Visiting Natural Bridge State Resort Park In Kentucky
- Date Visited: September 12, 2022
- Address: 2135 Natural Bridge Rd. Slade, KY 40376
- Phone: 606-663-2214
- Price: Free
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is located near Slade, Kentucky adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area. We have been to the park and geological area multiple times and love it.
The 2,250 acre park and nature preserve was established in 1926 when the Louisville and Nashville Railroad president, Wible L. Mapother, turned over the property to the Kentucky State Park Commission.
Today the park is still run by the Kentucky Department of Parks.
There are around twenty miles of trails you can hike in the park. Most of these trails interweave with each other so you can make the hike as short or long as you want.
Trails include the original trail, balanced rock, battleship rock, rock garden, sand gap, Hood’s branch, Henson’s arch, lake trail, laurel ridge, low gap, and Whittleton.
The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail also passes through the park.
Pets are not allowed on trails.
Off-trail hiking is not permitted in the park so please stay on designated trails.
Trails are also closed at night and hikers must be out by sunset.
The star attraction of the park is the natural bridge. This arch is 65 feet tall and 78 feet long. Trails allow you to hike under the arch as well as walk across it (which freaks the hubby out)!
Other places of interest are Lovers Leap, Fat Man’s Squeeze, and balanced rock.
They say the original trail is the easiest and shortest route you can take to get to the natural bridge. They claim it’s only 1/2 mile, but we clocked it in at almost a mile to reach the top.
And there is a lot of uphill, just saying.
The arch is pretty cool and walking across it is exhilarating and scary all at the same time.
Altogether we ended up walking around three miles before reaching our starting point again. I can’t even remember what trails we ended up taking. We kinda just picked one when we came to an intersection and went.
The lodge does have trail maps and I suggest picking one up before you start your hike.
Speaking of the lodge, this is a resort state park and features a lot of amenities. A 60 acre lake, two campgrounds, lodging, a tavern, a restaurant, a gift shop, mini-golf, and a skylift are available here.
Learn more about these amenities at their official website.
They also have a nice little nature center to explore.
The hikes in the park have you traveling through the forest and passing by several unique sandstone rock formations. It’s a beautiful place to hike with some epic views.
There are a lot of steps throughout the trails though and we gained almost 500 feet of elevation during our hike. A little more physical exertion may be required, but it’s completely worth it.
Did I mention it was free to hike all the trails?
There’s nothing I love more than free!