Saturday, July 16, 2011

Natural Bridge State Park, KY–part 1

I am currently writing this while in Northern Wisconsin at Copper Falls State Park.  I have electricity, but no water and no internet, TV or phone reception/access. So maybe I’ll catch up on my blogs and post them as soon as I get access. 

After leaving Tennessee, I headed for Natural Bridge State Park.  I wanted to hike some in the park, but also in the nearby Red River Gorge.   I was at the park for 1 week and took so many pictures, that I am going to have 2 parts to this blog.

Natural Bridge State Park has a big Natural Bridge/Arch up a mountain.  You can take a chair lift up and/or down the mountain, but they had so many trails that interested me I did not take the lift.  Natural Bridge is big and because of the trees it was hard to get a good picture.  Below is one from the bottom of the bridge and one from an overlook about 1/4 mile from the bridge

To get on top of the Bridge you had to walk thru a crack in the rock.  I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it.  I did, but it was tight.  The picture below is of a couple of college kids, so you can get an idea at the size.



On top of the bridge -

I walked down the Rock Garden trail and it was great – lots of rocks and plants.  The picture below is of some mini caves, but every time I look at it I see a face taken from the side.  The mini cave are the eyes.

It sometimes amazed me on the amount of work that has been done to some trails.  This particular trail had a bunch of steps that had been cut out of the rock.  I would guess 75 steps or so.

There is at least 25 steps down in the picture above and yes a picture of me – well, my shadow!  In the connecting trail down, I passed this walking tree.  At least that’s what I call it because it looks like it has legs. 


If you have read my blog in the past you can guess what typically causes this.  It probably grew on a nurse log.  A long time ago a large tree fell and this tree took root on top of the log.  Then the felled tree eventually decayed leaving the leg like tree. 

The Red River Gorge is part of the Daniel Boone National Forest.  A while back I learned a trick that is very helpful WHEN I remember to do it.

Take a picture of the trailhead or a sign that describes what I am doing or seeing.  That way I have a better chance of remembering things!!  In this case, I hiked the Auxier Ridge Trail to Courthouse Rock and then back.  I was told that this area had a wildfire a year or 2 ago. 

The burned part of the trail was only in the beginning.  It was interesting to see things starting to grow back. 

While this area is known for their arches and bridges, which you probably know by now I enjoy, this particular hike was more a scenic ridge hike.  It did have something, but I’m not sure if it is considered an arch or just a hole in the rock.

A fun stretch of trail! I love having views on both sides of the trail!!!

These great looking huge orange toadstools or mushrooms caught my attention--

One of the roads that leads into the Red River Gorge area goes through Nada Tunnel.  This is a one lane tunnel that is 900 feet long.  I took a picture of the informative sign just to remember the name of the tunnel, but it has a couple of interesting stories and facts about the tunnel.

natbr_rrg_nadaLesson for the day – don’t thaw your dynamite too close to the fire!!

It’s a long, narrow, dark tunnel!!

Stay tuned for part 2!

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a beautiful area. It's going on our list!