• Activities:

    Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    9.5 Miles

Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Hidden deep in the hills of Southeastern Ohio lies a secret and tranquil destination that few are aware of: Irish Run Natural Bridge.

To begin, park next to the cemetery located on T-411 in Wayne National Forest. The trail begins on the north side of the cemetery and leads into the woods from there. In less than a 1/4 mile the trail forks into two separate trails, being both the beginning and terminus of the Archers Fork Loop Trail. Taking the trail to the right takes you on the more direct route to the natural bridge, and there are signs along the trail that will direct you that way.

Within the next 1/4 mile you will pass signs for what is referred to as "The Great Cave", which is easily accessible via a small spur trail to the bottom of a ravine, which reveals a small hollow carved into the sandstone (over which the main trail actually passes).

Beyond the Great Cave, the trail continues for another 1/4 mile to reach Irish Run Natural Bridge. Measuring 51 feet long and 39 feet high, it's one of the larger natural bridges in Ohio, and one of the more photogenic locations in the region.

If you wish to continue the loop, the trail continues for another 9 miles back to where you met the fork in the trail, making it a strenuous day hike, or a relatively relaxed two-day backpacking trip. Mountain biking is allowed on the trail, but a permit is required from Wayne National Forest Headquarters, and is only permitted from April 15th to December 15th each year. Hiking and backpacking requires no permit.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Camera
  • Water (2-3 liters)
  • Hiking Poles (optional)
  • Trail Snacks
  • Tent and Sleeping Bag (if overnighting)
  • Map and Compass
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Dan Barr

A Buckeye with a backpack and a bad case of wanderlust

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