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Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock Trail

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Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Slade, Kentucky that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from January until November.

Length 4.5 mi Elevation gain 1,250 ft Route type Loop
Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife No dogs
Description
Waypoints (1)

This trail was built in the 1880s by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. It is the most popular trail for hiking to the Natural Bridge. Beginning near the gift shop, the trail gently climbs .25 mile to the trailhead behind Hemlock Lodge. From here, you will see the steepest part of the trail before you, but at the top of the limestone steps it levels off. There are five trail shelters along this trail, three of which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The trail climbs over 400-feet through an impressive forest of hemlock, tulip tree, white pine, and thickets of rhododendron. It ends beneath the span of the Natural Bridge. Access to the top of the bridge is through a natural fracture on the other side of the arch. Elevation change of 420 feet.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (415)
Photos (1227)
Recordings (251)
Completed (1378)
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Vivienne Woo
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Hiking

Well maintained but very crowded on Saturday afternoon, people waiting in line to see the natural bridge. Side trails were more enjoyable!

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Katie Statzer
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HikingGreat!

We went up the natural bridge rock trail and went down the battleship trail. The battleship trail was a bit slippery due to the leaves and pretty steep if you were going up it but it was a lot of fun! There were so many beautiful sites, including the bridge. This was a really good hike!

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shane Jannings
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Hiking
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Gabriel Miller
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Hiking
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Garrik Slawski
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HikingGreat!

Lots of people up top, even for a Monday. The rocks and trails were super cool overall. not many people on Rock Garden Trail though

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Mary Roark
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Hiking

lots of stairs!!! side trails were the best! I didn't die.

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Patti Sawyer
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Cailee Mueller
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Hiking

The trail starts with incline and its def worth it! Plenty of places ro rest on the way up. We took the skylift just for fun when we got to the top and the views down were I will def be back to explore some more!

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Cara Kimmerly
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Hiking

Good trail. Stairs and more stairs.

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Jacob Campione
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Hiking
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Sri C
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Hiking

Amazing

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Steve Harrington
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Hiking
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Allison Doty
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Hiking

Easy hiking down

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Jodi La Force
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HikingGreat!

Loved this! Well marked and easy enough for my five year old. Lots of stairs so be prepared. The views and experience are worth it!

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Joe Sexton
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Hiking

It was a good trail for s tourist destination. Nice weather. Good workout. Stairs coming down past balanced rock were hard on the knees.

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Carol Sexton
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Hiking

Way to many stairs !!! I mean a lot of stairs!! Beautiful views

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swapnil kand
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Hiking
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Autumn Real
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Hiking

Amazing! Lots of stairs. Narrow in places. But GORGEOUS!!

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Kayla Bledsoe
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Hiking

i didnt register the beginning part, but i started at lakeside trail (.25miles), that lead to original bridge tráil, when it got to a split to continue or go to battleship trail, i went battleship, then again that splits up and you can take devils gulch or go back on original bridge, i took devils gulch, and then from there it continues to original bridge until youre back down where you started. 100% recommend doing it this way!! my register starts at devils gulch, so the last half of my trip

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Virginia Terry-Lane
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Hiking

its one of our favorites to hike.

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Kristin Weust
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Kimberly Elkins
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HikingBugs

Steep inclines for us flatlanders but a beautiful view at the top. Had to take a lot of breaks but we enjoyed the view. Very busy. Also took the skylift up later and that view was better in our opinion and the ride was relaxing and fun but no exercise.

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Desirae Holdt
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Hiking

Beautiful views!!! Did a sunrise hike (6am). Minimal bugs, no ticks seen. Trails well maintained with easy footing (sand/dirt). Trails fairly well marked, could of had more info on them, like mileage and if it was a loop or not. Bridge was stunning! Amazing views at the top! Did have to do some of the smaller trails (lovers leap, battleship) to make it a 3+ mile hike. Only .8 miles to the top of the bridge. Easy parking access. Would say easy/moderate hike level. Overall great hike!

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Joshua Rawdin
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Hiking

Trail is marked almost all the way. Incline no climbing or scaling of rocks required.

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Michael Cummings
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HikingGreat!
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Cameron Crago
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Hiking

No dogs allowed :(

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ava lawrey
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Hiking

Took just under two hours to hike this whole loop! The way up was difficult due to it being direct incline but the view was definitely worth it. There’s also multiple other trails that connect to the Original Natural Bridge trail.

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Shana Bakhshi
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Hiking

The hike up to Natural Bridge is a moderate hike due to the steep terrain but once you are at the top it’s pretty easy. The Devil’s Gulch has really neat rock formations and would recommend taking that down from Lover’s Leap.

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Hala Ennakoa
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Hiking

So. Many. Stairs. Be prepared for that. It’s a beautiful hike though!

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Carmen Boley
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HikingBridge outBugsMuddy
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