Trail Run Project Logo

Natural Bridge Trail

Intermediate

Trail

1.2 mile 2.0 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 157' 48 m
Descent: -174' -53 m
High: 1,087' 331 m
Low: 934' 285 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Jeff Reynolds

Short loop trail with a stream, small waterfalls, and two rock-hop crossings through the beautiful Jocassee Gorges area.

Jeff Reynolds

Features River/Creek

The trailhead is in Keowee-Toxaway State Park. Check the website for seasonal access rates.

Need to Know

The Jocassee Gorges Visitor Center has restrooms but check the hours first if you are planning to use them—especially off-season as the hours are short and intermittent. The Center also has two picnic tables in back and vending machines.

Description

Natural Bridge Trail is a 1.3 mile loop trail in Keowee-Toxaway State Park.

The trailhead is located in the back corner of the upper parking lot of the Jocassee Gorges Visitor Center. The trail starts out co-marked for the Natural Bridge Trail as well as for the Eastatoe Passage of the Palmetto Trail. Trail marks are diamond shaped metal signs nailed to the trees as opposed to colorful paint blazes.

After 0.1 miles, the trail comes to a fork. Left takes you clockwise around the loop and also continues to follow the co-marked Eastatoe Passage of the Palmetto Trail. The left (clockwise) direction also puts you going downhill along the steepest portion of the trail (with steps). Mileage references going forward are in this direction but if climbing steps at the end of a run is your thing, proceed right and travel counter-clockwise.

From 0.1 miles to 0.4 miles the trail is steadily downhill, including the previously mentioned steps. Once in the low portion of the trail, the trail levels off and runs along and over Poe Creek. There are a couple of minor waterfalls with pools at the bottom that would serve as nice spots to stop and cool off on a hot summer day. There are also two rock-hop crossings of Poe Creek with which smaller kids may need a little assistance if there has previously been heavy rain. All should be able to cross, however, with dry feet.

At 0.6 miles, a well signed intersection marks the spot where the Raven Rock Trail and the Eastatoe Passage of the Palmetto Trail split off from the Natural Bridge Trail. The Raven Rock Trail is an additional 3.1 mile loop within the State Park that comes back to this spot whereas the Eastatoe Passage of the Palmetto Trail moves off of the State Park Property.

Staying straight ahead at the intersection on the Natural Bridge Trail (no longer co-signed) leads you to the feature for which this trail is named—the Natural Bridge—at just under 0.7 miles.

The remainder of the trail from here is a slow, steady climb back to the parking lot. Around the 1.0 mile mark, Highway 11 will come into sight and hearing range before the trail brings you back to that original fork in the trail at 1.2 miles. Stay straight to return to the parking lot (a right turn will take you on another lap).

At 1.3 miles, the parking lot and Jocassee Gorges Visitor Center will come back into view.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Photos, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#9028

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#9,028

Overall
4 Views Last Month
81 Since Feb 23, 2019
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running