Tuesday, November 23, 2010

McKay Hollow Trail- Monte Sano State Park

We’ve been trying to cram in as many hikes as we can before the rainy or winter season hits. Today we joined some friends at the picnic/parking area at Monte Sano State Park where the kids were able to burn off some energy playing on the playground equipment…after all,  just because they are teenagers doesn’t mean they are too old to enjoy the swings



or Teeter Totter… right???

006As much as they enjoyed the playground, all good things must come to an end so we drug them away from their fun and hit the trail.

Today we decided to hike a portion of the McKay Hollow Trail since we stumbled upon the trailhead just past the shelter house near the parking area.

This was our first view of the hollow- isn’t it beautiful?

047The trail immediately begins to head downward. In the spring or in the midst of the rainy season, a few minutes on the trail and you’d be rewarded with a stunning waterfall. This was not one of those times, but the view was still spectacular.

058 For a minute, we thought that the trail actually ran behind the falls on the rocky ledge, wouldn’t that be fun? 

053From this point on, you needed to pay close attention to your footing. The trail is narrow, steep and rocky. I was really lamenting the fact that my tennis shoes should have been replaced last year. It’s time for some sturdy hiking boots with thick soles.

051Still, we trudged on. Down. Down. Down. Into the hollow below.

We hadn’t gotten very far when the kids decided they needed to take a break. Of course the fact that over the years, water had eroded the rock to look very similar to a chair wouldn’t have made it a tempting place to rest would it?

066We continued down. Down. Down. Down. Into the hollow. But I guess I already mentioned that, didn’t I? 

We continued to follow the trail.  You do see the trail, don’t you? It’s there…take a close look. 

070I’ve been amazed with each of the past few hikes that we’ve taken. Each one seems to be more scenic then the one before.

McKay Hollow certainly did not disappoint. There were many unique boulders and rock outcroppings along the trail.

073  071  If you looked closely, you’d even see a remaining fall wildflower or two.

076We only had a couple hours to hike today so we weren’t able to complete the hike. Some of the kids made it to the bottom of the hollow though and then we all needed to make our climb back up. Up. Up. Up. 

078This trail never really levels off. When you start to climb, you continue climbing until you reach the top. I am happy to say that my kids and I have noticed that the hikes are getting easier for us. The regular once or twice a week hike is certainly beginning to pay off. Now if only my jeans would fit a bit looser because my butt is certainly getting a workout!

080As much as I’m looking forward to tackling this hike again when we aren’t pressed for time, I don’t think I’ll be joining the runners on the McKay Hollow Madness run anytime soon!  

If you’re in the Huntsville area, this is a great hike. Make sure you have plenty of time, water and have a good, sturdy pair of shoes. A walking stick would also be helpful. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this trail if you are hiking with young children. At points the trail is very narrow with some steep drop offs. Monte Sano State Park does charge a $3 per person day use fee that does not apply to campers  or those with an annual membership.   


  1. That's a beautiful spot for a hike! I'm afraid a hike in our area now, would be more of a survival excercise - so I enjoyed your pictures, all the more :)

  2. What lovely scenery! It looks like it was a great day to get out too. :)

    I thought I'd drop by and let you know I've posted about an outing we did today. It's a Mansion from the 1800s in Victoria, Australia. At the end of our tour, the children both said they'd be very happy living there, lol!!!

  3. Wow! What a great place for a hike! Looks like it was an awesome day. :) Great blog!


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