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Sal Hollow and Buffalo Creek Loop Trail

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Mammoth Cave National Park

Sal Hollow and Buffalo Creek Loop Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mammoth Cave, Kentucky that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.4 miles Elevation Gain: 331 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

muddy

Please note that horseback riding is only allowed on certain portions of this loop.

horseback riding
muddy
over grown
2 days ago

hiking
muddy
26 days ago

I would recommend starting with the Sal Hollow trail from Maple Springs Trailhead parking. There was a waterfall at mile 1.5, a cave spring at 2.0 and lots of creek crossings and some really neat mushrooms and fungus. Trail was very muddy from lots of horses and Poison Oak and Ivy were everywhere (late April.) Buffalo Trail and Turnhole Bend Trail were the most boring I have ever been on. Based on the map we thought we could get a views of Green River if we went down to the campsite. No such luck. Just wide flat straight trail and trees/underbrush for over 3 miles. Another review said there was a social trail to the water but I couldn’t find it. We did set up tree hammocks overlooking the forrest decline at Turnhole Bend Campsite to rest and have lunch before heading back. Whole trip was a little over 9 miles.

hiking
9 months ago

Great for kids! Saw some huge alligator snapping turtles along the way

hiking
muddy
Thu May 16 2019

muddy
Sat Apr 13 2019

We have done a lot of trails by the visitors center, which are all fantastic. we are trying to branch out into the park. this trail is flat which is great for kids but we spent all our energy navigating mud and horse poop. I will skip this one in the future.

hiking
muddy
Sun Feb 17 2019

Filp and I took a hike in the snow on Sal Hollow trail today. The trail was sloppy most of the way, but manageable. OK, some sort of precipitation has been falling since 1978 it seems…. The trail was rutted out a little bit by horse traffic (even though horses are not allowed on most of the trail?) but very manageable. I would rate this as easy and not moderate…. Elevation gain is only a few feet… We crossed about 6 small creeks, some of which are probably dry most of the year. We hiked the trail clockwise starting at Maple Springs Campground and came upon a pretty cool water fall at about the 1.5 mile mark and a neat sinkhole/cave entrance (caved in) at about the 2 mile mark. We linked up with the Buffalo Trail (an old gravel road) and followed it back to TH. The actual loop went on toward the river for another 2-3 miles, but we were hungry and took the easy way out. Nothing really special on the trail, but lots of solitude. I am giving it a 4 just for the great marking and trail condition…. Horse- back riders are people too.

hiking
Sat Jun 30 2018

I'm a dog lover. Every time I take my dogs out for a walk, I see signs telling me to clean up after my dog. Whenever I go out for a hike or backpacking, I see signs that say leave no trace. Why is it when horses and riders use a hiking trail they have the privilege of leaving their droppings throughout the trail. The horses walk through a muddy area and obliterate the trail. This was a beautiful walk. The weather was great. Beautiful little falls about 1.5 miles in. It rained earlier in the day, but I spent more time stepping over piles over horse manure than dodging mud puddles.

camping
Fri Apr 20 2018

There are many sections that are truly beautiful and tranquil, deer grazing right up next to the trails and many more spotted through the trees. Lots a nice wildlife spotted on the way to the Sal Hollow campsite and many more on the way back. There are down sides however, the horses have completed destroyed the trail in many sections. At least a solid mile of it is utterly unusable unless you were walking on the sloped sides of the trail due to the horses and mud buildup. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you, and if camping overnight be prepared for the wildlife. The campsite sits about a 1/4 mile away from the creek bed and there were many many coyotes howling nearby and some other unidentified very large animal grunting not too far away.

