Turnhole Bend Trail

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky 42259

Elevation Gain385ft
Trailhead Elevation683ft
Elevation Min/Max584/687ft
Elevation Start/End683/683ft

Turnhole Bend Trail

Turnhole Bend Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Edmonson County, Kentucky. It is within Mammoth Cave National Park. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 683 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 385 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Along the trail there are viewpoints. This trail connects with the following: Buffalo Trail.

Turnhole Bend Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

A Falcon Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park (Falcon Guides)
Jonny Molloy
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"This north–south path runs from the Good Spring Loop Trail southward, roughly tracing an old road to meet the Buffalo Trail. From there it follows a regraded old roadbed, making for easy walking. The trail’s highlights include Old homesites, and the Turnhole Bend backcountry campsite. The condition of the trail is mostly good and it sees moderate to heavy traffic. Located off the main circuit, this path deserves more attention. It offers a short loop walk and is an excellent leg stretcher, with a few hills but nothing too strenuous. Along the way it passes large sinks and a vista. Leave the parking area and climb a few stairs to reach the loop portion of the path. Turn right and ascend a south-facing slope in oak-dominated woodland. Level off and bridge an old roadbed that now acts as a creekbed. Soon you reach a contemplation bench; the Green River Valley lies across the way. Descend into a moister environment where tulip trees grow. A wooded sink is on your right. However, a more impressive rock-rimmed sink is to your left. A short path leads to this sink. The valley opens before you, and the trail reaches an observation deck." Read more

Turnhole Bend Trail Reviews

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Easy trail from the Maple Springs Trailhead, start on Buffalo Trail for 1.1 miles to the Turnhole Bend trailhead. The hike from the Maple Springs parking lot to the campsite is 3.1 miles. The campsite is dry but there is a Social Trail down to Green River, approximately 100-150 yards down the ridge. An easy hike for beginners who wish to do a 6ish mile hike.
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If you are a serious backpacker, or a hiker that desires something more than a walk down a woodsy roadbed, there are other better trails in Mammoth Cave National Park to choose from. Great for kids and day hikers, the Turnhole Bend Trail is reasonably level and accessed by any number of connecting trails, most starting from the Maple Springs Trailhead. I recommend using the Sal Hollow Trail to reach the Turnhole Bend Trail. It's a bike/hiker trail that has none of the equestrian erosion and trail damage found nearly everywhere else in the park. Three miles in length, the trail terminates at the Turnhole Bend Campsite. For overnighters, the campsite is on high ground, wooded, dirt surfaced and fairly flat with a fire ring. There is no water source near this campsite, so tank up before you arrive. You might be tempted to seek water from the Green River, but I don't recommend it. I don't know of an easy way to reach it. Bushwacking proved futile.

Turnhole Bend Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mammoth Cave National Park
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Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
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Activity Feed

Dec 2018