Natural Bridge State Park: 15 Facts You Should Know!

Natural Bridge State Park is situated in Kentucky is consists of panoramic rock bridges along with ranging hiking and a variety of outdoor sports

  • Natural Bridge State Park is famous for its rock bridge along with the sandstone arch of a 78-foot-long, 65-foot-tall.
  • The park consists of  Cedar Creek Trail, which provides a scenic view to its hikers.
  • Along with trails park is also home to variety of waterfalls and caves to enjoy.

History and Facts

  • The Natural Bridge in Sauk County, Wisconsin, has drawn visitors for thousands of years. The radiocarbon dating and examination of the rock and its strata indicate that people lived there between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago when Wisconsin’s glaciers began to recede.
  •  In 1957, Warren Wittry of the Wisconsin Historical Society excavated the rock shelter and discovered signs of human use over a lengthy period of time. 
  • The Old Settlers’ Association of Sauk County Papers for 1874 contain the oldest allusion to the bridge in European-American history. By the 1920s, the bridge had become a famous picnic spot and tourist attraction.
  • For many years, the Raddatz family owned and cultivated the property that is now the park. The log home was constructed around 1890.


  • Address: 2135 Natural Bridge Rd, Slade, KY 
  • Country: Powell and Wolfe Counties
  • Zip code:  40376

Natural Bridge State Park address – Search (

  • Natural Bridge State Park is situated in Powell County, Kentucky, and is famous for its 78-foot-long natural limestone arch that rises 65 feet above the forest floor.
  • The arch and accompanying cliffs are made of sandstone from the Upper Mississippian era rocky outcrops identified as the Newman Limestone and the overlying Estill Shale.
  • The arch was constructed after thousands of years of granite weathering and deterioration, which was undermined by tectonic activity cracks and joints and then molded by the gusts of the wind, rain, and ice.
  • The topography of the park also includes sinkholes, caverns, and underground streams that really are characteristic of the town’s karst landscape, which is characterized by the disintegration of dissolving rock like limestone and dolomite.

Weather Conditions

  • The climate of Harriman State Park is humid continental, with four unique seasons. Summertime is often humid and hot, while wintertime is frigid with precipitation on occasion.
  • The park sits on a hill and is recognized for its diverse terrain, which can cause large temperature differences inside the park. Higher heights are often colder than lower levels.
  • Throughout the summer, tornadoes are prevalent, and tourists must be prepared for rapid changes in weather, such as torrential rain, lightning, and high winds. Before going to the park, always examine the weather prediction and pack proper attire and supplies for the circumstances.

Wind speed Range (mph): 

Rainfall Range (in):

Snowfall Days:

Flora & Fauna


  • Eastern Hemlock
  • Red Oak
  • White Oak
  • Dogwood
  • Redbud
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Rhododendron
  • Wild Azalea
  • Virginia Bluebell
  • Trillium
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  • Lady Slipper Orchids
  • American Beech
  • Maple


  • Black Bear
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Raccoon
  • Bobcat
  • Gray Fox
  • Coyote
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Barred Owl
  • Wild Turkey
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Black Vulture
  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Northern Water Snake
  • Green Frog
  • Spring Peeper
  • Salamanders (various species)
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass


It provides guests with a range of activities such as hiking, bicycling, angling, swimming, camping, and much more. These are some specific elements that can be done at Harriman State Park:

  • Hiking: Natural Bridge State Park contains ten approved trails with lengths ranging from less than a mile to 7.5 miles. During the trip, junctions are well marked.
  • There are other paths that connect to waterfalls, cliffs, and other attractive areas in the park.
  • Free trail map – print this one
Natural Bridge0.75 milesmoderately uphill 
Lookout PointLess than a mileEasy
Rock Garden Trail1.6 miles  Difficult 
Whittleton Arch2-mileModerate/Challenging
Balanced Rock Trail2 milesmoderate to difficult
  • Monacan Village teaches Native American history: The Monacan Village is situated inside the Natural Bridge State Park and showcases the legacy of the indigenous people who lived in the region over three hundred years ago.
  • The region is a reconstruction of the old Monacan villages, emphasizing their lifestyles and traditional activities.
  • Visitors may examine the materials and techniques used by the Monacans to construct their homes and enterprises.
  • The hamlet is a fantastic method for travelers to learn about the Monacan tribe’s history and traditions.
  • The Skylift system: The Skylift allows everybody to view Natural Bridge without having to climb the steep walk.
  •  From the luxury of the lift, you’ll be able to take in all of the breathtaking sights. 
  • If you want to utilize the Skylift on one side for the difficult stretch and then climb downwards to get out, be advised that the route ends 1.1 kilometers first from Skylift parking lot. 
  • Note – The Skylift is affected by the weather.
  • Campsites: Inside Natural Bridge State Park, two approved campsites are barely 1.2 miles apart; numerous more can be reserved in the wider countryside. 
  • Both campsites allow RV and tent camping, offer showers, and allow pets.

