Overview. We were out to see wildflowers, and this trail is among the best at providing just that. As warmth returns, but before the forest canopy fills in, wildflowers can be found throughout the area. Whittleton Branch, however, seems to get more than its fair share - and that was all good:-)
Route Type | Out and Back
Total Distance | 4 miles
Overall Difficulty | Easy to Moderate
USDA Forest Service Map of Whittleton Branch and Arch Trail
Trailhead. The trailhead for this hike is located near the gate at Whittleton Campground, part of Natural Bridge State Park. Note that parking is NOT permitted immediately near the trailhead. You must park near the front of the campground and walk to the end to find the trailhead. [map]
Trail navigation. This is a simple out and back on well marked trails without any unmarked user trails to complicate things. Simply follow the blazes and if you like, add Whittleton Arch to the hike. We didn’t have time on this day, but it’s a more than worthwhile stop and a lot of fun to scramble up and down the backside.
CAUTION - Poisonous snakes. While the gorge is within the range of timber rattlesnakes, copperheads are the most common poisonous snake encountered. Stay alert on the trail, as snakes are commonly found taking in the warmth of the trail. Give them a wide berth or wait for them to move off the trail.
CAUTION - Bears. Black bears are growing in number throughout Daniel Boone National Forest. Be sure to follow bear safety precautions. [Be Bear Aware by US Forest Service]