hiking
Thu Nov 09 2017

After reading previous reviews I took two pairs of boots to keep the mud off my shins. I was also sure to carry water for both my dog and I. Trails still muddy even with a layer of leaf litter, but the changing leaves and the pure quiet of the woods were well worth the mudslinging. Wished I had started earlier bc sunset in November is around 4:30pm here - flashlight came in handy! Also wished that I had prepared for staying over night - the trail convergence after mile 3 makes you want to change plans! I was tempted to explore the 2 backcountry campsites, Turntable camp was 0.9 miles ahead, and Sal Hollow camp was 2.2 miles more. Buffalo Trail also crossed 1.5 miles ahead. Will have to explore when the days are longer! Over all, trails were well marked and were just difficult enough that you stayed focused on your steps. I completed the trail in 5 hours with plenty of breaks adjusting my pack and staring at lichens. You can easily extend your hike if you pack well.

Tue Sep 05 2017

Easy backpacking trail. Made it a loop with Buffalo Creek Trail. Muddy and obviously used by horses but not too bad. stream was flooded and not flowing at the stream crossing but luckily there was a spot upstream that wasnt too deep to cross at. There are quite a few down trees to jumpover.

hiking
Sun Jul 09 2017

great trail. like many of the trails at mammoth cave, it is a bit torn up from horses (even on the section that is supposed to be hiking only) but over all is very mild damage. And I went during a time with a lot of rain that would have made it worse. The trail is fairly easy to hike with litype change in elevation.

hiking
Mon May 15 2017

This trail has been ruined by horses. We experienced ankle deep mud in many places and some treacherous slopes. Numerous trees block the path on the West portion. It is important to note that only half the trail is recorded on the map. The entire Sal Hollow trail is 8.4 miles end to end which you can add another 2.5 miles with the more easily hiked Buffalo trail to make it a loop.

Wed Apr 19 2017

This trail use to be 5 stars then horses were allowed on the trail and ruined it.

hiking
Sat Apr 02 2016

Beautiful day, only downfall about the trial is that's it's shared with horses. Will definitely be back to do again.

hiking
Sun Jan 03 2016

Just like the other reviews said: this was a lovely, relaxing trail. We went over New Year's, and the trail was fairly empty and clear. The only people we passed were on horseback, which did muddle the trail some so we had to skirt around the mud they kicked up. One thing we didn't realize before we went was that the 8.5 miles is only Sal Hollow Trail. There was an extra 2.5 coming back on Buffalo Trail to complete the loop.

hiking
Mon Sep 14 2015

Went on a one night backpacking trip on Sal Hollow. Great easy trail. This is a great trail if you want to take it easier on the weekend. There isn't a whole lot of water sources on the trail (only crossed one), at least the time of year I went. So I would talk to a park ranger and see what the water sources are like before you go out on Sal Hollow so you can map your trip out accordingly.

Fri Nov 07 2014

Nice relaxing ride through the woods and hills. Very nice big, big rolling hills. I was riding a horse and very much enjoyed the views . There was a dry creek bed at the bottom of the hill but no water flowing this late in the year. Enjoyed this trail...

mountain biking
Sat Aug 25 2012

this WAS a great bike trail but the horses did not have enough trails and they closed it for the bikes. there is a cave along the trail and a couple of water crossings.

hiking
Mon Oct 24 2011

Nice relaxing trail. Went on a two day backpacking trip. Stayed at the Sal Hollow campsite. Went by Good Springs Church on the way in and took the Buffalo Trail on the way out. It was a nice hike. Not a lot for scenery, but it was relaxing and moderate. There are some neat areas with the scenery, but no real awesome sites. The creek bed was pretty dry.

hiking
Mon Apr 04 2011

Great trail - easy to moderate hiking thru the woods depending on your pace. The 8.1M is point to point. At 3.6miles out we looped north on Turnhole Bend Trail back to parking at the Sal Hollow Trail Head. Made for a great 6.3 mile loop... passed some mountain bikers and horse riders.

hiking
Mon Aug 09 2010

This is one of the most well maintained trails I've ever hiked. Scenery isnt much. There is a small waterfall 1/4 of the way through. It's a great hike for children.

hiking
7 hours ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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