Yellow Stand Lead is a 2.3-mile interior trail that connects the western trailheads(Wolf Ridge & Big Creek) of the Big Frog Wilderness to Big Frog Trail. It is normally hiked as part of a loop.
The 2.3-mile trail may be assessed by FS221 even though it is not marked by a trailhead. It is marked by a gated road immediately to the left of the trailhead for Big Creek and across its namesake creek.
Due to this Yellow Stand Lead is usually hiked from the interior 4-way trail intersection at Low Gap. The trail intersection at Low Gap consists of Big Frog Trail running north to south to the summit of Big Frog Mountain. Grassy Gap Trail comes in from the west and junctions with Big Frog Trail. Continuing across from Grassy Gap, Yellow Stand Lead leaves and travels back to the northwest.
From this trail intersection to FS221 Yellow Stand Lead will descend over a 1000 feet. For most of the descent, the trail hugs its namesake ridge. This short trail offers wonderful views as it winds around the ridge into the valley.
There probably is no trail as short in the combined Big Frog/Cohutta Wilderness that changes in character as often as Yellow Stand Lead. From a ridge trail to a forest trail, to a roadbed and wildlife clearing, to finally following a creek.
From Low Gap(2,438 ft) the trail immediately begins descending the left side of Yellow Stand Lead Ridge. It is a pretty trail. At the 1 mile mark, the trail sign marking the boundary of Big Frog Wilderness will be on the left.
The next 0.7 miles the trail turns from a footpath to an old roadbed and descends into the valley passing through a white Pine forest shortly before arriving at the trailhead at mile 1.7. What is so unusual about this trailhead is it is the only trail in the combined Big Frog/Cohutta Wilderness that has its trailhead in the middle of the woods instead of a forest service road.
At the trailhead, there is a wildlife clearing to the right. The trail continues to the northwest on an old roadbed that becomes wider and better maintained.
Shortly after the trailhead, the trail converges with Graham Branch of Big Creek on its left. The last 0.3 miles the trail converges with Big Creek on its left and can be seen from the trail.
This is the only trail in the combined Big Frog/Cohutta Wilderness that ends at a forest service road and is not marked with any trail sign. The trail ends at FS221 and is gated. Walk around the gate and take a left on FS221 and immediately you will cross a bridge over Big Creek. Slightly further on the left is Big Creek Trailhead. And two more miles to the west is Wolf Ridge Trailhead.
"A wilderness...is hereby recognized as an area where the
earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man,
where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."
- Wilderness Act of 1951
Cisco, GA Access: From Eton, GA (one-red-light town) go North 8.8 miles on Hwy 411 to Cisco and Old Hwy GA2 indicated by Cisco Baptist Church, take a right onto Old Hwy GA2, the road is paved for the first 1.8 miles before turning into gravel. At mile 3.1 the road (FS Rd 16) comes to the West Cowpen Check Station on the left and the first road intersection, FS17 goes right, and FS16 continues straight, continue straight on FS16 for the next 4.4 miles until mile 7.5 where FS16 comes to another intersection with FS51.
FS51 goes right and FS16 continues straight and to the left. Continue on FS16 which immediately passes Cottonwood Patch campground on its left and then subsequently a bridge which spans the Jacks River. After crossing the bridge the road immediately enters Tennessee and a three-way intersection. Take a right onto FS 221 and immediately pass Jacks River northwestern (low elevation) terminus at the Alaculsy Valley Trailhead (968 feet) on your right at mile 8.4.
Continue straight on FS 221 to Big Frog Wilderness.
|Distance from Hwy 411|
|Wolf Ridge Trailhead:||15.7 miles|
|Big Creek Trailhead:||17.7 m|
|Big Frog Trailhead:||22.1 m|
|West Fork Trailhead:||23.0 m|
|Licklog Ridge Trailhead:||25.8 m|
Ocoee, TN Access: From Hwy 411 take US64 east toward Ocoee Lake. Drive 18 miles and take a right at the TVA #3 Ocoee Power Station. Cross river onto FS45 and drive 2.8 to the T-intersection with FS221. Take a left and West Fork is 0.4 miles on the right and Licklog Ridge is a further 2.8 miles on the right. Take a right at FS221 and Big Frog Trailhead is 0.5 miles on the left.
|Yellow Stand Lead|
|Access:||Interior & FS221|
|Hiking Up:||Easy to Moderate|
|FS221 elevation:||1,394 feet|
|Low Gap elevation:||2,438 feet|
|Trail Junctions:||Big Frog, Grassy Gap|
|Features:||Access to Loop Trails,|
|Access to the Western|
|Region of Big Frog,|
|1000 ft change in|
|elevation in 2.3 miles.|