Natural Bridge Trail

EASY 13 reviews

Natural Bridge Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ozark, Illinois that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
170 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, "this natural bridge is the largest in Illinois, being about 150 feet long, 30 feet wide, and about 60 feet high." "The natural bridge and Devil’s Backbone, a series of huge boulders in a clear pool, are the most recognizable features of Bell Smith Springs. There are more than 700 species of flowering plants, ferns, and lichens found at Bell Smith Springs— which represents 20% of the total number of plants and lichens known in Illinois. With the combination of unique plant life and geologic features, Bell Smith Springs has been designated a National Natural Landmark Trail System. Bell Smith Springs is an outstanding location for wildlife viewing. White‑tailed deer are abundant. In addition, birders come to the area to find tanagers, pileated woodpeckers, eastern phoebes, sparrows, and several species of vireos." -ISGS

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful valley, rock formations, Nice natural bridge. Easy hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful area. The trail was fairly easy and dog friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Combined this with white trail and sentry bluff. Beautiful rock formations and a river crossing. The river is currently practically dry, so don’t worry about wet feet. Probably more beautiful in wet season when the river is full.

hiking
7 months ago

I rate this trail a 3, mainly because the park is so littered. The up keep of the park is terrible. I tried to take some of the trash out but really it didn’t put a dent in it. However The natural bridge is an awesome geological site reminds me of the one in Kentucky just not as big or isolated. The trail was easy, as long as the water isn’t up which can block you from getting to it.

hiking
Monday, October 16, 2017

Trail features the largest natural bridge in the Shawnee and a cool barren area. The ladder is probably the most efficient way to reach the top of the bridge.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago