Clinton, Arkansas: Natural Bridge of Arkansas

You're allowed to look at this bridge -- which is a slab of stone, not an eroded archway -- but you can't drive or walk across it. "Natural" doesn't mean trustworthy.
Address:
1120 Natural Bridge Rd, Clinton, AR
Directions:
From south, drive north on US 65 roughly 3.5 miles from where it splits from Hwy 9 in Clinton. Turn east onto Natural Bridge Rd and drive one mile. From the north, the turnoff from US 65 onto Natural Bridge Rd is 15.5 miles south of intersection of Hwy 66 in Leslie.
Admission:
Adults $5.00
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Picnic tables. Natural Bridge

After traveling down a very interesting road you reach a parking lot at the bottom. At one end there is a log cabin built in 1871, according to a sign above the door. The cabin is the entrance to the bridge area and also contains a gift shop. Be sure to look at the covered wagon and old well sitting there. Note the natural formations along the way as well.

On entering the cabin, you will meet a ranger who will give you a history of the bridge and area (Listen for a connection to the Jesse James Gang). After paying your entrance fee, you exit the back of the cabin to a pathway that leads to another cabin. Inside are a lot of antiques and pictures with information, etc. Make sure to visit underneath the cabin, where an old still sits. Past the cabin is a picnic area with tables and benches. Enjoy your lunch or a snack.

Off to your left (up the hill) is the bridge. You cannot walk/climb up to it, but you can view its beauty. If you walk past the bridge you come to the top of the hill to another picnic area and on to the end of the path. Pay attention as you walk, as there are a couple of caves along the rock formations there.

[Dee, 03/30/2014]
Natural Bridge of Arkansas. Roadside Natural Bridge

Off State Highway 40 heading north from Little Rock, in the foothills of the Ozarks about 70 miles north, a side road labeled "Natural Bridge" caught our attention. The drive down this side road itself is an adventure, requiring some skillful curve management. At its end, a wooden shack provides access (and a $3.00 fee) to the site of the Natural Bridge, which is NOT an arch bridge (like Virginia's or Arizona's) but a compression bridge of a flat huge slab of stone (limestone? granite?) stretched across a waterway tumbling down the hillside.

The main slab, supported by two buttresses of stone, is about 120 feet long and over twelve feet off the ground. Situated in a quiet forest area (hazelwood, birch, pine), it is a pretty place to visit, hear some bird calls, smell the forest duff and greenery, and get off the road for half an hour or so.

[Ursula, 07/13/2001]

June 2001: Photo added.

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August 30, 2014

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