By Jeremy Patton
Fish Trap Bridge is located in Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County, Kentucky, about 0.25 miles south of Fish Trap Branch.
At approximately 20 feet high and 80 feet long, with two waterfalls plunging beneath it, this unique arch is now my favorite. It is especially gratifying to photograph and write about because it resides near my home town.
The Forest Service has long struggled to stop people from riding their ATVs on top of the arch. The four-wheeler path leading to it is now closed to vehicular traffic. When I visited on 12/23/15, I did not find signs of recent riding. This is likely thanks to the numerous downed trees barricading the path.
It took thousands of years for Fish Trap Bridge to form. It might take decades, centuries or millennia for it to collapse. Riding ATVs, building campfires and carving your name into the stone causes damage that, little by little, hastens its destruction.
I have often stood below arches and scratched my head as to how they formed. That is not the case with Fish Trap Bridge. Two streams leap over a ledge, converge under the arch then race downhill to meet the creek. Give water enough time and it will show its might.
This may be one of Laurel County’s most beautiful natural landmarks. Thank you Tom Kean for trusting me with its location.
I have been purposely vague about directions because natural arches are magnets for vandalism.
The four-wheeler path parallels the stream to its confluence with Fish Trap Branch. On December 23, 2015, I wanted to follow the creek to the Rockcastle River, but decided to play it safe. It was nearly 70 degrees, which is ridiculously warm for Kentucky in the winter, and the wind was howling. I strode several miles to my vehicle in record time because I did not want to get knocked out by a falling limb.
10/24/17 – I took Russell to Fish Trap Bridge for his birthday. It was sunny and cool. The first waterfall was flowing, but the second was a mere drip. The bridge was impressive as always.
We found a recent dump site on the side of Falls City Road, just north of Hawk Creek. I plan to report it to the Forestry Service.
Added 12/23/15 – Updated 10/28/17