Nestled within The Kentucky Wildlands lies a natural wonder home to one of Mother Nature's most impressive creations: Natural Bridge. The colossal sandstone arch stretches majestically across the densely forested landscape of Natural Bridge State Resort Park. But this park and its namesake rock formation within the Red River Gorge Geological Area offers much more than just a breathtaking bridge. It's an outdoor haven with 10 scenic trails for hiking, biking and birding; a beautiful lake for swimming, fishing and kayaking; and an amenity-rich lodge and campground for visitors to enhance their stay at the park.
Top Activities to Do at Natural Bridge State Park
Hike the scenic trail or ride your way up the Sky Lift, a mile journey through the spectacular mountain scenery. Once at the top, you’re within easy walking distance of the 30-foot-wide molded-by-nature sandstone sidewalk, now known as Natural Bridge. Rising to a height of 65 feet and spanning 78 feet in length, it's a captivating sight that beckons adventurers and nature lovers alike. A right turn from the top platform takes you on a scenic footpath to Lookout Point, an ideal viewing area and the best spot to capture a photo of the nature bridge. The Sky Lift is open daily from the first weekend of April through the last weekend in October.
Visiting Mill Creek Lake
Cool off at Mill Creek Lake, a small, peaceful lake surrounded by forest and towering sandstone cliffs. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season for swimming in the freshwater. It’s also popular for boaters and anglers with abundant fishing here. Ask the park about the fishing loaner program for a free pole if you’re without one. The lake's launch ramp makes it perfect for paddling canoes and kayaks (rentals are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day).
Hike To Henson's Arch
For those craving more hiking adventures, a trek to Henson's Arch rewards hikers with a stunning natural arch that offers a different perspective compared to the iconic Natural Bridge. The trail to Henson's Arch winds through the forest, creating a serene and secluded atmosphere. The arch itself, surrounded by moss-covered rocks and lush greenery, is a perfect spot for photos.
Explore Natural Bridge Cave
Venture beneath the earth's surface and explore the enigmatic world of Natural Bridge Cave. Guided tours of this fascinating underground realm reveal intricate rock formations, underground waterways and a sense of adventure that takes you far from the beaten path. Led by knowledgeable guides, discover the geological wonders that exist below the surface, adding a whole new dimension to your Natural Bridge State Resort Park experience.
Visit The Historic Nature Center
Your visit to Natural Bridge State Park isn't just limited to outdoor adventures; it also extends to a deeper understanding of the region's natural history. The Historic Nature Center is a must-visit destination within the park, where you can delve into the ecological wonders that make this area unique. Enjoy interactive exhibits and informative displays of the park's diverse flora, fauna and the fascinating geological processes that created the nature bridge itself.
More Activities At Natural Bridge State Park
Dine at the Park
Looking for a meal with a view post hike or swim? Natural Bridge State Resort Park’s restaurant offers beautiful scenery while dining. Enjoy local meats and produce, as well as Kentucky wine and spirits in Sandstone Arches Restaurant, as well as Trails End Tavern.
Stay Overnight at the Park
To maximize your visit, reserve a lodge room to stay overnight at The Hemlock Lodge, a cozy mountain retreat of 35 rooms, complete with private balconies overlooking the surrounding woodlands to view the fall foliage or enjoy the Kentucky sunshine. The park also has 11 one-bedroom and two-bedroom private cottages, which are also pet-friendly. Both the Hemlock Lodge and Cottages are open year-round. Prefer to experience the great outdoors in a tent? The park has two campgrounds with both improved and primitive sites and two service buildings with showers and restrooms.
Every Saturday evening, Hoedown Island at Natural Bridge State Park hosts its famous, family-friendly "Natural Bridge Hoedown" with a mixture of Line Dancing, Square dancing and Clogging. Mosey on down from late May to the end of October to get in on the old-fashioned fun with locals and visitors of all ages and experience levels. Admission is $3/person (ages 12 & under are free).