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Loop Hike Help in Big Frog Wilderness
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John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Loop Hike Help in Big Frog Wilderness on 02/16/2013 12:00:05 MST Print View

I have a 3-day weekend coming up and would like to finally hit the Big Frog-Cohutta Wilderness for a 2-nighter with a friend. Looking for 10-12 mile days at most, would like to camp near Big Frog Mtn. on one of the two nights, and start and finish from the Tennessee side. Looks like this would mean looping the hike into Georgia, and I don't have good ideas on how to work that out.

I know several OTB have posted about this area over the years. Can any of you help a brother out?

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Big Frog on 02/28/2013 08:58:18 MST Print View

Have you already done the hike? There are two ways to connect the Frog with the Cohut--either down Hemp Top to Penitentiary Branch and beyond---or down Wolf Ridge to Chestnut Mt to FS road 62 to the Beech Bottoms trailhead and down to Jacks River. It's a good route if you don't mind a short 2 mile roadwalk. I just did a trip into the place. See---

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/141187.html

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Big Frog on 03/03/2013 19:39:46 MST Print View

Thanks Walter. I had already come across your trip report while doing research.

I'm going this Friday. Have settled on leaving from Thunder Rock campground and will follow the BMT to the summit for the first night, then meander down Licklog Ridge and find somewhere in the lower country for the 2nd night. Appreciate your post, and I have always enjoyed reading your trip reports. One day when I finally get to the Slickrock Creek area I'll hit you up for more advice.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Frog on 03/04/2013 06:37:22 MST Print View

Thanks for the blurb. All my Frog/Cohut trips start at Thunder Rock as it's where my wife can drop me off easily without a lot of dirt road driving for her. Thing is, my trips start with some real weight and the beginning climb on the 8 switchbacks out of "Thunder Truck" is fun. But it's short and the trails in the Frog/Cohut are easier than the Citico/Slickrock.

Your first day will be 10 miles and there's a spring on Big Frog Mt which you probably already know. I recommend going down Wolf Ridge and taking the Grassy Gap trail to Low Gap for your second night. Grassy Gap is an awesome trail and has water the whole way, and Low Gap has a creek spring too with some good camping. Maybe you can put a trip report here when you get back.

And on your last day you can take Big Frog trail to Rough Creek jct (there's a pond nearby) and take Rough Creek to West Fork and out the way you came in.

Edited by TipiWalter on 03/04/2013 07:36:03 MST.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
2nd night on 03/05/2013 05:48:54 MST Print View

Walter, that's good advice. However, I have a need to get home pretty quick on Sunday, so I need my 2nd night's camp to be only 2-3 miles out from Thunder Rock.
Are there any good campsites on West Fork heading back?

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Frog on 03/05/2013 06:13:44 MST Print View

There's a good campsite right next to the West Fork of Rough Creek and it's where the trail (going out or north) turns left out of the valley with a BMT trailpost. The campsite is off to the right down a hill by the creek. It's 4.4 miles from Thunder Truck.

There's a closer campsite a couple miles further on the side of the trail by the "bicycle gravesite" and it's right next to water. I used it on my last night to be closer to Thunder Rock. I even considered camping right in Thunder Rock since it's closed for the season but I couldn't bear to be next to the "interstate" highway of 64.

West Fork Rough Creek
Here's the good campsite on the West Fork trail near the turn in the trail out.

Bike Grave Camp
Here's the campsite near the bike grave and it's level.

Bike Grave
Here's the "bike grave" which you'll see on the BMT trail coming in from Thunder Rock. The campsite is below it on the trail about 100 yards and next to a side creek.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Campsite on 03/05/2013 09:32:10 MST Print View

Walter, that West Fork campsite looks PERFECT. Much thanks for your assistance.
It's looking like good, sunny weather this weekend, but probably will be cool on the mountain; NWS says a low of 32 in Ducktown, so I'm expecting 20-ish near the summit. Perfect :)

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Froggy on 03/05/2013 10:33:48 MST Print View

Thee's some snow coming today and tomorrow but the roads should be great to the Frog as they're all low elevation. My problem is heading up to the mountains at 5,000 feet where the roads could be closed.