Buffalo Creek - Collie Ridge - Mill Branch Trails
ElevationAscent: 752' 229 m
Descent: -742' -226 m
High: 892' 272 m
Low: 568' 173 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
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“A loop through the heart of Mammoth Cave's karst country.”— Clinton Lewis
Beginning with old fire roads and transitioning to singletrack, the routes are well marked and frequented by hikers and horses. Due to the traffic, several sections have been eroded due to use and can be tricky to navigate. Good mix of sustained hills and fun downhill sections.
This is a great spot to take in a gel or snack, since there is a trashcan available. Head to the right, moving uphill on the doubletrack Collie Ridge Trail for about 2 miles. At mile 6.1, look for the Mill Branch Trail intersection on your right.
Mill Branch is a less-frequently used trail, but it is great for hiking. Trending mostly downhill, there is a moderately technical descent around mile 7 that immediately goes into a creek crossing and rocky climb. Close to the 8-mile mark, you'll follow a creek on your right and begin the long, slow climb out of the hollow. Note that some of the blazes still have the initials of the old trail name (Raymer Hollow Trail), but they will not lead you astray. At the end of the climb, the trail direction has been modified, so follow the signs to the left to meet Maple Springs Loop Road.
From here you can walk the road back to the parking lot (.8 mile, big hill), or continue straight to stay on the mile-long Maple Springs Trail of gently rolling hills back.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background
Land Manager: NPS - Mammoth Cave Office