Note: From November 13 to March 14, all official campsites are closed.

  1. Whittleton Campground – Whittleton is the nearest lodging option near the Natural Bridge trailhead and Miguel’s Pizzeria. Pets are welcome on the lovely walk down the rill to Whittleton Arch.
  2. Middle Fork Campground: Located opposite Natural Bridge Road from lovely Mill Creek Lake, Middle Fork Camping is about 5 minutes by vehicle from the Natural Bridge hike. Paddling, canoeing, stick-up paddleboarding, and angling are all enjoyable activities.
  3. Additional campgrounds nearby include Miguel’s Pizzeria, Callies Lake & Campsite, Natural Bridge Campground, Village Campground, and Koomer Ridge Camping.
  • Birding
  • Ideal Months to Observe-  May and June.
  • In late September, the fall migration is also good.
    • Winter bird watching at the park may be enjoyable because many of the leaves have fallen, allowing you to see more owls, kinglets, warblers, wrens, and doves.
  • The Hood’s Branch Trail, Rock Garden Trail, Whittleton Branch Trail, Lakeside Trail, Mill Creek Lake, and Picnic Shelters 3 & 4 are the best places to see birds.
  • Canoeing and paddling:
  • Canoe rentals are offered from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • Kayaking Kayak rentals are offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • Golf in miniature:
  • Adults and children – 18 holes of mini golf located near the skylift parking area at the picnic shelter Mini golf balls and putters are available for rent at the Mini Golf Snack Bar.
  • Golf Cost –  $5.00/ person (adult),
  • Free – children till the age of four (Seasonally open)
  • Bicycle Boating
  • Tourists may explore Mill Creek by renting paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks. Guests who carry their own watercraft can also use the park’s boat ramp..
  • Picnicking:
  • Facilities- 4 picnic shelters with restrooms, tables, grills, and a playground. Shelters can be reserved up to a year in advance.
  • Mountaineering on a Rock: Natural Bridge State Park prohibits mountain climbing.  
  • For climbing, take the 15-minute journey to Red River Gorge Geographical Area, a climber’s paradise and one of the top spots in the US for bouldering.
  • Just along Natural Bridge Road lies the initial commercial via ferrata (climbing assisted by metal rungs and ropes, reminiscent of the Alps).
  •  Southeast Mountain Guides (formerly Torrent Falls) offers a difficult via ferrata course that makes climbing approachable to anyone.
  •  Please make your tickets prior to you’re arrival at the facility.
  • Fishing Together with the Red River, Mill Creek Lake:
  • Offers fishing options in Natural Bridge State Park. Bass, crappie, rainbow trout, and common carp may be found in the lake. There are canoe rentals available. 
  • Note:  A valid Kentucky fishing license is required 
  • Link to buy one-day permits – Service unavailable (
  • You could potentially be capable of borrowing a pole and tackle for free from the office!
  • Swimming – The pool complex is hidden behind Hemlock Lodge, between both the lake and the cliff. 
  • The building contains a large stone sauna and a zero-depth (no stairs required) pool with 80,000 gallons of water. 
  • The pool area has directed water jets and ground bubblers in a “river” motif. A new walled dipping pool with floor bubbling and a fountain is located next to the main pool.


