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Sal Hollow Trail



8.4 mile 13.5 kilometer point to point
96% Runnable


Ascent: 630' 192 m
Descent: -687' -209 m
High: 892' 272 m
Low: 549' 167 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by Clinton Lewis

One of the best-loved trails in Mammoth Cave National Park.

Clinton Lewis

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Watch for horses and their effects on the trail. Be careful between miles 5-6, as it is a steep rocky downhill.

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.


Set out from the Maple Springs parking lot and begin your adventure by catching the Sal Hollow Trail to the left. The first few miles are quite enjoyable, with a well-trodden path and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. The forest varies from rather open with airy clearings to Jurassic Park overgrowth, where just finding the trail is fun. There are several small creek crossings and a few small waterfalls to explore just off-trail.

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, which is 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!

Flora & Fauna

Typical Kentucky forest with maple & oak trees, ferns, vines and poison ivy. Lots of wild turkey and deer can be seen, too.

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes


in North Side


  3.8 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings


in North Side


in Kentucky


53 Views Last Month
1,745 Since Jun 3, 2015



Creek crossings are best with style.
Feb 21, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY
Fun exploring just off-trail
Jun 3, 2015 near Brownsv…, KY
The Sal Hollow Trail can get pretty narrow
Jun 3, 2015 near Brownsv…, KY
Starting the gradual, soon-to-be sudden drop down to the creek.
May 9, 2016 near Brownsv…, KY
Natural bridge and balance
Jun 3, 2015 near Brownsv…, KY
Enjoy this great section of Sal Hollow.
Feb 21, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY