Natural Arch Scenic Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Natural Arch Scenic Area

The Natural Arch Scenic Area, located on Stearns Ranger District, is a great place to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. The main attraction is a spectacular sandstone arch that spans nearly 100 feet. An overlook provides visitors with a panoramic view of the arch.

Picnic sites, group picnic shelters, playgrounds and hiking trails provide year-round enjoyment. The amphitheater and group picnic shelters may be reserved for special events.

Natural Arch Scenic Area Guide and Map 

Trails: Natural Arch Trail #510 (1 mile)
Buffalo Canyon Trail #508  (5 miles)
Panoramic View Trail #528 (0.5 mile)

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day-use area only. Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Overnight use and camping are prohibited.
Reservations: The amphitheater and two group picnic shelters may be reserved. Unless rented, these facilities are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the Stearns Ranger District at 606-376-5323 for more information.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees A fee is required to use this site. You may pay at onsite or purchase a pass from a local vendor or at the Stearns District office. Free use is available with an Interagency Pass, which must be visibly displayed.

The amphitheater and two group picnic shelters are available for rent at $25/day each.
Open Season: Open all year
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Trails are for hiking and day-use only.
Closest Towns: Whitley City
Water: Drinking water available
Restroom: Accessible vault toilets
Operated By: U. S. Forest Service
Information Center: Stearns Ranger District|
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653

General Information

General Notes:

Special Events
In a rustic setting, the amphitheater will accommodate up to 300 people. The covered stage is equipped with electrical hookups for audio and visual equipment.

Commercial events and groups of 75 people or more require a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. These permits take time to process, so plan ahead when organizing an event that may require a permit. 

The amphitheater is available on a first-come, first-served basis unless posted as reserved. You may rent the facility up to one year in advance. 

Contact the Stearns Ranger District office for more information at 606-376-5323.


Take US 27 south from Somerset for 21 miles. Turn right on KY 927 and follow the signs for 2 miles.


The picnic sites, upper shelter, main overlook, amphitheater, restrooms and most pathways are accessible.


Parking is available at the scenic area, picnic shelters and amphitheater. 

Recreation Map

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Toilets Accessible vault toilets are available.
Accessible Picnic sites, upper shelter, main overlook, amphitheater, restrooms, and most paths within the picnic area are accessible.
Picnic tables There are 8 picnic tables and 2 shelters with 6 tables each.
Fee charged for some activities Fees are charged at the picnic area.
Drinking water Potable water is available.