Natural Bridge State Park is located in Kentucky and provides tourists with a variety of culinary alternatives. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Hemlock Lodge Dining Room: Open for breakfast, lunch, and supper, this restaurant serves a range of foods such as soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Vegetarian alternatives are also available at the restaurant.
  • Food Stall at the Gift Shop: The gift shop has a food snack stall that offers munchies, hot dogs, chips, ice cream, and other refreshments.
  • Hoedown Island is a seasonal outdoor restaurant that serves BBQ and another Southern-style fare.
  • Picnic sites: Around the park, there are various picnic spots where guests may take their favorite food and relax.
  • Based on ratings and closeness below mentioned is the list of some recommendations-
  1. Miguel’s Pizza & Rock Climbing

#1 of 6 Restaurants in Slade

1890 Natural Bridge Rd

0.4 miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park

  1. Sandstone Arches Restaurant

#4 of 6 Restaurants in Slade

2135 Natural Bridge Rd

0.3 miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park

  1. La Cabana Mexican Restaurant

#3 of 6 Restaurants in Slade

1289 Natural Bridge Road

0.8 miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park

  1. Daniel Boone Coffee Shop

#2 of 6 Restaurants in Slade

 769 Natural Bridge Road

1.3 miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park

  1. Red River Rockhouse

#1 of 6 Restaurants in Campton

4000 KY Rte. 11

3.1 miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park


Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky provides tourists with a range of accommodation alternatives, including-

  • Natural Bridge State Resort Park Lodge: There are 35 rooms in this lodge, as well as a restaurant, a gift store, and a lounge with a fireplace. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a gym facility.
  • Woodland Cottages: Located in a forested region, these charming cottages have 2 rooms, a family room, a kitchenette, and an enclosed patio.
  • Hemlock Lodge: This rustic lodge has 36 rooms as well as a restaurant, gift store, and lounge. There is also a swimming event and a picnic area.
  • Camper Cabins: Located in the campsite, these cabins provide an excursion with the comfort of a roof over your head. They have power, heating, and air conditioning.
  • Campsites: Natural Bridge State Park contains various tent, RV, and caravan campsites. Several of them have electricity and running water.
  • Fess- 

                                     Virginia Residents – $70

                                     Non-Virginia Residents – $82

  • Concerning closeness as well as ratings below listed are a few of the best recommendations –
  1.  The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA

231 River St, North Adams, MA 01247-3201

1.2 miles from Natural Bridge State Park

#1 Best Value of 942 places to stay in North Adams

  1.  Williamstown Motel

295 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267-2610

4.8 miles from Natural Bridge State Park

#2 Best Value of 942 places to stay in North Adams


555 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267-2612

5.1 miles from Natural Bridge State Park

#3 Best Value of 942 places to stay in North Adams


Park provides a variety of amenities to its guests, including

  • The Natural Bridge: it is a 78-foot-long and 65-foot-tall sandstone make bridge in an arch shape.
  • Hiking Trails: Park consists of 25 miles which offers scenic views to its hikers.
  • Picnic Areas: Around the park, there are various picnic spots, some of which include grills and tables.
  • The park’s gift store 
  • The park’s lodge contains 35 accommodations, a café, and a gift store.
  • Campground: The park features an 82-site campground with tent, RV, and cabin sites.
  • During the summer months, there is a swimming pool accessible for tourists to use.
  • Playground: A playground is available for youngsters near the picnic places.
  • Interpretive Programs: During the year, the park offers informative programs, guided hikes, and nature programs.
  • Fishing: With the right permissions, visitors may fish in a local lake or stream.

Best Time to Visit

  • Natural Bridge State Park’s optimum time to visit is determined by your interests and activities. The foliage transforms into bright hues throughout the fall season, while the park’s swimming pool is available during the summer months. Spring is an excellent time to come since the flowers and trees begin to blossom and the temperature is pleasant. Winter is the least popular season, but it may still be a fun time for individuals who like winter activities.
JanuaryFewer crowds, peaceful atmosphereCold temperatures, some facilities closed
FebruaryFewer crowds, peaceful atmosphereCold temperatures, some facilities closed
MarchMild temperatures, wildflowers in bloomSome facilities closed
AprilWildflowers in full bloom, pleasant weatherModerate crowds, higher lodging prices
MayWildflowers in bloom, comfortable temperaturesCrowds and higher lodging prices increasing, potential for rain
JuneWarm temperatures, longer daysCrowds and higher lodging prices increasing, potential for rain
JulyWarm temperatures, longer daysCrowds and higher lodging prices increasing, potential for rain
AugustWarm temperatures, longer daysCrowds and higher lodging prices increasing, potential for rain
SeptemberMild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowdsCrowds and higher lodging prices decreasing, some facilities closing
OctoberMild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowdsCrowds and higher lodging prices decreasing, some facilities closing
NovemberFewer crowds, peaceful atmosphereCold temperatures, some facilities closed
DecemberFewer crowds, peaceful atmosphere, holiday festivitiesCold temperatures, some facilities closed


