Hell's Kitchen & Dogwood FAQ

Where are these areas?
About an hour north of Chattanooga, TN. Check out the map. They are separate areas, but both are located on the Cumberland plateau north of Chattanooga, above the towns of Graysville and Dayton.

When can I go to these areas?
The acquired properties should be ready for public use by fall of 2018. SCC and Access Fund are building out trails and access infrastructure starting late spring 2018 through the summer 2018. Only accessible from state land, Hell’s Kitchen will be accessible once trail work is complete from the main Cumberland Trail along Roaring Creek. The Dogwood Boulders on Gilbreath Creek will be accessible once road, parking, and trail improvements are completed. Limited access to both will be available if you join us for some of the upcoming volunteer trail days, so please come out. We need your help! In the meantime, follow state park rules, do not access these properties, and respect all adjacent private property owners--future access depends on it.

Who owns Hell’s Kitchen and Dogwood Access on Gilbreath Creek?
Access Fund currently owns both properties. Access Fund purchased the properties and is now the temporary owner until the lands can be transferred to Cumberland Trail State Park, or another appropriate long-term landowner. Access Fund and SCC are working together to complete fundraising and stewardship for the properties.

Is there a guide for these areas? Where can I get more information?
A portion of the Dogwood Boulders is in the new ChattBloc guidebook, so check that out. Information on boulders at Hell’s Kitchen is forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Is there camping nearby?
There are great camping options. The private outfit, Dogwood Climbing LLC, provides camping and access to Dogwood Boulders for a small fee. This is very convenient for Dogwood Boulders Proper and Northeast areas in particular, and they are about a 15 min drive to the future trail access for Hell’s Kitchen. Other camping spots can be found in the communities of Sale Creek or Soddy Daisy. Backcountry camping on the Cumberland Trail is also an option if you’re willing to walk a bit; registration is required.

I thought Dogwood Boulders already had access?
Yes, currently folks can access Dogwood Boulders through the private landowner mentioned above, Dogwood Climbing LLC, or a 6-mile hike from the Roaring Creek trailhead in Graysville. This new Dogwood Access property acquisition secures a new permanent, public access point to the Dogwood Boulders, in addition to a few boulders and a great section of cliff. The purchase also secures a new trailhead for the Cumberland Trail, which the state park desired both for recreational and critical maintenance and emergency access.

Are Dogwood Boulders on public land?
Yes, almost all of Dogwood Boulders are on state park land within the Cumberland Trail State Park’s Graysville Mountain RMA section. A small number of the boulders and a section of the cliffline are part of the Dogwood Access property Access Fund has purchased and protected.

Why is it called Hell’s Kitchen?
We don’t know the origin, but that’s what locals in the area call it. There are a few places in the region with similar names: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Devil’s Kitchen”, or “Hell’s Half-Acre.” Perhaps folks give these places names like that because are difficult to develop or navigate, or because they make great hideouts for outlaws.

When will trail work happen and how can I help?
SCC and Access Fund will be hosting a series of trail days every weekend throughout the summer, beginning at Hell’s Kitchen the first weekend of June. Mark your calendars and watch dates at www.seclimbers.org! This effort will be similar to the “Denny Days” of 2016, where volunteers built out trails from scratch, so that the crag could be opened to the public. Trail day volunteers will have the opportunity to climb at Hell’s Kitchen in the afternoon, after trail work in the morning.

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
© Shannon Millsaps

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