Hood’s Branch Trail leads into the heart of Natural Bridge and is just long enough so the crowds will be left behind. The trail begins under Natural Bridge and follows the base of the cliffs eventually leading hikers to cross a small stream named Upper Hood Branch. Near this area which is approximately the halfway point, hikers will see an optional .75 mile upper loop trail that splits off to the left. This upper loop leads hikers to a couple of large sandstone rock shelters and then eventually back to the same spot. About 2.25-miles from the Natural Bridge on the Hood’s Branch Trail, the trail passes through a swampy section that was once cleared for a small farm. Cross two small footbridges and you’ll soon see a trail shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps when they maintained a camp at Natural Bridge in the 1930’s. From here you are .75-mile from the Hood Branch trailhead that is located near the miniature golf parking area.
The sandstone arch which Natural Bridge State Resort Park derives its name took millions of years to form. Located just a few minutes from Slade in eastern Kentucky, Natural Bridge is found off the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. The park has some of the most unique geological formations, and breathtaking views found anywhere in the commonwealth. Serious adventure seekers love to visit Natural Bridge due to its plentiful year-round and seasonal activities. Hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, geological landmarks and a Skylift are just a few of the opportunities available to visitors. There is also a 60-acre lake in the park, as well as a lodge that offers accommodation options full amenities—reserve your room early. People find themselves totally immersed in their natural surroundings when visiting Natural Bridge State Resort Park, and it keeps many people returning year after year. Come see one of the most spectacular natural bridges in the region, stay at the campground or lodge, and recreate in Kentucky’s great outdoors!