Natural Arch

Whitley City, Kentucky 42653

Natural Arch

Natural Arch Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Natural Arch is one of Kentucky’s largest and provides a dramatic send-off for this walk along streams and through woodlands. Natural Arch is either 50 feet (in height) by 90 feet (in length) or 60 feet by 100 feet depending on what publication you consult.

The Forest Service generally cites the former figures, but whatever the exact dimensions of this sandstone arch, it is definitely one of Kentucky’s largest. (Natural Bridge, in comparison, is 65 feet by 78 feet.) It’s also one of the most impressive, and in 1961 it and 945 surrounding acres were given special protection as a scenic area. This hike makes a loop through the arch and along the area’s perimeter on a series of paths and forest roads left over from the days when homesteaders farmed the stream bottoms."

Natural Arch Trip Reports

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5/30/2018
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Remove this
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2/28/2010
Very senic, several rock overhangs, lots of streams. Trail is marked ok, but needs improving. May try to do it again in early spring.
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12/29/2008
Easy hiking with nice rock formations that you can venture off the trail for. Despite the fact that we went made the hike on a beautiful weekend we did not run into another person the entire day (we were out for about 5 hours).
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8/21/2008
The Natural Arch Trail is well worth the trip. The arch itself makes the trip worthwhile. The area around the arch is also very beautiful, and there are a couple of trails around the arch that are pretty long. i would definitely recommend this trail for anyone.
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3/22/2008
The 508 trail was a moderately challenging trail for an ambitious beginner such as me. My wife, being in a little better physical condition had no trouble at all. We are what I would describe as slow hikers and spend our time really taking in the scenery and prowling over every tree and rock, talking and taking pictures as we go. We did the loop around the natural ach as well as the 5 mile loop around the park in about 4 ½ hours, which makes this a nice afternoon hike for us. We would recommend attacking the 5 mile loop #508 starting from where it joins the ach loop on the back side and going counter clockwise around as it eliminates some of the uphill hiking. Also, make sure to have waterproof boots because the trail crosses several small creeks and you will get you feet wet. About one third the way around, the trail merges with what appeared to be an unimproved county road for approximately one mile. It also crossed some private property and utilized an ATV trail part of the way. We felt that this took away from the “natural quality” of our hike just a bit.
In going by a community of houses as we passed through the privately owned property, we were greeted by a redbone Mountain Cur. He was to be our new trail boss and treated us as though we had been his owners since puppyhood. He blazed the trail ahead and always came back to check on us if we stopped. He seemed to know exactly where he was going and never missed a turn. We temporarily named him Fido for a companion of such loyalty surely needed a name. Fido really made the rest of our hike special and stayed with us even to make sure we made it all the way back to our car safely. It was almost a melancholy moment as we drove away. Fido did not try to follow us. It was as if he knew his job was finished and it was time to go home. If you ever hike this trail, be sure and watch for a red mountain cur… he makes a great guide!
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2/28/2006
This was an excellent trail, easy to hike, and beautiful. This is an excellent day hike!
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Trail Information

Whitley City
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
6
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Stearns Ranger District, Daniel Boone National Forest, (606) 376-5323
Local Contacts
USGS Nevelsville
Local Maps

Trail Log