Mckay Hollow Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Plenty of people love to tackle the McKay Hollow Trail despite its difficulty. The trail drops steeply down the western ridge of Monte Sano Mountain, with great views of Blue Spring Falls, and heads down through imposing cliffs and boulders. O’Shaughnessy Point comes into view as the trail goes down and then up the hollow. The route also follows Blue Spring Creek along the bottom of the hollow. Trail Surface: Rock-covered trail on the sides of the hollow; dirt path along the creek."
--Joe Cuhaj, Hiking Alabama (Falcon Guides).
Great trail over all. Be prepared for a pretty difficult beginning and ending. The middle is nice and smooth which allows you to regroup to prepare for a tough hike out of the trail. Make sure you allow time for about 15 mins at the beginning of the trip to play around in the waterfall. Its a trickle, but beautiful none the less. Bring some sandwiches and stop at some benches around mile 2 for a nice lunch. Definately take the North Plateau / Fire Tower to make this a loop instead of an in and out. You will save about 1.5 miles and you can still go back to the water fall because it is right by the parking lot. We did see a snake so keep a look out around spring. You should also see LOTS of chipmunks scurrying around. Overall this is a great day hike. See pics
This is my first hike from Trails.com. I’ve enjoyed Camelback in Phoenix, but admittedly, I am new to hiking and I found McKay Hollow disappointing. I followed the directions (the trail starts at the SW corner of the parking lot, not the SE) and got lost trying to follow the yellow trail back. I ended up a quarter of a mile away at the top of the mountain in someone’s backyard. Pay close attention if you try and retrace your steps. The yellow trail does not return you to the parking lot.
This is my favorite hiking trail at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, AL. It is a little difficult because of the hike down into McKay Hollow and then back up the mountain to O'Shaughnessy Point. Start this hike at the picnic area in the state park and enjoy the nice waterfall. Keep a close eye on the trail because it may be difficult to follow down the rocky slope of the mountain. Once in the hollow the elevation change is evident by the diverse plant life. In the summer months the hollow can be humid and hot so take along some water to drink. The hike in the hollow follows a creek for a while and then leads to switchbacks that lead up the mountain to the turnaround point. There are a few benches along the way to rest on if you get tired. There is a hiker shelter at the turnaround point if needed. Make sure you visit the Ranger Station at the state park and buy a map of the hiking trails - it's a great map and worth the $1.
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