Home » Big Hollow Trail – Mammoth Cave National Park

Big Hollow Trail – Mammoth Cave National Park

 The BIG HOLLOW TRAIL was named IMBA’s Best Gateway Trail of the Year in 2014 at the IMBA World Summit. 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.

In July 2013, Superintendent Craighead signed an agreement with the Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (SW KyMBA) as the legal caretakers of the new 9-mile Big Hollow Trail. So, the first mountain bike optimized built trail in the National Park System and the first Agreement made in the NPS with an MTB user group was achieved.

“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 SW KyMBA 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.”

SW KyMBA’s guidelines for trail 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 and led by Ed Sutton of Brevard, North Carolina. http://traildynamics.homestead.com/index.html. They’ve built trail around the country including Fire Mountain in Cherokee NC and Dupont outside of Brevard, NC http://www.dupontforest.com/mtb.html. Trail work on the Big Hollow Project officially began May 28, 2013 and was completed in early 2014.


During the July 22, 2013 meeting SW KyMBA formally met with Mammoth Cave leadership to create the South Loop as an Intermediate Skill Level Loop with advanced options while the North Loop would remain beginner friendly. Trail Dynamics and SW KyMBA began adding Trail Features and alternate advanced lines. On the South Loop there are many “B” Lines that extend off the trail for Intermediate and above skill levels as well as a South Loop Campsite  & Camp Trails playground built & completed by SW KyMBA in 2017.

Comments are closed.