Cumberland Falls & Big South Fork - Fultz Fotos
Huling Arch - 1

Coal Branch Natural Bridge

Coal Branch Natural Bridge
Coal Branch
Big South Fork National Recreation Area

It's unusual for me to take a trip to Kentucky's Cumberland Falls/Big South Fork Area and come away with more natural arch photographs than waterfalls but it happened on this latest journey that we went on, in fact I shot 13 new to me arches. Featured here is the Coal Branch Natural Bridge and it was one of my favorites I visited on the trip, at 34 ft. tall and 80 ft. across it's larger than average. The journey to the bridge was just as much fun as getting to see it, as it is located just 100 ft into the Daniel Boone National Forest from a private land owner. Not to be the trespassing type Chris and I decided to park on a forest road about 1/2 mile away and skirt the National Forest boundary off trail. A light drizzle was falling as we began our journey which began downhill, crossing a small stream where we came to a 20 ft. tall cliff line, while following cautiously behind us 3 local dogs barked incessantly at us. Massive boulders that had separated from the cliff made for an interesting landscape as we made our way through the rhododendrons that had grown between them. Eventually we came to a place where we could scramble up the cliff and eventually on to a plateau. Fighting through God's Barbed Wire (as Chris likes to call them) aka thorn bushes we made our way across, then down off the plateau and then back up to onto another where after a short distance we found the bridge nestled in the cliff line. When you first look down on it you don't realize how large it is as the rhody's obscure the base below. At this point I was a little worried that my fear of heights was going to kick in but the scramble down wasn't as bad as it looked. Although the trek in was pretty aggravating it was well worth the effort to see this beauty. Something else that impressed me about this arch was the massive poplar you can see to the right. Seriously, the base was huge! All in all this was a great arch and a great experience and I do look forward to a return trip to this arch if I ever get the chance!

Coal Branch Natural BridgeCoal BranchBig South Fork National River And Recreation AreaKentuckyArch