Arches

Cumberland Ranger District, Red River Gorge

The number, size, and variety of natural stone arches in the Red River Gorge contribute to this area's uniqueness. Sculpted by wind and water, the arches provide spectacular views. The forested slopes, ridges, and cliffs provide a stunning backdrop for more than 100 natural arches.

  • Sky Bridge is a large, sandstone arch formation that measures 23 feet high and 75 feet long. To reach the arch, follow Sky Bridge Trail #214. The trail makes a loop that leaves the Sky Bridge parking area and extends along a narrow ridge to Sky Bridge Arch and scenic overlooks. The trail passes over and beneath the arch and then along a high cliff shelf back to the parking area.
  • Grays Arch is 50 feet high and spans 80 feet across. The arch extends off the end of a cliff and forms a buttress. To view the arch, follow Grays Arch Trail #205 from Grays Arch Picnic Area. On the ridge top, the trail passes through mixed pine and hardwood forest with blueberry and huckleberry understory. After 0.2-mile, follow Rough Trail #221 to the north. The arch is visible from the trail. The area is scenic and rich in flora. A waterfall occurs at the arch during wet weather..

Double Arch

  • Double Arch is an unusual twin arch, with one arch on top of the other. The bottom arch measures 30 feet long and 12 feet high. The top arch is 25 feet long and 2 feet high. To view this arch, follow Tunnel Ridge Road to its terminus. Park at Auxier Ridge Parking Area and walk along the old road to Double Arch trailhead on the east side of the road. The trail descends below a high cliff and ends at a breathtaking overlook underneath Double Arch. From this location, hikers can observe Courthouse Rock, Haystack Rock and other geological features in the Red River Gorge.
  • Princess Arch. The hike to Princess Arch is relatively easy. Follow KY 715 to Chimney Top Road and travel 3.6 miles to its terminus where you will find Princess Arch Trail #233. The trail extends out onto a wooded ridge to this slender and graceful arch. The trail passes through mixed pine-hardwood stands with rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbriar understory. Princess Arch measures 32 feet long and 8 feet high. Scenic vista overlooks occur along extended cliff spurs.
  • Rock Bridge is the only arch in the Red River Gorge that spans a stream. Follow Rock Bridge Trail #207 from the Rock Bridge Picnic Area parking lot. Rock Bridge is a sandstone arch that spans over Swift Camp Creek. Scenic overlooks are nearby for viewing the area.

Cumberland Ranger District, Cave Run Lake Area

Several arches occur on the Cumberland Ranger District but only one can be observed from a main trail. From Clear Creek Picnic Area, follow the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail south along a scenic ridgetop. Just over one mile, the trail passes through an area known as The Sinks. The arch will be on your right, 2.5 miles from the picnic area. Further along, the trail crosses Forest Service Road 908 and offers one of the most scenic views on the trail.

Stearns Ranger District

  • Yahoo Arch is 17 feet high and 70 feet wide. There is a smaller arch on the left. From US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 700 west. Travel approximately 3 miles. The trailhead to Yahoo Arch Trail #602 is a gated road on the right. Follow the old road along the ridgetop. After one mile, the trail begins to descend. Stairs with railings mark your approach to the arch. Turn left and follow along the base of the cliff for one mile to reach the arch.
  • Markers Arch. From the Yahoo Arch trailhead, follow the old road along the ridgetop and take a right at the fork in the road on Markers Arch Trail #603. A sign directs visitors to the arch. The trail follows a pine-oak ridge before descending.
  • Koger Arch is 54 feet wide, 18 feet high and 91 feet across. South of Whitley City, follow KY 92 west to Yacacraw Bridge. Turn left just past the bridge onto KY 1363. Travel approximately 3 miles to the sign for Bald Knob and Wilson Ridge. Turn left and follow county road 582 to the trailhead for Koger Arch Trail #633 on the left. From 582, rock steps lead down to a seasonal creek. Cross the creek and follow the trail up to the arch. The arch is within 0.3-mile from the trailhead.

Image of stone arch in late summer, early fall.

  • Buffalo Arch. Native Americans once used the height of this arch as an advantage when hunting buffalo. The arch, located at the end of a ridge, is approximately 19 feet high and 82 feet wide. The ridgeline drops along the back of Buffalo Arch into a valley created by a nearby stream. To reach the arch, take US 27 in Whitley City to KY 92 west. Just past the Yamacraw Bridge over the Big South Fork River, turn left onto KY 1363. Follow the signs to Great Meadow Campground. When you reach the fork for Forest Service Road 137 and 562, take 562 to Parkers Mountain. Follow 562 until you reach Forest Service Road 6305 on your left. Access to this trail is from the Parkers Mountain Trail #634. The trail follows an old road for 0.2-mile and then turns right to follow a ridge for 0.2-mile before reaching the arch.
  • Gobblers Arch is a sandstone arch that stands 12 feet high and 50 feet wide. From US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 92 west. After crossing the Yamacraw Bridge over the Big South Fork River, turn left onto 1363. Follow the signs for Great Meadow Campground. At the intersection of Forest Service Road 562 and 139, go left, following 139 to Forest Service Road 569. Go about mile to Forest Service Road 6105 on your right. Gobblers Arch Trail #636 ascends from Rock Creek until reaching the cliffline. The trail then follows the ridgetop until reaching Gobblers Arch.
  • Natural Arch is an impressive 50 feet by 90 feet. The arch and surrounding 945 acres, once home to prehistoric groups and later Cherokee hunting grounds, were set aside to conserve the area's natural beauty. Natural Arch Loop Trail #510 begins on the north end of Natural Arch Picnic Area and runs along a paved pathway to the base of Natural Arch, passing two scenic overlooks along the way. At the arch, you may climb steps to the arch itself or continue along a dirt pathway that loops around the northwest end of the arch. The fenced area underneath the arch is closed.

London Ranger District

  • Daylight Arch is a pair of delicate arches standing within a few feet of each other. One arch is 7 feet high by 14 feet wide. The other is 6 feet high by 14 feet wide. From the junction of Forest Service Roads 119 and 56, travel west on 119 for one mile. The arches are on the right next to the road.
  • Schoolhouse Arch, as its name implies, was used as a classroom for a short time. The arch is 7 feet high by 80 feet wide. From the junction of Forest Service Roads 193 and 88, travel west on 88 for 1.3 miles. The arch is 150 yards down a dirt road on the left.




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/dbnf/specialplaces/?cid=fsbdev3_032556