Big Hollow Trail – Mammoth Cave National Park
Its Official; The BIG HOLLOW TRAIL was recently named The Best Gateway Trail of the Year 2014 at the IMBA World Summit. IMBA’s 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.
“It is with great pleasure that I make this announcement – Big Hollow Trail and Maple Springs Trailhead are open and ready for use,” said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. We ask all trail users to take care of the trails and use them wisely.”
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.
“Southwest KyMBA is very excited to hear the news of the opening of the Big Hollow Trail to mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners,” said SWKyMBA Chairman Chip Winger. “As the Big Hollow Trail stewards, we would kindly ask all user groups to maintain proper trail etiquette while utilizing the trail. Thanks in advance for your cooperation – see you on the trail.”
SWKyMBA’s 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 stay on the trail.
4. When passing a slower trail user while traveling in the same direction, pass on the left and be courteous by letting other trail users know of your whereabouts and intentions.
The Big Hollow Trail builder was Trail Dynamics owned by Ed Sutton http://traildynamics.homestead.com/index.html. Many of you may be familiar with the trails they built around the country including many at Dupont State Forest outside of Brevard, NC http://www.dupontforest.com/mtb.html. Trail Dynamics is a member of the PTBA (Professional Trail Builders Association). Trail work on the Big Hollow Project officially began May 28, 2013.
Not only will SW KyMBA be maintaining the upkeep of the trail but we will be building two back country campsites and trail connectors in 2014.
During the July 22 meeting SW KyMBA formally requested to make the South Loop an Intermediate Skill Level Loop to help offset the North Loop being designated for Beginner Skill Levels. The North/South Loop Connector will transition from Beginner Skill to Intermediate Skill. Trail Dynamics was pleased to hear the news on the South Loop and its Connector and began adding Trail Features right away. On the South Loop there are many “B” Lines that extend off the trail for Intermediate and above skill levels.