Natural Bridge State Park is a 2,200 acre forested park and nature preserve with 22 miles of trails, a 60 acre lake, two campgrounds, lodging, and dining facilities. It is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest and adjacent to the Red River Gorge National Geologic Area. As it's namesake indicates the natural bridge arch is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft (24 m) and is 65 ft (20 m) high. The Natural Bridge was primarily formed from a combination of groundwater seepage, expansion of cracks due to freezing water, erosion, and the movement of large blocks of stone due to gravity. Earthquakes may have opened the large fractures visible in the cliff. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that a stream ever ran through the arch. Freezing, thawing, wind, rain, and earthquakes will continue to shape and erode the arch until it is gone, while in other places new arches will begin to form. Daniel Boone first passed through this area in 1767, and settlement began shortly thereafter. Saltpeter, used in the manufacture of gunpowder, was mined extensively here for use in the War of 1812. A large portion of Powell and Wolfe Counties was purchased by timber and railroad companies in the late 1800s. The Lexington and Eastern Railroad opened Natural Bridge as a public park in 1895 and it became one of Kentucky's first state parks in 1926. It became one of Kentucky's original four state parks when that system was established in 1925. There are over 20 miles of trails over uneven terrain from moderate to strenuous difficulty. The most popular hiking trail east of the Mississippi is the 0.75 trip on The Original Trail.
Campground on site
Group Meeting Rm.
KY Handcrafters Shop
Lake Acres: 60
Marina on site
Number of Cottages/Condos: 11
Number of Units: 35
Park Acres: 2,200
Pool - Memorial Day to Labor Day $4 Adults, $3 Children.
Trails (Miles): 22
Wi-Fi (wireless internet)
TRAILS are open all year-round from dawn to dusk. Pets are not permitted on State Park trails.
HEMLOCK LODGE is open all year-round, 24 hours a day (with the exception of several days around the Christmas Holidays). There are35 rooms with a few pet friendly rooms. The lodge also includes the Sandstone Arch Restaurant which is open all year round. Breakfast 7am – 10am / Lunch 11am – 3pm / Dinner 4pm – 8pm. Be sure to visit the Hemlock Lodge Gift Shop. Browse though local artisan crafts, books written by Kentucky authors and other souvenir items.
For safety and preservation, the following acts are prohibited in Natural Bridge State Park: Carving or damaging rock formations & trees. Disturbing, capturing or killing any animal. Picking flowers or removing any plant material. Collecting specimens, including those for research purposes. Building fires or backcountry camping. Rock climbing and rappelling. Riding mountain bikes, ORVs or horses. Use of alcoholic beverages. Hiking with pets. Off-trail hiking. Hiking at night.