Explore the most popular horseback riding trails near Mammoth Cave with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

There were lots of muddy spots to traverse. We were hoping for a trail that looped. Sadly, this was not one of them.

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.

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.

Really nice camp site

hiking
10 months ago

Was not able to make it to the trail since we were coming from the south and the ferry was closed. Wasn't sure how else to get to the trail so we went to the trails by the mammoth cave national park visitor center.

10 months ago

Wet. Muddy. Easy trail. Be ready to stop for horses.

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.

I expected the trail to be torn up from horses but not near to the extent that it was. It also seemed excessively unmaintained considering how mamy trees were down on the trail. only once I hiked past the first creek campsites did the trail finally start to seem in reasonable condition. so I wouldn't have to hike back through all that I ended up taking Hutchin ferry rd back up to first creek trail head. about 15 ft from the trail head I saw a small copperhead, and then on houchin ferry rd I found a large timber rattlesnake that had been ran over.

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
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This trail is lazily maintained and is quite disappointing. If you manage to skillfully avoid the piles of horse manure and deep, large areas of mud, congratulations - you can focus on the boring scenery.
My son fell asleep almost immediately.
Not for me.

backpacking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

We had AT&T cell service throughout this trail, and at Campsite A. There were quite a few muddy spots on the trail, and it was 1 person width in some areas with tall vegetation on either side.

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.

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

hiking
Monday, February 20, 2017

Part of a 21 mile loop I hiked starting at First Creek parking lot.
First night: Stayed at First Creek campsite B
Walked to McCoy Hollow Trail
Second Night: Stayed at McCoy Hollow Campsite
Walked to Wet Prong Trail and connected back at the parking lot.

https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/mammoth-cave-first-creek-loop/

hiking
Monday, February 20, 2017

Part of a 21 mile loop I hiked starting at First Creek parking lot.
First night: Stayed at First Creek campsite B
Walked to McCoy Hollow Trail
Second Night: Stayed at McCoy Hollow Campsite
Walked to Wet Prong Trail and connected back at the parking lot.

https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/mammoth-cave-first-creek-loop/

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Made fer a decent switchback at times and acted as a great connecting trail..

Sunday, November 06, 2016

This trail is an easy hike and pretty in the fall. As a hiker I avoid most of the trails on the west side of the park during Spring and Summer, because of heavy horse traffic making the trails mud holes. This trail, however, is wide (it doubles as a service road) and so it's not as beaten by horses.

walking
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nice walk, wide gravel road/path. I added a couple of pictures. You can't tell by looking but the one shows a deep area where the water runs into the caves, I assume.

backpacking
Monday, June 13, 2016

Horrible trail!!! Made impassible by horse traffic, mud everywhere even though it had not rained in a very long time. Small neat water fall and a few interesting rock outcroppings but nothing more to view. If you aren't a horseback rider avoid this trail at all costs.

Monday, April 04, 2016

it's a shared use trail with horses, so much of the trail was like a swamp.

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

hiking
Sunday, January 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
Monday, September 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.

hiking
Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Good Springs Trail is no longer supported by the park and there is a sign that states that there is no trail access, nonetheless, we followed the trail. There were are lot of downed trees, none of which were very difficult to maneuver around. The trail goes about a mile before connecting with the Dry Prong Trail. We made a left until it connected to three other trails. We took the Creek Trail to the left, which will bring you to the Maple Springs trailhead and parking area. To the left is the road that brought us back to the Good Springs Church. The hike was 3.0 miles. Because of the downed trees and a few small streams on the Good Springs Trail it had the most interest on our entire hike. The Dry Prong Trail had a lot of rutted out areas due to horses, while the Creek Trail was nothing more than an access road.

Friday, November 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...

hiking
Sunday, October 27, 2013

. It is a gravel road. Easy stroll. Look out for horses.

hiking
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Great for horses, not so much for hikers. Trail is a trampled muddy mess. Encounterd several groups on horseback.

hiking
Saturday, August 24, 2013

This trail is nice with great scenery even though I didn't see the falls.

hiking
Thursday, November 29, 2012

this is an old gravel road, easy walk and if you go to the Bluffs campground at the end, you will find a small waterfall, it is just a trickle now but in the spring it is nice!

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