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Natural Bridge Trail and Rock Shelter Trail Loop

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Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Natural Bridge Trail and Rock Shelter Trail Loop is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rockbridge, Ohio that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 544 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

running

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Come explore this peaceful preserve a short drive from Columbus! The route shown here includes both of the trails in the reserve, and visits the famous Natural Bridge. This awesome formation spans 100 feet long over a ravine. At the end of Dalton Road you'll find a small parking area. Park there, and then walk north for a half mile. From here, turn left onto the Natural Bridge Trail. Take in the wonders of the Natural Bridge and the Hocking River. Then continue east above the river to the Rock Shelter Trail. After completing this loop, return back to the parking are on the original connecting trail. No dogs allowed in the preserve.

hiking
14 days ago

The natural bridge is really pretty! The hike is relatively easy with moderate inclines. We went midday during the week and saw a few other groups of hikers

hiking
19 days ago

Not good

Nice hike and perfect weather. Well marked and our 2 year old did it!

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

Gorgeous out but that attracted visitors so it’ll be packed on nice days. Hard to enjoy the nature quietly but company is usually nice. Some steep parts. Really can’t get lost.

hiking
24 days ago

Great trail. Great family hike but several steep hills. We loved the land bridge and all the amazing pictures!

hiking
28 days ago

Nice Trail and great picture opportunities

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful forest trail with some rock formation attractions. We came here because Hocking Hills is still closed. This is NOT an easy trail. Maybe it’s listed as such because of the length, but the elevation will challenge anyone. The natural bridge and rock shelter are worth seeing, but just know that it’s not easy.

Nice medium difficulty hike to a beautiful natural bridge and a view of the Hocking River.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail through meadow and forest. Elevation is no joke! Went midday on a Monday and it was VERY difficult if not impossible to social distance. I’m a beginner/intermediate and it took 2 hours to hike both to the caverns and rock bridge.

1 month ago

had a wonderful morning. got here at about 10. there were 3 cars. when we left there must just have been 15 to 20. definitely get there earlier in the morning. cool breezes the whole way. be wary of the Inclines/ declines. tracker said we did 39 flights of steps. it felt like it. definitely want to go again. if you go past the bridge, you will find. trail down to the river.

hiking
1 month ago

The rock bridge and shelter formations were cool, and the trails were well marked and easy to follow. It was really busy on a Saturday afternoon, though, with cars overflowing from the parking area on to the side of the road for quite a way.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
1 month ago

So cool! Reminded me of West Virginia.

Very nice hike. The Rock Bridge is very cool! Some elevation with ups and downs. For a short hike, it’s a good workout...more than I thought it would be for the length. Enjoy!

The easy rating was definitely deceiving. I am in pretty good athletic shape and these inclines and declines got me for sure. The view of the natural bridge with waterfall was worth it. Right now you can’t go down and actually get near it you are roped off for preservation/regrowth. Beautiful. Great choice for a workout of the day.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! We went on a gray, humid weekday, mid-morning, and it was still lovely. Definitely gets a moderate rating from us, especially the blue trail. Up and down and a tough workout, lots of roots and mud, but worth the effort. We had kids with us (5, 8, 9, 12), no issues, but they do have hiking boots. The bridge was even more impressive than it looks in pictures. We did see several other groups but just in passing, we got to see all the neat features by ourselves. The second set of falls on the blue trail was active and the river was very high after all the rain we’ve had.

A little muddy but not bad if you have boots!

muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Hocking Hills was closed due to the pandemic so we were very happy to find this trail. It takes you past a cow pasture to a beautiful waterfall and natural rock bridge over a ravine. I would rate this trail as more moderate than easy due to all the hills which can be difficult for people from the flatlands like me

1 month ago

Beautiful spot! Got there around 10:30am and it was getting crowded by the time we left. The natural bridge is very cool, and the hike there is not long at all. Definitely worth checking out!

hiking
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

Nice rugged out and back. Took the whole family and an all terrain wagon. Could have skipped the wagon as the 2yo did well without it.

hiking
1 month ago

Because Hocking Hills State Pk is closer because of the virus, we were forced to find other hikes, and this nature preserve did not disappoint! Nice trail in a nice mid week morning, Mid May. Only saw a handful of people, as it had just rained. Lots of good up and down, roots were helpful for footing. Woodland wildflowers and abundant ferns. The Rock Bridge is a beautiful natural attraction and we were lucky to get some small waterfalls after the rain. We did both loops, orange and blue, which ended up at 3.2 miles, although my record only shows 2.4, I accidentally stopped recording at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Neat trail. Starts off near a cow pasture, through a woodsy uphill area with lots of tree roots as natural stairs. The blue loop had a cool view of the Hocking River from up high and a nice little water fall. The orange loop was peaceful and the natural bridge was really cool. Got a little freaked out from the height and drop off on both sides. I’d recommend this peaceful off the beaten path hike.

hiking
muddy
washed out
2 months ago

Trail is a bit washed out especially in the access trail area. A lot of roots exposed and t ground is clay which adds to the Slipperiness when wet but the bridge and waterfalls were excellent

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trails, lots of roots but worth the hike. Make sure to take the loop trail (blue) takes you to another waterfall too!

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