Section 11 of the BMT climbs gradually from a low point at the Ocoee River (1120 feet) up and over the summit of Big Frog Mountain (4224 feet), namesake mountain of the Big Frog Wilderness, and then down to Double Springs Gap at the Georgia/ Tennessee border.
|Former logging roads turning back to nature.|
Once in the wilderness, the BMT follows the West Fork of Rough Creek, one of the prettiest places I've been to in the southeast. Hemlock and great rhododendron in full bloom line the banks of this sweet bubbling stream.
|Massive pink blossoms filling the air.|
|Definitely one of the best swims EVER!|
|Azures all around.|
|Long tunnels of mountain laurel|
|Even though there were only obscured views through the trees, the ridgewalking went on for miles. And there was a wonderful sense of being up high.|
Big Frog Mountain (4,224 feet elevation) is named by the Cherokee for the spring frog, which emerges early in the season. I didn’t get to see any frogs, but salamanders were out roaming before the storm.
|A woodland salamander prowling around|
|This timber rattlesnake stayed put on the trail. So I was the one who went the long way around.|
|On the approach up Big Frog Mountain|
A sub-24 hour trip, but it was good to get out!
|Red-spotted purple butterflies are a great example of a Batesian mimic. They show similar coloration to the unpalatable pipevine swallowtail, so predators are fooled into not eating them even though they are palatable.|
I did this as an out and back from Thunder Rock Campground, which has good parking for BMT hikers.
Here is the trail guide from the BMT association
A Quick and Dirty Guide to the BMT