Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
535.00 ft (163.07 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The trek to Debord and Emory Gap Falls is one of the easiest hikes within Frozen Head State Park. Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area sits on the Cumberland Plateau and consists of more than 24,000 acres of densely forested, mountainous Tennessee terrain. This 2.8 mile hike provides a small glimpse of the spectacular beauty that can be found within this special park.

The trail begins at the Panther Branch Trailhead and gently gains elevation as it follows the North Prong of the Flat Fork River. You’ll soon come to Debord Falls, just off trail to the right. This small waterfall can be viewed from an observation platform, or hikers can descend the staircase to the bottom of the falls.

Continuing on you’ll soon come to a junction. The Panther Branch Trail crosses the river to the right, while the Emory Gap Trail continues straight ahead (continue straight).

The trail begins to climb a little more steeply as it heads away from the junction. In half a mile you’ll reach a beautiful area with some impressive rock formations, including an overhanging bluff that almost forms a cave of sorts. Just ahead is the waterfall. During drier months there might not be much water flowing over the falls, but the area is still beautiful and well worth the hike in. When ready you'll return to the trailhead the way you came.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Two small waterfalls. Cool rock formations at Emory Gap.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

1,517.00 ft (462.38 m)

Highest point

1,993.00 ft (607.47 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Backcountry camping
Bird watching
Fishing

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee

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