“One of the best-loved trails in Mammoth Cave National Park.”
— Clinton Lewis
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife
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.