Friday, July 1, 2022

Natural Bridge State Park - Kentucky's prettiest place

Denisa found a list of the prettiest place in each of the states that we are planning to visit this year. So we are trying to fit each one into our itinerary. According to this source, Kentucky's prettiest spot is the Natural Bridge. So our motor home is parked at a nice little campground at the Natural Bridge State Park.

The next morning we set out on the hike to take us to the natural bridge that give this park its name. On the way, we found other very interesting geological wonders to admire.

There are several trails that lead to the Natural Bridge, and this morning we picked the hardest one--The Balanced Rock Trail. It starts with lots of steep steps, and it is one of the most strenuous trails in this state park. Along the way, Mark couldn't miss seeing that there were a series of ladders off the trail, and he thought they might be leading to somewhere interesting. But then the last ladder was sealed at the bottom, and it was just killing him to not know what was at the top.

After a little less than a mile, we found ourselves on this beautiful wide clearing, and we could see the rock ridges and tree tops around us.

What we didn't realize at the time, was that we had actually arrived at our destination. That flat stone ridge had drop-offs on both sides. We were standing on top of the Natural Bridge that we had come to see!

By going down a flight of stone steps, and then squeezing through a narrow slot . . .

We found the prettiest place in Kentucky! We have wandered into another of God's wonders!

We had gotten up early this morning to beat the heat and the crowds. So we got our pictures under this natural bridge without the crowds that will show up later in the day.

Mark squeezed back through the slot, back up the steps, and then leaned over the edge of the bridge for this picture.

Denisa zoomed in to get that last photo, and then backed off to show what it really looked like from the base of the bridge. The span of the natural bridge is 78 feet long and 65 feet high from where Denisa is standing.

When it started to get busy at the bridge, we decided it was time to continue down the trail.

We did a series of trails that included Devils Gulch . . .

and views of Battleship Rock.

While Denisa is hiking, she's always looking for unusual flora. She found this prickly dark pink plant . . .

that later pops open to display a tiny white flower inside.

Our trail also included the eye-of-the-needle staircase that took us up and up until . . .

we found ourselves at Lookout Point. If you look behind us, you can see the Natural Bridge is visible from that perch.

For those not wanting to hike up the steep trails to get to the Natural Bridge, a tramway is available. It starts in the state park and brings riders to the top of the ridge. From here it's just a short walk to the bridge, and the other hikes we did today.

Before we left this prettiest place in Kentucky, we hiked back by the Natural Bridge. The lighting has changed now, and Mark is just a silhouette under the Natural Bridge. We've hiked 3.8 miles, and had a great day on the trail. We've wandered another of God's wonders, which is also Kentucky's prettiest place.

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