Review of Natural Bridge State Resort Park: By Jeanette
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is about a 2 hour drive from Louisville that provides challenging hikes that end with great views. We recently traveled there for a weekend with my parents and brother and his son. We stayed in a 1 bedroom cottage at the resort that had 2 queen size beds, full kitchen, and screened in porch. The rest of my family stayed at the lodge which had views overlooking the lake. Campground are also nearby. The park is free to park your car and hike for the day. They have snack shops near the lodge and a playground with several picnic tables and shelters around.
We spent most of our time exploring the trails which were great. Most of the trails were short (1 mile or less), but interloped with each other, so there were multiple ways to hike to the Natural Bridge. You just needed to decide how you like to climb up hill and downhill. There were tons of stairs on the hikes. One hike my brother counted over 200 stairs! The original trail takes you to a natural fracture on the bridge to climb up it which is a tight fit when you are carrying a backpack with a baby in front. On another hike there’s a spot called Devil’s Gulch that is pretty much a rock staircase going straight up and down. Another challenging hike included Needle’s Eye with a short rock ladder included with rock steps that were so steep that it was best to use your hands along with your feet to climb up. Once you climbed up there were a few overlooks including Lookout Point and Lover’s Leap that made the trip up worth it and seeing the Natural Bridge from a distance. I imagine this is a great place when the leaves are changing. There are a few other less challenging hikes that take you to other arches, but they do not look as massive because of all the growth around them, but still worth the hike to go see them.
The park also has other features besides hiking: pool during the summer, putt-putt ($3/person probably won’t be your favorite place to putt-putt), paddle boats ($7 for 4 people for a half hour or $11 for an hour – I recommend only a half hour because you are limited to a small area to where you can actually paddle), caving during the summer, and skylift ($9/adult roundtrip) to the natural bridge.
So if you are looking for some great views and some fun hikes, make sure you check out Natural Bridge State Resort Park.