Kentucky Tourism

Natural Bridge Trails

Pets are not permitted on the Hiking Trails at Natural Bridge, except for the Henson Arch and Whittleton Trails. Most Trails at Natural Bridge are within a dedicated Kentucky State Nature Preserve, and pets are not permitted as a part of the management guidelines. However, all trails are open to pets in the Red River Gorge area.
Hiking Trail Rules and Guidelines

Facility & Trail Maps
Locate trails and more on Natural Bridge's facility map, or use their interactive adventure map.

Balanced Rock Trail

Natural Bridge State Resort Park

Slade, Kentucky


This is the steepest trail in the park with more than 600 stairs. The trailhead is located off of the sidewalk behind Hemlock Lodge. At the trailhead, hikers are immediately faced with a steep series of limestone steps leading to a small cave on the right side of the trail. Past the cave, Balanced Rock Trail climbs up more steps to the Balanced Rock, an extraordinary sandstone block on the left. From here, the trail gets steeper and eventually hikers will find themselves at the base of the sandstone cliff called Rocky Point. As the trail continues, hikers will pass the Sand Gap Trail junction and end shortly afterwards near a large CCC wooden shelter and the top of Natural Bridge. Because of its steep grade, most hikers prefer to use Balanced Rock Trail as the downhill part of a loop trip. The Balanced Rock Trail is also a part of the Sheltowee Trace Trail. Elevation change of 400 feet.

  • Length: 0.75 mi
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Hiking

Tim Hibbard
2135 Natural Bridge Rd.
Slade, KY 40376

Region: Eastern
County: Powell
Phone: 606-663-2214
Email: [email protected]