“A great family-friendly ride with optional technical features.
— brad burridge
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.
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...
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.