Natural Bridge and Hood Branch Trail

#1 of 10 trails in Natural Bridge State Park

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Natural Bridge and Hood Branch Trail is a 5.4 mile loop trail located near Slade, Kentucky that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

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D N (179)

10 Completed7 Reviews

Great elevation changes and very scenic views. A good family hiking trip.

William Jones (610)

21 Completed20 Reviews

Great trails and views. Many steep inclines on the way to the bridge!

Tommy Arnzen (111)

3 Completed2 Reviews

This was a great hike that honestly offered much more than I expected. It is a very well put together trail.(you can really tell that they took their time in planning it out) The natural bridge itself seems to happen upon you in "all of a sudden" fashion. Honestly I was surprised when I realized that I was standing on it. The route that we took had us walk about three or four miles before we actually got to the bridge site. Along the way there were a number of side trails that lead to very interesting areas. (One such area lead to a carving of the illuminati symbol believe it or not -- Who knows what has been going on up there..... :) I'll include a picture.) Another great feature about this site is that there are a couple of amazing sites within about a mile. One such area is called the "Lover's Leap." There seemed to be a lot of carving on this trail. As another posted commented, make sure that you keep an eye on small children -- There are many areas (The entire natural bridge) that will result in serious injury or immediate death if you fall/slip off. (There was a park attendant watching over the natural bridge area when I was there; however, they was no one at the other two scenic areas nearby -- which are equally as dangerous.) As a side note, if you are looking to go on some of the side trails (Many do not go very far, but lead to some very interesting areas) there is one trail very early on in the hike that leads to what I think is a government run bird watching area of some sort. There was a ladder that was locked off which someone had obviously tried to break though. On the opposite side of the rock face, I found an area where you can climb up. (Not an easy climb) Later in the hike I noticed that the same mountain that we had been on earlier had a door that was built into the said of the mountain above were the ladder was. No idea what any of it was for... They could be hiding something... ;)


Ya-Sean Khan (57)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Had a great time hiking up this trail with my friends that came down to visit me from Canada! the view from the bridge is gorgeous!

Billy M. (348)

Awesome views, endless scenery, plenty of wildlife, wonderful for hiking, slightly challenging at times, but worth every bit of it

Billy M. (348)

Sven Maffett (57)

2 Completed2 Reviews

This is the most common,and well worn trail in the upper gorge area. Saw a woman dragging an oxygen tank on the trail, parts of which are black topped. Going to stick to the other side of the gorge,less of the Ohio militia

Matt Garrett (5766)

38 Completed11 Reviews

Probably the most recognizable feature in the Red River Gorge is Natural Bridge, which can be accessed either by a wide, uphill trail or by chairlift. The trail sees a lot of use and is very well maintained. The view from the top of the bridge is one of the best in the gorge area. Several other features are also within the park's boundaries. Lover's Leap, Balanced Rock and Devil's Gulch are all worth seeing.

Tj Holbrook (607)

11 Completed10 Reviews

Great hike. You can park at skylift parking, take sand gap off hood branch which is a 8+ mile hike, then take hood branch back to skylift parking. Good loop trail.

Tim St Louis (1197)

30 Completed15 Reviews

This s a beautiful hike. Be aware of which trailhead you start at as there are a couple ways to get to the Natural Bridge. We opted for the longer hike and enjoyed the trek. It is all uphill but there are plenty of areas to stop for a quick rest. As you get to the top there is a very narrow passage to get from the underside to the top of the bridge. HEAYILY trafficked but the trail is clean and well maintained.