The sandstone arch that is called Natural Bridge has stood for millenniums. The arch is 78 feet long, 65 feet high, 12 feet thick and 20 feet wide. There are other natural archways in the area, but none have gained the prominence of Natural Bridge. Since 1889, visitors have made the trip to the eastern Kentucky mountains to see this amazing natural wonder.
Natural Bridge is composed of what is known in geological terms as Pottsville conglomeratic sandstone. Large blocks of stone falling off either side of a narrow sandstone ridge caused the first opening that began the transformation of the sandstone outcropping into an archway. The weathering process, along with the root systems of plants, continued to develop the unique archway that makes up Natural Bridge.
In 1927 Hemlock Lodge was added to the new park, providing comfortable guest accommodations. It burned in the early 1960’s. A new lodge, built in 1962, is located on a dramatic ledge overlooking a deep valley. The park has 2,400 acres and is basically surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. There are over 18 miles of hiking trails to Natural Bridge. The park also includes a four-acre pond with one-acre Hoedown Island in the middle of it. The Island is the scene of folk dancing and is a popular part of the park. Also, 40-acre Mill Creek Lake is an excellent place for fishing for bass, bream, catfish, crappie, and rainbow trout. Or, you can bring your canoe and paddle while witnessing the splendid beauty of the rock formations.
The awe-inspiring beauty of Natural Bridge State Resort Park is an inspiration to those who wish to see one of the great natural wonders of Kentucky. The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission has set aside 1,188 acres within the park as a nature preserve. This not only protects, but also enhances the pristine beauty of this eastern Kentucky marvel.
Mill Creek Lake is a small peaceful lake surrounded by beautiful forest and towering sandstone cliffs. Bass, bluegill, black crappie, longear sunfish, green sunfish, rainbow trout, channel catfish and black bullhead are found here. The lake is also perfect for paddling canoes and kayaks and a launch ramp is available for fishing boats (only electric trolling motors may be operated). A Kentucky Fishing License is required. Don’t have a fishing pole? No problem! Ask at the park about their fishing loaner program where you can check out FREE equipment.
Make the most of your trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky with Natural Bridge cabin rentals or delight in the mountainside beauty of Hemlock Lodge, one of 17 state park lodges in Kentucky. The 35 rooms of Hemlock Lodge have private balconies. Open year-round. Rooms are available by late afternoon. Lodge room check-out by 11:00am, local time. A limited number of lodge rooms will be available for pets. No more than two pets are allowed per room/cottage. Or, enjoy the great outdoors in a park campsite. Two campgrounds, Whittleton Campground and Middle Fork Campground, provide 87 sites with utilities. Tent campsites are also available. Dump stations and two central service buildings with restrooms and showers are furnished for your convenience. Closed Nov 15 – Mar 15.
PARK HOURS & FEES:
Contact Park Office.
PARK CONTACT INFORMATION:
Natural Bridge State Resort Park
2135 Natural Bridge Rd.
Slade, KY 40376
Phone: (606) 663-2214
For more information click HERE.
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