Natural Arch Scenic Area

Area Status: Open

Natural Arch Scenic Area

Natural Arch Scenic Area, located on Stearns District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 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  (just picnic area)
11x17 with Trails #508, 510 and 528 (trails and picnic area)


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 at the Natural Arch Scenic Area. Hang tag, fee envelope or sticker. $5/day; $7/3 day; $50 annual. You may pay at the site or purchase a pass at the Stearns District office. Free use is available with an Interagency or Golden Pass, which must be displayed on the vehicle dash to receive the free discount. The picnic shelters and an amphitheater are available for group rental at $25/day each.
Water: Drinking water available
Restroom: Accessible vault toilets
Information Center: Stearns Office Contact Information

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

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Viewing Scenery

Three overlooks showcase the natural beauty of this area. 

Interpretive Areas


8 sites, capacity of 100, 2 shelters, amphitheater

No. of Sites 8
Reservation Info Reserving/Renting shelters available


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.
Toilets: Vault toilets meet accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.
Accessible: Picnic sites, upper shelter, main overlook, amphitheater, restrooms, and most paths within the picnic area are accessible.
Drinking water: Drinking water is available.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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