Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock Trail

MODERATE
#1 of 10 trails in Natural Bridge State Park
true
Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock Trail is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Slade, KY that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from January until November.

2.1 miles 656 feet Loop
kid friendly birding hiking nature trips trail running walking no dogs forest views wild flowers wildlife
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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. Hikings 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. Hiking

Eli Caudill
6 days ago

14 Completed0 Reviews

Hiked a version of this hike by combining the Original Trail, Rock Garden Trail, and Battleship Rock Trail. Natural Bridge is one of the more scenic and heavily used State Parks, so you will be hard pushed to find any solitude along the trails here. Don't let that detract from the natural beauty, there is a reason that it is so popular. Very enjoyable hike with a somewhat difficult hill climb to start with, and rock trails to contend with. The views and geology of the area make it all worth it.

Anson Burch
22 days ago

3 Completed0 Reviews

Michelle Toller
28 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

My family went up Original Trail. Then traveled to Battleship Trail and down Devil's Gulch Trail. Devil's Gulch is less traveled but has lots of stairs.

Michelle Gallo
28 days ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

my review rating isn't accurate, we were not able to go as dogs are not allowed. description should note that.

Cindy Mayse
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Amazing!

Jerry and Amy Nowicki
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

It was an awesome hike full of great scenery. Take a camera with you, you'll be glad you did!

Kelley Heiland
1 month ago

22 Completed16 Reviews

A nice little hike,,.a little congested for my taste, would rate easy to moderate.Worth a quick stop.

Leah Burns
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

It was beautiful the bridge was a whole sand bridge where u literally felt like you were walking in the sky. The view is breathtaking, I guess it was moderate if you enjoy about 500 steps on a staircase going all the way up. I suggest a nice rest when your done at the lodge pool.

Todd Caudill
3 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Fantastic journey & adventure

Jon Gaddis
3 months ago

23 Completed19 Reviews

What's not to love about the Red? Plenty of trails. This trail is one of the most scenic. Fun area to hike with great views. Be wary, though, your GPS goes in and out, and cell reception is sketchy at best, so familiarize yourself and plan. Happy trails!

Kirk Barnes
5 months ago

8 Completed1 Reviews

Great view with my son. Highly recommend!

Molly Harty
7 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great trail with lots of side trails to add extras to the trip

Andrew Lambert
7 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Finally did it, well worth it!

Drew Slayton
7 months ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

Fun area to hike with great views. Several different ways to get to the Natural Bridge. We usually go about 4-5 miles (Round trip) each time we're out there. This time, did The Original up under the bridge, Rock Garden Trail "around the back" to Battleship Rock Trail. Up through Needles Eye (pretty muddy and Slick when we were there - pretty good climb)) to check out all points from Lovers Leap to across the bridge. Backtracked across bridge to head down Devils Gulch, back to Rock Garden to Original and out. Trails in great shape, and the views up top are fantastic.

Kari Simpson
7 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Several choices for difficulties and the trails are slightly hard to follow with the map. We were lost on the wrong trails several times. Landscape was one of a kind and we appreciated the peacefulness.

Carolyn Wilson
8 months ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

Truly spectacular hike up steep hill to a magnificent view from atop the Natural Bridge! Worth every ounce of energy you can muster to get up there and explore the various paths. climbed up the "Original Trail and came down the stairs on another trail back. There is a sky lift for cheaters or those who just cannot make the climb. The view from the lift chair must be spectacular too, but we climbed up and down the mountain and felt a great sense of accomplishment. So many things to see each way.

Hannah Ashley
8 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

It's really fun to hike up here in the morning and watch the sunrise.

Danny G
9 months ago

11 Completed11 Reviews

Extremely popular tourist destination. There's actually a chair lift you can take to the top, although I didn't take it. We took the original trail to the top-about 1.5 mile or so (each way). Steady climb all the way up, but plenty of benches to stop and rest. Very impressive at the top with a view for miles. If you want another, and dare I say, better, natural bridge check out Sky Bridge which is close by, an easier walk, and far less people.

Erryn Murphy
9 months ago

14 Completed9 Reviews

Very steep trail to the natural bridge (3/4) mile. The bridge is really awesome. It gets crowded at the bridge which I really didn't like. There was also a chair lift that takes people to the top for those who don't or can't hike. This makes for crowds of noisy people-annoying for me when I am trying to enjoy the sounds of nature. To be fair, we didn't arrive until early afternoon due to our travel circumstances. It may be very quiet and low key in the early morning ( when we usually like to hike). If you keep hiking past the chair you will hike to Lover's Leap with some rocky outcrops and overlooks. The views are pretty and you can look across the valley to the natural bridge!

Leah Ching
9 months ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

The bridge itself is absolutely breathtaking.. Great views from up top, scenery along be the path is cool, trails are clear and well marked with signs. Multiple trail overlaps so it was cool to switch it up and do parts of most of them.