The text to this article appeared at AC. You can see that version here if you wish
Natural Bridge has aall of it’s own, and if you start out early enough, you can add this park to your itinerary for the same $7 day pass that you can use to get into Devil’s Lake and Parfrey’s Glen. (Otherwise it’s another $7 if you are unable to get to more than one of these in a day.)
Natural Bridge allows the hikers to choose their path to the bridge.The path on the left is less than 1/10th of a mile and right around a bend and up a small flight of stairs. I recommend this path to those with young children who don’t like to do much walking or those with disabilities that only allow them minimal walking. If you want a longer and undoubtedly more scenic walk, choose the right trail. Both will deliver you to the large sandstone structure that is known as Natural Bridge.
You, however, can’t get too close to the bridge or touch it as there’sa fence around it’s base and it stretches out for several feet. You can still view it easily, though, but taking photographs does prove to be a bit tricky as the bridge looms so tall above you and there’s another rock structure behind where you view the bridge.
Natural Bride is a nature madestone archway (bridge) measuring an impressive 78 feet wide and 65 feet high. It’s a testament to how nature’s survives through the years as it is believed that there were people living at the Natural Bridge area as long as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
When you are done viewing the bridge, there are several other trails on the park grounds for you to explore complete with informative signs about the plants you will be viewing. These make for great opportunities to teach younger hikers about the plants on the trail and take advantage of a learning experience waiting to happen. Some of these trails also lead to a cabin and back across to the parking lot. We’ve only explored the short trail to the bridge, the trail to the log cabin, and the trail from the log cabin across to the parking lot. All of these trails are scenic, appear to be well maintained and beautiful.
There’s a small picnic area before you enter the woods, but it only consists of a few benches, so you best have plans if you find them occupied when you arrive. There are also bathroom facilities available here, but otherwise it’s very much a self guided, self serve kind of park. Any food or drink that you might want while here should be brought to the park ahead of time as there are no shops or vending machines here.
We’ve been here in spring, summer and fall and I would have to say that fall is the prettiest of all the seasons here, though the wild columbine in the summer is a wonderful treat to see.
Whatever the season, if you find yourself in or near the Baraboo area of Wisconsin, do yourself a favor and stop in to view Natural Bridge State Park – and make sure bring your camera, too.