Frozen Head

With Sundays forecast calling for mid-60's we decided to have a family picnic at Frozen Head State Park. Frozen Head is a really cool natural area about an hour outside of Knoxville with lots of steeps, rock formations and an abundance of waterfalls.

I drove up a couple hours in advance and rode the one trail in the park that is open to mountain bikes- a 6.6 mile climb from the campground up to a fire tower at 3300 feet overlooking Brushy Mountain State Prison and the big mountains that surround it. This trail will be part of my big point-to-point adventure ride I mentioned in a previous post.

The first three or so miles are very steep, but lots of scenic creeks and views.

About half way up I ran across something not many people will ever get to see- a Bobcat. Growing up I had run across their tracks many times hunting with my dad, but I pretty much assumed I would never actually see one. The bobcat is nocturnal and a live sighting is quite rare.

He was right in front of me when we spooked each other. He ran right up the road a bit and by the time I dug my camera out he was a good ways up the road. I squeezed off a shot, but in the excitement I ended up with a blurry mess. Now I know why no one seems to get a good picture of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

Even though it was in the fifties down at the campground, the shaded areas near the top still had a good bit of snow from the days before. The puddles were still semi-frozen and it was getting way too cold for the t-shirt and shorts I had on.

I turned around about a half mile from the top. It was cold and I had run out of time. The descent a blast. Not may trails around here give you such a long continuous downhill.

The rest of the afternoon was spent having fun with the kids. As witnessed below, it's about impossible to get three kids to look at a camera at once.

The play ground is right next to the creek. Molly action shot!

The park is full of short hikes with lots of landforms.

Rare animal sighting #2. Another nocturnal predator that you won't spot very often.

Great afternoon spent with the family.

Hopefully my next ride will from my childhood stomping grounds, Whites Creek, looking for a connector to the Black Mountain area. Another unexplored section of my adventure epic.