Distinguished by 4,224-foot Big Frog Mountain, the vast majority of this forested mountain Wilderness lies in Tennessee, with only a sliver in Georgia. It borders the Cohutta Wilderness. The Big Frog-Cohutta combination, with adjacent Primitive areas, creates the largest tract of Wilderness on USFS land in the eastern United States. Virginia pine covers the lower elevations, and hardwoods, including white oak, red oak, and hickory, shade the upper. The Wilderness is home to a few deer, wild turkeys, and a mixture of Russian wild hogs released in the 1960s and domestic hogs gone wild. Timber rattlesnakes commonly slither across these trails. Hikers can enjoy the most diverse and the best hiking in Cherokee National Forest in this Wilderness, choosing from pathways that wander easily with little elevation changes; long, contouring trails; and strength-sapping up-and-down routes. Although rugged, most of the trails are well maintained. 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.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Big Frog Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-578 (10/30/1984) To designate certain lands in the Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee, as wilderness areas, and to allow management of certain lands for other purposes than wilderness
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 - Public law 115-334 (12/20/2018) To provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2023, and for other purposes.