Sal Hollow & Buffalo Creek Loop
ElevationAscent: 863' 263 m
Descent: -885' -270 m
High: 894' 273 m
Low: 546' 167 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
Popular runs nearby
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Turnhole Bend Nature Trail
0.6 mi 0.9 km • Loop • 125 ft Ascent 38.24 m Ascent
First Creek Trail
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Low Hollow Trail
2.4 mi 3.8 km • Loop • 227 ft Ascent 69.23 m Ascent
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1.4 mi 2.2 km • Point to Point • 48 ft Ascent 14.57 m Ascent
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“See the best of Mammoth Cave National Park... above ground.”— Clinton Lewis
The 10-mile trail loop utilizes the Sal Hollow Trail and returns on Buffalo Creek Trail to the Maple Springs parking lot.
Miles 5-6 feature a sustained, rocky downhill that is especially tough after a rain. It becomes a sloppy mess that will wreck your knees and ankles.
I'm sure miles 5-6 are a blast dry, but I ran just after a rain and it was a sloppy nightmare, and my knee is still recovering.
The midway point of the Sal Hollow Trail is the intersection with the Turnhole Bend Trail, around mile 3.8. That is the perfect spot to rest and take in a gel.
Continuing on the Sal Hollow Trail from that point becomes an adventure. The second half seems to be less used and more overgrown. The trail itself is mostly good, with typical roots and rocks, but there are more sections of swampy footing which tend to swallow shoes and/or be very slick. Especially note miles 5-6, that are a sustained rocky downhill. At the bottom of the hollow are a couple of creek crossings, then the trail heads uphill for a bit. Passing the Sal Hollow Campsite just past mile 6, the trail still trends uphill, but the running becomes much smoother and more fun as you approach the end.
The Sal Hollow Trail ends at mile 8 at the intersection with the Buffalo Creek Trail. Turn right on this trail for an easy recovery-welcoming pace back to the parking lot. Enjoy!
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