Mammoth Cave National Park: Turnhole Bend Trail

Hike above the world's largest cave network on this 6.6-mile out-and-back that passes secluded bluffs with exceptional views of Kentucky's last remaining old-growth stands.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.5



Location: 37.207047, -86.13813

Start on unmarked access trail across from privies; don’t start on Sal Hollow Trail


Location: 37.205482, -86.140633

Pass official trailhead for Buffalo Trail; hike around closed gate


Location: 37.198246, -86.15612

L @ well-marked 4-way onto Turnhole Bend Trail; forest opens


Location: 37.189442, -86.156227

Straight @ 4-way under sun-speckled canopy; good resting spot to E on comfortable grassy knoll


Location: 37.184933, -86.155853

Dodge mudholes, many of which are inhabited by tiny, brown spotted tree frogs, some smaller than a fingertip


Location: 37.17865, -86.156807

Pull out your binocs and search for wildlife: ermine, turkey, deer, fox, woodpeckers, and various other birds


Location: 37.176022, -86.155083

Option: Head off trail to E; scenic cliffside overlook of emerald hardwoods sloping toward the Green River valley; good rappelling spot


Location: 37.172725, -86.154866

Bear R @Y; hike down to bank of Green River on unmarked trail; enjoy a picnic, fishing, or looking for sand mussels in the afternoon sun (don’t touch or disturb them; many species are endangered); retrace route to car Option: L@Y to Turnhole Bend campsite for an overnight

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