Horn Hollow Trail is a 2.1 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Olive Hill, Kentucky that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.1 km Elevation Gain: 77 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

This hilly, but scenic trail takes you from the ridges into the streamless valley of Horn Hollow, where you see multiple cave entrances. This trail is especially rewarding during the spring wildflower season from April-May. Green blazes mark the trail.

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

This trail is longer than listed. It’s 2 miles. I would definitely rate this trail moderate instead of easy. My 5 year old son and 12 lbs. dachshund completed the trail but it was physically demanding on them. I regretted not bringing my trekking poles as there were a few semi steep hills and rocky steps.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this as part of a three loop outing-Horn Hollow Loop to Three Bridge Loop to Natural Bridge Loop. I still think the 4Cs are the best Carter Caves has to offer, but I enjoyed this hike immensely as a milder alternative.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Nice trail for a short hike with the kids and hubby.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a bit more then is described in the main AllTrails description. First, the trail is almost exactly 2 miles. There are some steep hills, so I would rate it as moderate in difficulty. I have explored a lot of Carter Caves but for some reason had not been on this trail. It is very nice, with lots to see- caves, creeks, rock formations. I definitely plan to do this again.

hiking
11 months ago

Expect hills. I recommend taking the trail down to the creek from the welcome center and leaving the trail. Walk along the creek and you'll come across the first cave. You'll need a permit at the welcome center (free) to enter the caves. Once you come out, go down the dry creek bed and you'll find the second cave. The second cave will bring you back onto the trail. Expect knee high water. Bring a flashlight if you want to enter the caves.

hiking
Fri Apr 05 2019

Horn Hollow was just a nice trail through the hollow. Nice old growth timber, some rock formations, and stream. Best hiked counter clockwise.

hiking
Tue Nov 27 2018

Nice, short hike with little waterfall in season near the back entrance to the cave. Only downside is that a landslide has covered up most of the main entrance to cave.

hiking
Fri Apr 06 2018

Hiked the trail last weekend and it was great. Definitely recommend getting a permit for Horn Hollow Cave from the gift shop and checking it out, it's about the half way point on the back side of the trail.

hiking
Fri Mar 16 2018

A nice trail to see Spring wildflowers on. Lots of mountain laurel in spots. A nice hike any time of year.

hiking
Mon Feb 26 2018

We hiked this trail after a week of heavy rain, this made for some great pics. I would highly recommend this trail. There are a lot of up and downs with one steep climb towards the end. Trail is very well marked. We will definitely be doing this trail again in the spring.

Mon May 29 2017

Starts out across the parking lot from the visitor center building/gift shop, walk up the concrete steps and to the right, there will be a sign. The trail itself has quite a few ups and downs, we are fairly experienced hikers and feel this is morw moderate than easy. Several small caves and rock features with options to get permits for Horn Hollow and Laurel caves which are accessible along the trail. Fun, short hike that is fully shaded.

Mon Mar 20 2017

Great hike. There are a few steeper climbs but still enjoyable. A lot of beautiful sights and sounds packed into a short trail.

Sun Oct 16 2016

Great trail and views

hiking
Mon Sep 26 2016

One of the best hikes we've done! Stopped halfway to go explore in Horn Hollow Cave with our flashlights. Brings waterproof shoes if you're gonna explore the caves! But the trail itself is great, too. Will definitely be coming back. Easy for all ages.

hiking
Sun Aug 28 2016

Nice loop trail that starts right next to the Carter Caves visitors center. There is a part where it gets really steep right after you pass the sign to return to the visitors center, but it's worth it. I did this by myself with my chocolate lab and we had a good time!

hiking
Tue Jun 21 2016

Very beautiful! My husband and I have done the 3 Bridges and 4Cs several times. On this hike my husband kept saying that this shorter hike was his favorite and the most beautiful on the park. Lots of beautiful views of cave openings, rock formations and rocky creeks. It has a steep climb back uphill from the direction we started but it's not too difficult. I am overweight and trying to get back in shape - I had to stop and catch my breath a few times on climb back up, but a family with 2 kids under 6 hiked in front of us and they did great! Highly recommended if you don't have time for a long hike or just want to do a short one with the kids.

hiking
Thu Apr 21 2016

This trail is a great little trail to acclimate ones self with nature, hiking and the great outdoors.

hiking
Thu Jun 05 2014

nice trail, some up and down and the trail was touch in spots but a nice loop

hiking
Sat Feb 22 2014

Had a lot of fun on this trail, although it does get rather steep at the end it's to short to care. You pass by two caves which unfortunately were closed but going down and exploring around the entrance is always fun! I would suggest this because its short but has a good amount of things to see. Trail is clearly marked and most likely wont run into other hikers.

hiking
Thu Jun 20 2013

This trail packs quite a punch in less than 2 miles (about 1.75 on my watch). You will be close to both Laurel Cave and Horn Hollow Cave along the way, and even though both are closed due to White Nose Syndrome, you can still explore around the entrances - Laurel Cave is especially captivating. (Sidenote: about 20+ years ago, my dad used to bring me and my two brothers and a couple of flashlights through that entire cave, and it is excellent. I really hope they reopen it so I can take my daughter in there to explore, too.) Anyway, this trail is exceptionally hilly, but it's short and sweet.

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