Polk County High Point Trip Report

Big Frog Mtn (4,200+ ft)

Date: March 21, 2003
Author: Ken Oeser

From I-75 east of Chattanooga, take Highway 64/Cleveland bypass exit and follow this highway to the Highway 411 crossing a few miles east of Cleveland. Turn right onto signed Cookson Creek Road after 2.7 miles; zero your odometer.

The road turns to gravel at 4.1 miles. Bear right at 4.6 miles at a junction signed for Sylco Campground, and reach the campground on the right at 11.4 miles. Turn left onto FR221 at 11.8 miles. Follow this road and turn right onto FR62 at 13.7 miles. There is a gate here before the sign as you turn, but it has been open on both my trips. Follow this road to mile 17.8 and turn into the Chestnut Mountain Trail parking lot. These roads are in much better shape than they were in 1999, when large rocks were sticking up in several parts of the road. We had no problem driving to the parking area in our car.

As Fred Lobdell mentioned, take the Chestnut Mountain Trail (on the left side of the parking lot, across from the signboard) up to the Wolf Ridge Trail, then right up to the summit of Big Frog Mountain. The highest point seems to be 150 feet left of the trail junction at the top of the mountain, at a small camp in the woods. Walk around the top to convince yourself as we did. My altimeter showed a 2000 foot elevation gain going up and down, and the topo also shows this trail starting just below 2200 feet.

I did some trail work, removing some small to medium sized fallen pines on the way up and down that had fallen across the trail. In all about two dozen had fallen, so now the hike is a little easier. I didn't hear any whining or complaining on this 7 mile, 2000 foot gain hike: The queen is getting older!