Adjacent to the banks of the Red River Gorge Geologic Area, Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a nature lover's paradise, featuring around 2,300 acres of rare wildlife, a nature preserve, and beautiful waterways. Located in Powell and Wolfe Counties in Kentucky, this state resort park is a must for your next RV trip. You'll have endless outdoor recreation opportunities in a unique forest-like landscape. From hiking and history to birding and fishing, Natural Bridge State Resort Park offers a variety of adventures in the great outdoors.
The views of the natural bridge at Natural Bridge State Resort Park are spectacular, spanning 78 feet long and 65 feet high. You will love enjoying the clean mountain air while being surrounded by rare wildlife. There are over 1,200 acres of nature preservation where you can see different bird species. Historians will enjoy learning about how the park was originally a private tourist attraction. Once you park your camper at Natural Bridge State Resort Park you can set out on one of the many nature trails. Birdwatchers can view several different bird types on five different trails.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a perfect RV camping destination during the warmer months, but if you are visiting in the wintertime you can also stay at the lodge or cottages that are operated by the park. Peak season at Natural Bridge State Resort Park runs from March through to November.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is easily accessible by RV or car since it's just 57 miles southeast of Lexington, off of the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway and KY 11. Local roads take you anywhere in the park you wish to go, from the gift shop and sky lift to the trails and campground. There are no driving restrictions for trailers or RVs within the park, so getting around will be easy. If you do have a larger rig you may struggle with the road in the Whittleton Campground since it is a tight fit, but this is the only issue that you may encounter.
If you need to get any supplies before your trip there are plenty of places to stop closeby, including Stanton (around 13 miles away), Clay City (around 17 miles away), and Jackson (around 31 miles away). The park is open all year round, but if you are worried about the weather conditions we recommend calling in advance for an update.
There are several options for parking RVs and trailers. Spots are available at the gift shop, sky lift, Mill Creek Lake, and at the trailhead entrances. If you are staying overnight at the campgrounds, it'll be a breeze to explore the park on foot once you get your rig set up for RV camping.
The Whittleton Campground is the smaller of the two campgrounds at the Natural Bridge State Resort Park, so it is a great option if you are looking for a quieter place to stay. There are a total of 14 RV sites, all of which come equipped with electric hookups. Eleven of the 14 sites also have water hookups.
Whittleton Campground is known for being kept very clean and more suited to smaller RVs since the sites aren't as large as those at Middle Fork Campground. The campground has similar amenities to Middle Fork with one water collection point, a bathhouse, and a dump station being available for your convenience. Pets are welcome.
The reservation system is the same for both campgrounds, so you can choose your site up to 11 months in advance of your arrival. From Mid-March to mid-November the campground will be closed to all visitors.
The Middle Fork Campground is the largest of the two RV-friendly campgrounds within the Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The campground contains 35 sites that are fairly level, and all of them are equipped with electric and water hookups. You will also get to choose between back-in or pull-through sites that are either on paved or gravel pads.
The Middle Fork Campground is popular with travelers that want to be close to the water. If you want to camp next to the stream to hear the tranquil sound of running water, book site 10. Campground amenities include a water collection point, a bathhouse block, and a dump station. Although the campground only has one restroom facility campers have noted that it doesn't get too busy. Pets are also allowed at Middle Fork Campground, and cell phone reception is available on all of the major networks.
Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance, and Middle Fork Campground is open from mid-March until mid-November. If you are thinking about staying during a weekend you will have to reserve a site for at least two nights. Pets are allowed to join you during your stay.
Although there are no specific sites available for first-come, first-served camping, if you decide on a last-minute trip you can pay an extra walk-in fee to call one of the sites in either campground home.
On most weekends during the summertime, both campgrounds will be booked out, so if you are interested in first-come, first-served camping, your best option will be during the week.
Both Middle Fork and Whittleton are closed during the winter so you won't be able to camp in the park during this time. The camping season begins in mid-March, and this would be a good time for first-come, first-served camping since it won't be super busy.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park contains one of the 17 lodges that are available in Kentucky state parks. The lodge is a great choice if you are looking to get out of your RV and stretch out a little more during your stay. The lodge contains 35 rooms, all of which contain air conditioning, heating, a bathroom, and a balcony. There is also a restaurant and dining hall within the building that offers a buffet breakfast. If you have a furry friend you will be pleased to know that the lodge rooms are also pet-friendly.
The Lodge also operates a number of cottages that are in close proximity to the main lodge. There are 11 cottages to choose from; four of which feature two-bedrooms and the remaining seven are one-bedroom. Like the lodge rooms, the cottages are available all year round. One advantage of staying in a cottage over the lodge is that they come with their own cooking equipment.
Pack those hiking boots in your RV because there are a dozen hiking trails to pick from at Natural Bridge State Resort Park. There is a trail for everyone, and their lengths differ from around one and a half miles up to seven and a half. If you are looking for a moderate hike, try the half-mile long “Original Trail” that takes you to the natural bridge. A more difficult hike will take you over seven miles on the Sand Gap Trail, where you will follow an old logging road, walk along ridge tops, and climb up the side of a valley. Since Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a Nature Preserve, dogs are not permitted.
Come join in on what has been a tradition in the area for over four decades: the Natural Bridge Hoedown. Called by a square dance caller and held on Saturdays during peak season, you will learn Appalachian square dancing, two-stepping, waltzes, picas, line dancing, and dances for individuals and couples. Come early for the warm-up dance and stay for the regular dance program immediately after.
Make sure that your rod and reel are packed in your RV so that you can throw out a line in Mill Creek Lake during your trip. Located near sandstone cliffs and a beautiful forest, there are many fish species that call the river home. These include crappie, bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish, and bullhead. No fishing gear? No problem. Natural Bridge State Resort Park has a great program that offers the free use of fishing gear so everyone can enjoy this relaxing activity.
One of the best ways to experience the natural bridge that the park takes its name from is via the sky lift. You will start your ascent a mile and a half from the entrance to the park and end around 600 feet away from Natural Bridge, traveling for a mile-long experience through the mountain scenery. At the top of the sky lift, you will encounter 900 tons of sandstone that has been created by nature into the Natural Bridge. Venture over to Lookout Point with your camera in hand to photograph the breathtaking Natural Bridge to end this once in a lifetime experience.
If you love to paddle then you will have to step out of your RV to enjoy the 60-acre Mill Creek Lake. The lake is a superb spot for paddling in either a canoe or kayak, and out on the water you will get to see the pure beauty of the forest and amazing sandstone cliffs. If you don't have your own watercraft there is a rental kiosk near the Middle Fork Campground that offers canoes and stand up paddleboards. This is also a great location to launch your watercraft due to the concrete launch pad.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a great place to go birding no matter what time of year that you choose to visit. The park is home to various species of woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, sparrows, and kinglets during the winter months and they are easy to see since the leaves have already fallen off the trees. You can also grab your binoculars out of the RV and enjoy the sight of Carolina wren, tufted titmouse, American crow, wild turkey, pileated woodpecker, and Carolina chickadee birds all year long. View these spectacular birds at Hood's Branch Trail, the Rock Garden Trail, Whittleton Trail, Lakeside Trail, and Mill Creek Lake.