Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(371)
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 (371)
Photos (892)
Recordings (201)
Completed (1248)
Michael Cummings
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Michael's Recording
Cameron Crago
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

No dogs allowed :(

ava lawrey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
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.

View ava's Recording
Shana Bakhshi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
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.

View Shana's Recording
Hala Ennakoa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

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

Carmen Boley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingBridge outBugsMuddy
Craig Blair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
RunningMuddy

This is a great section of the RRG of you want to avoid too much elevation gain (except for the climb to Natural Bridge). Ran mostly along the stream and took the spur trail to Whittleton Arch (the waterfall was just a trickle today). Amazing views from Natural Bridge.

View Craig's Recording
Brooks Gholz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 19, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grownRocky
View Brooks's Recording
George Ghizas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2020
Hiking

This is a trail that leads up ( and I mean up) to the natural bridge. At which point you can take other trails that go to interesting spots. We went to devils staircase ( crazy steep) and came up needles eye staircase ( equally steep ), and battleship lookout and lovers leap. All spectacular. Just be warned, lots of up the stairs and down the stairs. :))

View George's Recording
Alan Schirtzinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

4.7 miles. Beautiful! The scenery here is magnificent! If descending Devil's Gulch, go down backwards for the first 2 sets of stairs.:)

View Alan's Recording
Jake Calhoun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 5, 2020
Over grown

Good trail, battleship was just a little overgrown in parts

Mike Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2020
Hiking

I started my hike around 9 am and there still weren't many other hikers out yet which was nice. It made for a peaceful walk where I could stop for a sip of water and take in all the views. It was still cool out which was was perfect for the beginning of my hike. I walked it clockwise and the beginning greets you with lots of steps on the way up. If you are elderly or have knee problems, I would reccomended hiking the trail counter clockwise so you can end by going down those steps instead of going up them. I hiked with a backpack cooler full of ice, drinks, snacks and lunch for two. It weighed about 50 lbs and I had no issue. A little out of breath at times, but that's what I wanted out of my hike. lol

View Mike's Recording
Kristina Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 1, 2020
Hiking

Childhood favorite! Great trail!

Darren Groce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 16, 2020
HikingFloodedIcyMuddyOff trailRockyWashed out
View Darren's Recording
Morgan McCollum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 27, 2020
HikingMuddyScramble
View Morgan's Recording
Kyle Long
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2020
HikingBridge outRockyScramble

Great trail, challenging in spots depending on which loop you ultimately take. We started on the easy natural bridge “original” trail, crossed over to the other side to see the bridge from the other side where the skylift brings people up, worked our way back around battleship rock, Devil’s Gulch, Laurel ridge, needle point and lovers leap and back down again. Honesty one of the funnest hikes I’ve ever done when you combine the views and it was pretty challenging at times but not impossible. The decent from laurel ridge/lovers leap area was a little scary and I recommend taking it very slow going up and coming down. Some of the staircases were sketchy and you definitely need to be watching where you’re stepping. The trail had some great sights along the trail, and breathtaking views from the top of lovers leap especially. I plan on coming back and trying some of the other trails in the area but this one is one worth coming back to.

Showing results 1 - 16 of 371