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Big Hollow at Mammoth Cave

 3 votes

11.7 Miles 18.9 Kilometers



598' 182 m


-594' -181 m


864' 263 m


778' 237 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (7°)


864' 263 m


778' 237 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (7°)

A great family-friendly ride with optional technical features.

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SWKyMBAs guidelines for responsible trail use and etiquette provide a common sense approach for all visitors:
1. Do not use trails when they are muddy.
2. Be wary of freeze/thaw conditions, when temperatures drop below freezing at night and climb above freezing in the day. A trail can quickly become the consistency of peanut butter and should be avoided. During freeze/thaw, use only when the trail is frozen.
3. When encountering opposite traffic both users should go to their right and...
Big Hollow Trail Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The 8-mile Big Hollow Trail highlights the above-ground treasures of Mammoth Cave, winding through gorgeous rock outcroppings and stream crossings. The trail was designed for the entire family, with subtle grades, an open corridor and a few more challenging alternate lines for the adventurous. Adjacent to the new trail is the Maple Springs Campground.

A round trip ride including the Maple Springs Connector, North Loop, Connector Trail, and South Loop will be close to 12 miles.
Dogs: No Dogs


From the Maple Springs Trailhead and/or Campground, take the Maple springs connector to access the North Loop of Big Hollow at Mammoth Cave. This connector loop is a wide, gravel covered, multi-use trail. The trail is 1.3 miles from the parking lot to the North Loop.

North loop is the first, less technical loop at Mammoth Cave. Ride in either direction to connect to the Connector Trail and the South Loop trail. The North Loop totals 4.4 mi. The trail is all singletrack with some easy to intermediate climbs. The only technical feature is a flat log bridge that has a bypass trail around it.

About half way through the loop, look for the Connector Trail and follow it to the South Loop. South Loop is 2.5 miles of great singletrack. Ride in either direction for a different experience. There are many B Lines that extend off the trail for Intermediate and above skill levels. Where the trail splits, you'll see one continuing the flow, and the other takes you through rock gardens with some 1'-3' drop opportunities. On the southeast side, there is an area with two log rides and advanced drop and roll off features. There is another large log ride available from both directions, with trails around it. Riding counter clockwise will bring you to a series of 3'-5' rollers and tabletops near the end of the loop.

After completing the loop, follow Connector Trail back to North Loop, finish North Loop and then return to the parking lot via Maple Springs Connector.

History & Background

The BIG HOLLOW TRAIL was recently named The Best Gateway Trail of the Year 2014 at the IMBA World Summit. IMBAs Gateway Trails are trails that cater to beginner riders yet leave a ton o fun for intermediate riders and still have ample options for advanced riders. In July, Craighead signed an agreement with the Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (SWKyMBA) which established its members as the primary caretakers of the new 9-mile Big Hollow Trail.

The Big Hollow Trail builder was Trail Dynamics owned by Ed Sutton. Many of you may be familiar with the trails they built around the country including many at Dupont State Forest outside of Brevard, NC. Trail Dynamics is a member of the PTBA (Professional Trail Builders Association). Trail work on the Big Hollow Project officially began May 28, 2013.


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4.0 from 3 votes

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Aug 7, 2016
Chase Tharp
My new favorite trail! Beautiful. 11.6mi — 10h 00m
Nov 25, 2015
Steve Roy
Jul 17, 2015
David Cesnak
nice ride, down here enjoying the cave and biking 12mi — 1h 47m
Jun 25, 2015
Zack Butler
6.2mi — 1h 10m
May 24, 2015
Jonathan Carrico

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  4.0 from 3 votes


  4.0 from 3 votes
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My wife and I rode the North Loop from the Maple Springs Trailhead this past week. Given our experience with the Mammoth Cave Railroad Hike & Bike Trail a few years ago, we didn't expect to be very impressed with the new singletrack trail, but we really did enjoy this new trail! The North Loop was a lot of fun, and none of the grades were very steep. It almost seemed like it was downhill both ways with the breaks in the climbs. We will likely be back again to ride the South Loop... I just wish that Huntsville, AL, wasn't so far away! Our only gripes were that there were a few "mud puddles" in some of the low spots on the trail and that spider webs and horseflies were everywhere. There would have been more "mud puddles", had it not been for the rock armoring in several of the low spots. Rock armoring the rest of the low spots would probably eliminate the "mud puddles". The rest of the trail was dry. Jun 29, 2015

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