Trail

Natural Bridge State Park

North Freedom, WI
Length: 2.00 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

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Natural Bridge State Park takes its name from its main attraction, a 25-foot high and 35-feet across sandstone arch formed naturally by wind and water erosion. This weathered formation, in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, was missed by the glaciers during the last Ice Age. Near the bridge is a rock shelter used by native people when the glacier was melting, 11,000 years ago. The natural landscape is the real star of this park, which is composed mainly of oak woods but also contains open prairies of wildflowers. The 2-mile hiking trail will help you experience the sights, as well as teach you about Native American culture.

Starting at the parking lot and heading straight into the woods from the picnic area you’ll have some slight incline, but easy incline. When you get to the split in the trail stay to the right to head to the Natural Bridge. Again, there is a bit of incline, bit nothing too strenuous. It’s not far from the split, be sure to stay on designated trails, you’ll see where the WI DNR has marked off unofficial trails. A short way from the bridge you’ll see another split, if you take the trail to the left you’ll head up on a short in and out trail to a scenic vista. If you stay to the right you’ll come across another split, going right will bring you back to the parking area, going left you’ll continue on a larger loop. This trail will take you across the county highway. You’ll pick up the trail on the other side through some agricultural trails and back into the woods. Once you’re on this side you’re on the Whitetail Hiking Trail. There is one split along the trail, taking it shortens the hike just a bit. If you complete this side of the trail, you’ll cross once again back over the highway into the main part of the park. Take the trail back up the hill, you may see some left behind buildings in the area. You’ll have a split early on once back on this side, you can head back to parking lot from there or take back up to the first split in the trail back down to the parking lot.

This is a quiet park, most people come to hike to the bridge and out, but it’s worth checking out the entire trail! Portions are good for little walkers, but a carrier is recommended.

Here is the link to the park map:

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/naturalbridge/pdfs/natbridgemap.pdf

 

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Carrier needed Yes
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Picnic Area, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Natural Bridge is an amazing geological feature! It’s close to the start of the trail which is nice in case you can’t finish it. A lovely quiet park with beautiful trails!

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $8.00

Daily rate is $8.00 for WI residents or an annual state park pass. For non-WI residents the daily rate is $11.00. There is a pay station to pay fees.

Trail Contributor

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Hello, I’m Abby, one of the Branch Ambassadors for the Madison, WI Hike it Baby branch. I’m a mom to 3 kiddos ranging from baby to school aged. I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and have lived in several states over the past few years including Indiana, Ohio, Florida and now Wisconsin! We’ve lived here since May 2017 and have absolutely fallen in love with the area and LOVE to explore all the outdoor areas around us. Hike it Baby quickly became part of our lives and has built an amazing community for our family. Looking forward to continue helping families explore and love the outdoors one hike at a time! Can’t wait to see you out on a hike!

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Trail Map

Getting There

Natural Bridge State Park is about 0.75 miles east of the village of Leland on County Highway C in Sauk County.

From the east: Take U.S. Highway 12 south from Baraboo or north from Sauk City to County Highway C. Go west on Highway C about 10 miles to the park. A parking lot and picnic area are just off County Highway C. Geographic coordinates are 43° 20′ 36.7″ N, 89° 55′ 56.6″ W.