Natural Bridge State Park: One of Nature's Greatest Architectural Achievements

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 27th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/tc9-5i6k/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Kentucky

Natural Bridge State Park, in Kentucky, offers hikers and outdoor enthusiasts a scenic place of wonders.

The main feature of the park, though, awaits the visitor at the summit of the mountain.

In a remote part of Kentucky, east of Lexington, is a natural wonder so spectacular that it rivals those found in Utah and Arizona. (Excluding, of course, the Grand Canyon.) It is known as Natural Bridge State Park.
About an hour's drive from Lexington, crossing a countryside of rolling hills, a visitor will come across a range of mountains. Although not high by Rocky Mountain standards, they still feature a unique landscape that was formed millions of years ago when layers of limestone were deposited over top of layers of sandstone. A gradual upheaval gave birth to the mountain range, and eons of erosion created some of the most masterful natural wonders on the continent. Wind, rain, and the constant freezing and thawing of the seasons cracked, chipped, and washed the softer sandstone away, while much of the harder limestone upper layer remained.

A natural bridge awaits the hiker, with awe inspiring views of the surrounding countryside.

Visitors to the park will find deep gullies, sheer cliffs, and a small cave that is now, sadly, closed to public access. The main feature of the park, though, awaits the visitor at the summit of the mountain. Just as the name of the park implies, a natural bridge awaits the hiker, with awe inspiring views of the surrounding countryside and a bridge that can be crossed on foot. As you walk across this natural wonder, you will find it hard to believe that it was made entirely through the work of nature.

You reach a bluff that offers a panoramic view of the wilderness.

The trail at the summit continues through a wooded path along the ridge until you reach a bluff that offers a panoramic view of the wilderness, including a picturesque view of the bridge that you just crossed. The sheer height and drop off of the cliff can only be appreciated close to the edge, although it is not something that is for the faint of heart. There are no guardrails to keep visitors from falling over the edge to certain doom, so it is imperative that children are closely guarded.

Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky has something for you.

If ascending moderately steep trails to the summit is not within your physical capabilities, there is a chair lift that can bring you to the top. The view, especially when descending, is equally as thrilling as the summit. Be aware, however, that the main parking lot is separate from the parking lot for the chair lift. If, once you hike to the summit, decide that you are too tired to hike back down, you may be in for a surprise once you reach the bottom.
Once you are at the summit, if you decide to continue on the trail, you will eventually descend through an impossible-looking stairway through a slender gulch. Once you reach the bottom, you can look up to the summit and find it hard to believe you just came through such a narrow passage. With either side of the rock cliff so close together, it appears as though you just slipped through some sort of crack in the earth’s crust.
For those who wish to cool off after a strenuous hike, the park offers a swimming pool in the summer months. A small lake at the base can also be enjoyed by renting paddle boats. For those who will want to remember their trip, a gift shop is also available. Be sure to check out their impressive selection of statues that were carved out of the local coal.
Whether you are a hiker, day tripper, or just a scenery aficionado, Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky has something for you.

Photos:
1. commons.wikimedia.org
2. commons.wikimedia.org
3. commons.wikimedia.org
4. flickr.com

Tags

Hiking, Kentucky, Natural Bridge, State Park

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Ramstetter
Robert Ramstetter is a world traveler and writer of short stories, full length novels, and a vast array of technical articles.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password