The Original Trail

Park Activities

  • Hiking
The Original Trail
Natural Bridge State Resort Park
2135 Natural Bridge Rd.
Slade, KY 40376
Slade, KY
Daniel Boone Country


This trail was built in the 1890’s by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. It is the most popular trail for hiking to the Natural Bridge. Beginning near the gift shop, the trail gently climbs .25 mile to the trailhead behind Hemlock Lodge. From here, you will see the steepest part of the trail before you, but at the top of the limestone steps it levels off. There are five trail shelters along this trail, three of which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930’s. The trail climbs over 400-feet through an impressive forest of hemlock, tulip tree, white pine, and thickets of rhododendron. It ends beneath the span of the Natural Bridge. Access to the top of the bridge is through a natural fracture on the other side of the arch. Elevation change of 420 feet.
    Trail Details
    • Length (mi.): .75
    • Difficulty: Moderate