There are several chances for traveling and outdoor enjoyment in the Park. Some of these are listed here:

  • The Virginia Horse Center:
  • It is an equestrian hub in Virginia, with 600+ acres of scenic grounds, a 4,000-seat coliseum, eight stables for 1,200 horses, 19 show arenas, cross-country and combination carriage driving courses, campers, and complete catering and café facilities.
  •  It also sponsors a variety of non-equestrian activities, including dog shows, BMX, agricultural programs, and the Rockbridge Regional Fair & Farm Show. 
  • Every weekend brings a new set of chances for both contestants and onlookers.
  • The Caverns at Natural Bridge:
  • Natural Bridge Caverns were founded in the early twentieth century and accessible to the public in 1977. 
  • Guests may explore the numerous features produced over thousands of years, such as the Colossal Dome chamber, Mirror Lake, Well Room, and Canyon Room.
  • Drama of Creation:
  • Fee: $3.00/ person. (Children under 5 no charges).
  • Two Bridges: One by Day and One by Night is an inspiring presentation that mixes color and lighting effects with high-resolution music. Mountainsides create a large stage during the night spectacle, as sceneries flow in sync with the atmosphere of gripping music.
  • Natural Bridge Zoo:

 The Natural Bridge Zoo has a wildlife reserve, tours with intimate interactions, and lemur feeding.

  • Dinosaur Kingdom:
  • Timing – 10 am-6 pm
  • The attraction has eccentric wooden reproductions of several dinosaurs that transport visitors to Jurassic Park.
  • Several panels with photographs and graphics depict dinosaur life millions of years ago.
  • It’s a lovely little halt from across Natural Bridge Zoo that’s perfect for family photography.


  • Fee– $9
  • Park Hours:  9 a.m. to Noon 
  • Visit: Fees, Rates and Seasons (
  • Further click on the “Reserve a Camping” button.
  • Fill in the appropriate details of name, date, and reservation
  • Reserve the campsite required and click “Add to Cart.”
  • cross -Check the entries filled and click “Proceed to Checkout.”
  • click “Submit” after entering all the personal info.
  • Enter payment details.

Rules for Pets

  • Pets are permitted in approved in some specific areas of the park.

Specific Rule or Restriction

  • Contribute to the preservation of your park by not cutting or scarring plants or trees, collecting any animal or plant, taking photos and leaving footprints, and not feeding wild animals.
  • Wastewater, litter, and rubbish are unsightly, attract animals, and pose a threat to the environment, so it is important to use garbage cans and pack all rubbish out of parks. The release of balloons is prohibited, and portable showers must drain to wastewater storage tanks.
  • Special Use Permits for Events are required to host any type of individual, family, or not-for-profit event in our parks. Commercial activities such as photography, equipment rentals, food trucks, classes, guided hikes, or any other enterprise or business activity are also required. Fees vary depending on the event details. Contact the park directly to obtain the necessary application.
  • According to 4VAC5-30-400, drones and other aircraft are not permitted to fly in state parks.
  • Camping and fires: Guests must get a camping permit and observe all campfire and grilling laws. During dry or high fire danger seasons, open fires may be prohibited.
  • Fishing and boating: To fish or boat in state park waters, visitors must get the appropriate licenses and observe the restrictions.
  • Hiking and bike routes are established in state parks for the protection of visitors and the protection of fragile areas. Visitors should stick to the approved trails and avoid forging new ones.
  • Utilize designated recreational areas: Tourists should use approved recreational sites for activities such as picnics, swimming, and playing games.
  • A Research and Collection Permit is required for research and collection on state park grounds, however, some parks limit these activities to safeguard sensitive resources.

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