Maple Springs and Big Hollow open Saturday December 14

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Date: December 11, 2013
Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., December 11, 2013 – The Maple Springs Trailhead, Maple Springs Loop Road and Big Hollow Trail in Mammoth Cave National Park will open to the public on December 14, 2013.

 “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. “Having these areas closed since spring has been a hardship on park visitors, and we appreciate their patience. There are still a few items to complete, and when those are finished we will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate. 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 8-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.

In accordance with its 2009 trail plan, the park contracted with the Lightsey Corporation to: 
• expand parking at Maple Springs Trailhead from 14 spaces to 35 spaces (15 for trailers, 20 for vehicles, and two will be handicapped accessible);
• construct a multiuse extension of Raymer Hollow Trail to connect the Maple Springs Research Station, Maple Springs Group Campground, Maple Springs Trailhead, and the new Big Hollow Trail;
• construct the new 8-mile, multi-loop Big Hollow Trail for hikers and bikers; and
• eliminate the trailhead and trail access from Good Spring United Baptist Church yard. (Road access to the church and cemetery remains.)

Mammoth Cave National Park now provides more than 90 miles of trails. All trails are open to hikers. Northside trails, with the exception of Big Hollow, are open to horse-use. North of Green River, bicycles are permitted on Big Hollow and White Oak trails; south of the river bicycles are permitted on the Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail, Licklog Road, Crystal Cave Road, Great Onyx Road and Union City Road.  

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


(270) 758-2180

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