5 Naturally Occurring Arches that You Can Find Hidden Away in Kentucky’s Forests
Did you know that there are more than 1,600 naturally occurring arches in the state of Kentucky? Many of these arches are concentrated in and around the Red River Gorge and in the Daniel Boone National Forrest as well as McCreary County on the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. Here are eight hiking spots that will set you on the path to view this amazing wonder of nature.
1. Natural Bridge State Resort Park
A beautiful view, no matter what season brings you by to Natural Bridge State Park. You will find upwards of 10 hiking trails in this park ranging from 1.5 miles to 7.5 miles in length.
Lodging and camping are available to park guests, along with various other activities. Canoeing, fishing, birding, swimming, and a sky lift option for ease of access to the arch viewpoints are all on the table for visitors.
Natural Bridge State Park is located at 2135 Natural Bridge Rd. in Slade, KY. 40376
2. Angel Windows
Located within the Red River Gorge, in Daniel Boone National Park, this formation is a spectacle to behold. Often it has been said that the arch that makes up the Angel Window looks like a horse. And with having seen a few photos, I happen to agree! Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby and so many horse farms, so it is kind of fitting don't you think?
Angel Windows Arch is located within the famous Red River Gorge, hop into the trailhead named after this arch and go exploring. One of the best ways to hit this trail is by taking Sky Bridge Rd. in Pine Ridge Kentucky. The trail is 0.6 miles out and back and is considered a generally easy trail.
3. Samson's Pillars
Located within McCreary County, Sampson's Pillar will leave you in wonder, and wondering how such things as these are formed. Sampson's Pillar creates an arch perched on a scenic overlook along a forested ridge. According to adamthompsonphoto.com, it's located off a forest service road and is a seldom visited location. Here's the closest thing I could find to a map. During my research for this spot, I came up short on ample information. Finding Sampson's Pillars does require a bit of work to find, and a bit of a trek uphill to locate on foot. The climb might be worth the effort however as this particular arch type is considered fairly rare.
4. Skyview Arch
Also located within the perimeters of Red River Gorge, Skyview Arch is an arch that lives up to its name. This arch is also home in a fairly secluded area and isn't as well-traveled as other arch-hikes in the state. This spot, if are willing to put in the work is worth the visit but before you lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail, know that there isn't much of a trail to this spot and there is quite a grueling hike ahead of you to get there.
5. Daylight Arch
Like many other natural arches, this one is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest and is located fairly close to Forest Service Road 119 making it an easy spot to get to. Daylight Arch is a double arch system and the height of the arches ranges from 6-7 feet tall.
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