Natural Bridge State Resort Park

Useful Information

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, KY, U.S.A. Public Domain.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park, KY, U.S.A. Public Domain.
Location: 2135 Natural Bridge Rd., Slade, KY 40376.
Bert T Combs Mountain Parkway 50 km southeast of Winchester, exit Slade, Highway 11 Natural Bridge Road south.
(37.773185, -83.685509)
Open: no restrictions.
Skylift: MAR to APR Sat, Sun 9:30-18.
MAY to mid-NOV Mon-Fri 9:30-17:30, Sat, Sun 9:30-18.
Fee: free.
Skylift: Adults USD 17, Children (4-12) USD 14, Children (0-3) free, Senior (62+) USD 16, Military USD 15.
One Way: Adults USD 11.
Classification: GeologyNatural Bridge
Light: n/a
Dimension: W=24 m, H=20 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Natural Bridge State Resort Park, 2135 Natural Bridge Rd., Slade, KY 40376, Tel: +1-606-663-2214. E-mail:
Natural Bridge Sky Lift Inc., 607 Skylift Dr, Slade, KY 40376, Tel: +1-606-663-2922.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1895 founded as a private tourist attraction by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad.
1910 land acquired by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.
1926 land turned over to the Kentucky State Park Commission by L&N's President Wible L. Mapother.
1967 Skylift cable car opened.
1981 land dedicated into the nature preserves system to protect the ecological communities and rare species habitat.


Natural Bridge State Resort Park, KY, U.S.A. Public Domain.
Skylift, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, KY, U.S.A. Public Domain.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a park with numerous strange rock formations including the namesake natural bridge. And it is very well-developed, with a cable car called Skylift, which brings visitors to the bridge. From the upper station it's a 350 m/10 minutes easy walk to an outlook, which offers the "best place to photograph Natural Bridge". It is also possible to walk to the bridge and cross it both on top and through the opening. This is rather exceptional, as many natural bridges cannot be crossed because they are not stable enough. The cable car is a chairlift without cabins, so it is not intended for bad weather. On days with storm or other bad weather forecast it is closed.

Despite the comfortable access with the cable car, there are good arguments for a walk to the bridge. There are numerous other interesting rock formation in the area, for example Devil’s Gulch, Lover's Leap, Fat Man's Squeeze, or the Balanced Rock. The trailhead parking lot is just around the corner, and it is also possible to start at the Hemlock Lodge. The hike to the natural bridge and back is about 3 km, depending on the route you take, so its probably an 1.5 hours walk including sightseeing and a rest. However, there are ten hiking trails ranging from 1 km to 10 km in length. If you walk or take the chairlift, good walking shoes are recommended.

There are two other natural bridges in the park called White's Branch Arch and Henson's Cave Arch, which can be reached on walking trails. There is also a unique formation called Balanced Rock, where a huge block sits on a small foot where a softer layer of sandstone had been eroded. It is actually not a balancing rock, as it does not sit loose on the underground, it is actually a pedestal rock. This rock was originally called the Sphinx because, when viewed from the right angle, it resembles the Sphinx in Kairo.

The Daniel Boone National Forest is spread across 21 counties of eastern Kentucky, more than 2865 km² of national forest system lands. It is also the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains, with steep forested slopes, limestone and sandstone cliffs, natural bridges, and narrow ravines.