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McKay Hollow Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#6 of 26 trails in

McKay Hollow Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Brownsboro, Alabama that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.0 miles Elevation Gain: 666 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

wild flowers

wildlife

The trailhead for the McKay Hollow Trail is on the bluff side of the Picnic Area in Monte Sano State Park. Park in the Picnic Area and walk down the pathway on the right side of the Large Pavilion. Signs marking the high bluff will direct you to the trail, just to the right of the Small Pavilion. Please note: When it has rained the rocks get slippery. The park suggests waiting several days after a rain due the the North Plateau being so close to the cliff.

hiking
rocky
5 hours ago

Great hike. Went clockwise and that was the right choice. Nice warmup on flat, easy terrain. Then a decent descent with heavy rocks. Then a short 1 mile climb with good heart rate increase. Suggest solid footwear and trekking poles for the rocky terrain. Took 2.5 hours total at a leisurely pace. 4.6 miles total.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

This is an intense little hike. It's not too difficult given you're in the shape for it. I about died on the way back up toward the South Plateau Loop, but I'm also out of shape. It's absolutely beautiful though and worth every last short breath I had. I had never been to Monte Sano before, and picked out some trails on the map to do. I just happened to pick the most difficult trail at the park. It was a pleasant little surprise! Absolutely do this trail!

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Not for younger kids. Also not as hard as you would think. It’s pretty wet and muddy.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Slippery after a rain....lots of rocks. Very nice view if sunny out.

hiking
8 months ago

Steep section is tough to do with dogs. Would not recommend taking pets on that section. Beautiful hike otherwise.

10 months ago

Lo Lllll Pplpllpppppl Llpplpllllplllppplllpp

11 months ago

Nice hike. Steep rocky downhill at first, then gradual the rest of the way. Beautiful forest especially down at the bottom.

hiking
Saturday, October 06, 2018

Would hike in the fall when the leaves are changing. I took North Plateau to McKay Hollow to Fire Tower route and it was a more gradual elevation change coming back up.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

We made a loop out of this trail so it would be easier on our knees for the way back up. We parked in the lot and took north platuea to the trail head. It starts out with steep boulders but the trail is very well marked. At the bottom there is a nice flat area to catch your breath before the gentle trek up. The end of the trail meets with the South plateau loop which we took to the fire trail to get back to the car. Overall an amazing hike.

hiking
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Great trail for a hike/run. I did the McKay Hollow Trail to the Southern Plateau Trail to make a loop out of it. The start of the trail (coming in by small pavilion and water fall) is quite steep, lots of rocks, boulders, and roots. The long, flat section in the hollow makes for a great section to run. Ascending up out of the hollow to the South Plateau Trail is a fairly easy gradual ascent. Once you make it up to the South Plateau Trail, you’re home free with a flat, easy trail to finish up with a run. Great workout that took me approximately two hours to complete. Saw two bucks, both had nice racks, and three does. They didn’t give much of an opportunity for pictures. I did get a great shot of a doe eating grass on the side of the road while driving back home, though! Ha! But of course!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I was with a group of 5 when we decided to try this trail. We started off on another trail, the white, I believe, to get to this one. That one prior was a quick three mile and pretty flat; we started there because we parked at the main pavilion (first parking on right). As soon as we started on the McKay Hollows Trail it quickly got rocky. Starting from where we were, it first went down the mountain, great scenery and not terrible. Going uphill, was another story. The trail is hard to follow since you are walking on just rocks and tree roots. Sometimes the rocks were color coded for the trail. For the 4.4 mile trail, it took us about two hours, perhaps under. The last 30 minutes it was getting dark so we had to slow down just a bit. Overall a good trail, dogs would love it, go in the morning or at a time where you can have a good slow pace.

hiking
Monday, August 06, 2018

Great trail. Tough at some parts, but that’s the point! Lots of fun and plenty of resting parts/shelters.

hiking
Saturday, January 06, 2018

One of my favorite trails on Monte Sano, because of the climb back to the North Plateau trail at the end (though the older I get, the slower I go here). The good thing about this loop is that you can tailor it to your desires depending on which way you go -- the descent /ascent at the South Plateau trail is long and steady; the descent / ascent at the North Plateau is steep and rocky.

hiking
muddy
rocky
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Steep rocks. Not for children or pets. Challenging, but fun. The walk through the valley is beautiful. Slippery when wet, take the rocky bluff by the picnic area as an uphill, and not a downhill. Hard on the knees.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I definitely recommend starting at the South Plateau trail and ending on the North Plateau trail. We ended up climbing the steeper end by going that way. To me, climbing the steep rocks is easier than going down them.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Downhills were tougher than uphills. Wet in places but overall a great walk. I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Challenging and fun trail.

hiking
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hope you have good knees before trying this hike! Not too strenuous, but precarious is a better word. I extended it a little and added the Natural Well trail, and came back and looped the Fire tower trail in for a 4 mile round trip.

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great trail. Challenging, but fun. It's one I do every year and I plan to keep it on my schedule.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

One of the hardest trails I've hiked! I'll do it again!

running
Thursday, January 07, 2016

Pretty tough run or hike, but well worth the effort for some spectacular views and forest scenery.

hiking
Monday, September 14, 2015

This is a really nice trail if you want to spend 2 hours in a pretty area and don't mind exerting yourself a bit. I wouldn't take my dog to the bottoms since he is a pup but an experienced dog would love this. I haven't seen any water on it but I bet that would change after a good range ... I bet the hollow would be raging.

hiking
Friday, July 04, 2014

It's my favorite trail. Start on falls side at picnic area. Steep downhill, about a mile of flats, and then a nice steady climb back to the top. excellent cardio on the climb.

hiking
Thursday, January 03, 2013

One of my favorite trails in the park. Rugged in parts.

hiking
1 day ago

recorded McKay Hollow Trail

hiking
20 days ago

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