then ends, and at some point the road becomes Forest Road 55. Continue on FR 55 for about 11 miles, staying on the main road. A short distance past Sylco Campground (which will be on the right [west] side of the road) turn left (east) onto FR 221. Go about 1.7 miles to FR 62 and turn right (south). (This will be the second significant right turn; the first is gated.) Follow this road, a bit rough in places but passable by an ordinary passenger car, for 4.1 miles to a trailhead and parking area on the left. This is the beginning of the Chestnut Mountain Trail. Park here.

Hike up the Chestnut Mountain Trail, which is gently graded for most of its length, to its junction with the Wolf Ridge Trail. Two guidebooks give the length of this trail as 1.3 miles and 1.9 miles; take your choice. It took me about 45 minutes to get to the trail junction (which is marked by a sign) so the truth may be somewhere between these distances. The trail becomes somewhat steeper before attaining Wolf Ridge. The trail is not blazed but follows an old woods road for most of its length, and is easy to follow.

Turn right on the Wolf Ridge Trail, which could use some maintenance in places. This takes you to the summit of Big Frog Mountain, where it meets the Big Frog Trail, the Licklog Trail, and the Benton Mackaye Trail. The climb is about 1,100 feet in 1.8 miles from the trail junction, and contains two steep pitches: from 3,200 to 3,400 feet and from 4,000 to 4,200 feet, just before the summit is reached. The highest area appears to be a couple of hundred feet north of the trail junction, near a fire ring.