Natural Bridge State Park Loop
ElevationAscent: 566' 172 m
Descent: -566' -172 m
High: 1,164' 355 m
Low: 840' 256 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 26% (14°)
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“This loop circles Natural Bridge State Park.”— Austin Lynch
The sandstone arch is prominent on the northern part of the trail, accessed from the Indian Moccasin Trail West. Careful observation will lead you to seeing evidence of human settlement here thousands of years ago, along with some more recent usage.
Warren Wittry of the Wisconsin Historical Society excavated the rock shelter in 1957. His team found evidence of human use over a very long period. They found pieces of charred wood, presumably from fire pits, which were dated between 9000 and 8000 BC. This would make the rock shelter one of the oldest-dated sites for human occupancy in northeastern North America. Evidence indicates that the shelter was used only periodically at first, perhaps as a hunting or seasonal camp. Later it was inhabited year-round.
The earliest reference to this bridge in European-Americans' history is in the Old Settlers' Association of Sauk County Report.
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Land Manager: WI DNR - Lower Wisconsin State Riverway