Well's Hollow Trail
ElevationAscent: 195' 60 m
Descent: -147' -45 m
High: 909' 277 m
Low: 729' 222 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
Effigy Mounds North Unit - Hanging Rock
6.5 mi 10.5 km • Out and Back • 890 ft Ascent 271.14 m Ascent
Doubletrack McGregor, IA( 6 )
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“A short but challenging jaunt through the woods at Bloody Run County Park.”— Kenny Slocum
Starting from the large campground, a narrow but well-signed trail meanders past large dolomite boulders before taking a sharp zig zag up to a shelf below the bluff. From here the route follows a small cliff band for a few tenths of mile before tracing above a gully to reach the first oak savanna. Take a second to look around; some TSI work has made this a truly special little habitat.
From here the trail passes briefly through a White Pine plantation, around the head of the gully, and out onto another savanna. In high summer, this view is occluded by the canopy, but in the spring and fall with less coverage the view is stellar. This is also a great spot for wildflowers, with a great variety of flowers and grasses thriving under the shade of mighty oak trees.
From the top of this second bluff, the trail drops in and out of a ravine - Well's Hollow itself - at less of a grade than the initial climb. This is a splendid place in the early part of the year to find Spring Ephemerals such as Dutchman's Breeches, Bloodroot, and Hepatica. After summer rains, Indian Pipe can be surprisingly abundant on this stretch.
Climbing out of Well's Hollow, the trail passes through the third and final savanna. Some well-placed decay has opened up a fantastic view of the Bloody Run Valley below, with little to no signs of civilization when the leaves have obscured the quaint little home just outside the campground.
Finally, coming off the top of the bluff, the trail drops into the back of the camping area. Either take the road just a short ways back to find your car, or turn around and hike it backwards!
This primitive forest is spectacular in wildflower season, passing through multiple different ecosystems in just a short stretch.