Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
321.00 ft (97.84 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.50 mi (4.02 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Whittleton Arch is one of numerous sandstone arches that dot the landscape of Red River Gorge Geological Area and provides an easy yet rewarding day hiking experience. The hike is a simple out-and-back route covering 2.5 miles total with 321 ft. of elevation gain.

The trail starts at the entrance to Whittleton Campground and requires a short walk (0.20 miles) on the paved road inside the campground to reach the trailhead. Campers who have an overnight reservation at the Whittleton Campground will be able to access this trailhead directly from their campsite.

The trail follows the course of the namesake Whittleton Branch and after just 0.1 miles you will cross a wooden footbridge across the stream. From here you will continue to follow the trail as it mirrors the stream for 0.90 miles until you reach a fork in the trail. Turn right to continue onto Whittleton Arch Trail where you will have a short but steep descent back towards the stream (keep an eye out for the small waterfall at the bottom of the descent) before a short climb up to Whittleton Arch. After taking in the scenery, simply retrace your route back to the parking area for 1.25 miles.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Streamside. Low Crowds. Natural Arch.

Cons

Muddy in spots.

Trailhead Elevation

755.00 ft (230.12 m)

Highest point

1,003.00 ft (305.71 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Wildlife
Geologically significant
Cave
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Kentucky
Red River Gorge Natural Geological Area
Kentucky Cumberland Plateau, Kentucky

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Kentucky

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