Jeffrey Hell Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tellico Plains, TN that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
The Jeffrey Hell Trail follows an old roadbed as it gradually descends through Jeffrey Hell toward the South Fork Citico Creek. Jeffrey Hell gets its name because of the dense growth of rhododendron and mountain laurel that makes off-trail hiking difficult. There is also the legend that a man named Jeffrey went looking for his hunting dogs in the area. Before he left, he made the statement, "I'll find them if I have to go to hell to get them." He was never seen again. The first part of the trail descends very gradually and is fairly easy hiking. However, the last0.5 mile of the trail leaves the roadbed and heads very steeply downhill to intersect the South Fork Citico Creek Trail. There are a few places to camp along the Jeffrey Hell Trail, but it is a good route to obtain access to the middle portion of the South Fork Citico Creek Trail quickly or when the lower portion of that trail is inaccessible because the creek is high.
The Jeffrey Hell Trail 4.4 roundtrip and is easy on the old roadbed, then become moderate/difficult once you start the steep descent. There was some rain prior to our hike and we were pretty much walking in the stream heading down. It was ok with waterproof boots until we eventually came to a point where the boots needed to come off. If water level is high, hikers will need to ford the water. The trail ends at the junction of the South Fork of Citico Creek Trail. LOTS of trash on the hill on the side of the parking lot, very dismaying.
Tim Homan's book on the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and Citico Creek Wildernesses is a good resource for this trail and hiking in this area.
Jeffrey Hell, easy to difficult, 4.4 miles. campsite on trail. rushing creeks.