Natural Bridge State Park Travel Guide

  • Kentucky's Natural Bridge
    Kentucky's Natural Bridge
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery Cave Run
    Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery Cave Run
    by rw-bigfoot
  • Paddle Boats on Hoedown Island Lake
    Paddle Boats on Hoedown Island Lake
    by Stephen-KarenConn

Natural Bridge State Park Things to Do

  • NOT MUCH

    YOU CAN HIKE TO THE BRIDGE OR TAKE THE SKY LIFT, NEXT YOU CAN WATCH YOUR KIDS PLAY IN THE CREEK OR GO SWIMMING IN THE POOL. Friday and Saturday they have entertainment at Hoedown island and THATS ITNice place just to sit and relax thoughPets are not allowed anywhere except in campground

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  • Nice quick hike

    We took the sky lift up to the bridge last may (2004) very nice scenery. Bridge view is beautiful on top, no rails though , so becareful not to fall off. Cliffs are eevrywhere in the area, be careful, especially at night! Don't mix hiking in the dark with alcohol, people die every year here from this.

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  • Natural Bridge

    The centerpiece of Natural Bridge State Resort Park is Natural Bridge. The impressive sandstone arch stands like a sentinel over this mountain hideaway, Soaring 65-feet high, 78 feet in length and 40-feet thick. You can walk across the bridge along it's 30-foot-wide level top. The only way one can reach the arch, or even see it, is on foot....

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Natural Bridge State Park Restaurants

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    Hemlock Lodge Dining Room

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 4, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some of the best food at the best prices you will find anywhere are in the Hemlock Lodge Dining Room at Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The offerings on the menu are varied and very reasonable. However, we find their evening buffet to be the best bargain of all. Get a seat by one of the spacious windows and you will enjoy a feast for your eyes as well as your belly.

    Favorite Dish: We recently experienced the Friday evening buffet at the Hemlock Lodge Dining Room and don't see how we could have enjoyed ourselves more. We had a choice of five meats: fried chicken, froglegs, catfish, baked spaghetti, and salmon patties. There were also ample fresh salad and vegetable selections. For desert I tried both the banana pudding and the blackberry cobbler, with ice cream on top. All of this was washed down by several refills of iced tea. Everything was absolutely delicious, and the price was only $11.95 each. No wonder this place is a favorite with locals as well as visitors.

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    • Food and Dining
    • National/State Park

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Natural Bridge State Park Nightlife

  • The best memories

    Going to natural bridge and being apart of the hoedowns is my best childhood memorie We spent a few summers in natural bridge so 35 years ago I hold those memories so deep in my heart These where the best times of my life

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  • Saturday Night Square Dances

    Every Saturday night an old fashioned square dance is held at the beautiful and spacious outdoor patio on Hoedown Island, down the hill from Hemlock Lodge. Mosey on down for a knee-slappin', toe-tappin', and swinging' your partner good time. You don't even have to know how to dance to have a barrel of fun. You will also enjoy an exhibition of...

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Natural Bridge State Park Transportation

  • Natural Bridge Sky Lift

    I DO NOT RECOMMEND THE SKY LIFT. What could have been a great time at a beautiful place became a horrible experience for myself and my family. We purchased tickets at the Natural Bridge Sky Lift ($9.00 each) and were told we had 10 minutes to stay at the top. Little did we know it was a 5 minute hike just to get to the bridge. As soon as we got...

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  • Natural Bridge Sky Lift

    During our October weekend at Natural Bridge State Resort Park we made two trips to the top of the Natural Bridge - one on foot and the other via the 1/2-mile-long Sky Lift. This is a relaxing and enjoyable ride, far more scenic than your typical ski lift due to the many rock cliffs and formations you will glide above. The ascent begins one-half...

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Natural Bridge State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • High Cliffs Can Be Dangerous

    In a typical year about 40 people fall from cliffs in this area; two die from their injuries and some others are permanently disabled. It often takes several hours to rescue and transport the injured to a hospital. Most victims are young adults who wrecklessly venture too close to the cliff edge. It's frightening to think that approximately one in...

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  • don't Fall off the cliffs

    There is no railings on the Natural bridge or lookout point, They say about 40 people a year fall and at least 2 die each year. Most of the hiking paths have railings and are safe, so just stay on the trails and you will be fine

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Natural Bridge State Park Off The Beaten Path

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    A View in the Red River Gorge

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 19, 2004

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    About two miles from Natural Bridge State Resort Park is the entrance to Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This is an amazing geological area of high cliffs, stone arches, fantastic rock formations and other natural wonders. It is a magnet for rock climbers, kayakers, hikers and sightseers. For more information on this area see our pages on the Red River Gorge under Slade, Kentucky.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Kayaking

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Natural Bridge State Park Sports & Outdoors

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    Karen on the Original Trail

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 18, 2004

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    Eleven marked trail of various lengths are in Natural Bridge State Park. They are:

    The Original Trail - .75 mile
    Balanced Rock Trail - .75 mile
    Battleship Rock Trail - .75 mile
    Rock Garden Trail - 1.75 miles
    Sand Gap Trail - 7.5 miles
    Hood's Branch Trail - 3.75 miles
    Henson's Arch Trail - .3 mile
    Lakeside Trail - .25 mile
    Laurel Ridge Trail - .75 mile
    Low Gap Trail - .5 mile
    Whittleton Trail - 2 miles

    All of the trails involve a considerable amount of climbing, so are best enjoyed by those who are fit. Mile markers along the trails show the distance to Natural Bridge. Hikers must stay on designated trails. Off-trail hiking is not permitted and would be very dangerous because of the many high cliffs.

    Equipment: A good pair of hiking boots, or at least comfortable non-slip shoes.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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Natural Bridge State Park Favorites

  • The Cave

    Just below Balanced Rock hikers will see this the entrance to this interesting feature known simply as "The Cave." When Karen and I were here we encountered a troup of boy scouts emerging, flashlights in hand. They had followed The Cave all the way through from the other end where it intersects with the Original Trail.I ventured into The Cave for...

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  • Balanced Rock

    This extraordinary rock formation sits along the side of the .75-mile Balanced Rock Trail. This is the steepest trail in the Park, beginning behind the Hemlock Lodge and leading up to Natural Bridge. From the trailhead hikers are immediately faced with a steep series of limestone steps, past a cave, and on up a series of switchbacks to the Balanced...

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  • Fun for the Entire Family

    Natural Bridge State Resort Park offers numerous ammenities which should be of special interest to families with children. These include self-propelled personal watercraft on Hoedown Island Lake (pictured). Tucked between the lake and the massive cliff beneath Hemlock Lodge, is a swimming pool designed with a meandering river theme. There is also a...

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