I am interested in the natural arches and bridges of  Kentucky and Tennessee, and to a lesser degree, the surrounding states. This survey of these wonderful geologic formations is not meant to be complete . . . that would be impossible.  So, what this web page encompasses are some of the publically accessible arches in the area.  While many people are aware of the arches out West, it is my hope that this page can encourage appreciation for the arches of this region.  And with that, an effort to protect these bastards.  To think at one time or another the Corp of Engineers wanted to dam both the Red River Gorge and the Big South Fork!  Hopefully, someone somewhere might find some of this interesting.

Locations . . . Because most arches in this region are either off trail or on private property this webpage only deals with publically accessible arches.  Sadly (that is not a strong enough word) a significant number of arches I have visited show signs of human destruction.  The better known and more accessible arches have all been vandalized to a degree.  Also, in many instances, natural arches are located in environmentally or archaeologically sensitive areas.  All that to say, this webpage is nowhere near comprehensive.     
imroves Case in point . . . the image above, taken at Bolton Branch Arches (KY-16), is but one example of how "MAN IMROVES NATURE."  

asses @ double arch rock
The A.S.S.E.S. at Double Arch Rock (TN-1) near the Big South Fork N.R.R.A. 


The Arch Seekers of the Southeastern States are a loose knit group of natural arch enthusiasts who are interested in seeking out these geologic features primarily in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee.  While some of us routinely gather to bush-whack, we "officially" meet bi-annually for a long weekend of arch hunting, information sharing, and intellectually stimulating conversation. Follow this link for group photos and lists of arches seen at these get-togethers. 

The A.S.S.E.S. are an official Chapter of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.



The Internet
      Natural Arch and Bridge Society   . . . This organization's web site has pretty much any link and/or information on arches
          that you need.
      Mike's Red River Gorge Arch Hunting Weekend Page . . . Mike's photos of the arches we saw at the Spring 2002 Red
          River Gorge Weekend arch hunt.
      The Kentucky Wilderness web page . . . has information on some arches in the Red River Gorge and the Big South Fork.
      Ohio's Natural Bridges . . . Web page of the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.  It contains information on the
          publicly accessible arches of Ohio.

     Beveridge, Thomas.   Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri .  Rolla: Missouri Department of Natural
          Resources, 1990.
     Corgan, James X. and John T. Parks.   Natural Bridges of Tennessee .  Nashville: Tennessee Division of Geology, 1979.
     McDade, Arthur.   The Natural Arches of the Big South Fork .  Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2000.
     Ruchhoft, Robert.   Kentucky's Land of the Arches - The Red River Gorge .  Cincinnati: The Pucelle Press, 1986.

Journals and Newsletters
     SPAN . . . The Newsletter of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.  Contact the NABS web site for information.
     The Journal of Natural Arch Discoveries . . . Edited by Chris Moore.  Contact Arch Hunter Books for information.
     Ohio Geology (Summer 1988 - Out of Print) . . . A newsletter of  the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  This
          particular issue contains information on 40 arches in Ohio.

      The World Arch Database on CD-ROM .  Contact Tom Van Bebber at Stone Canyon Adventures for more information.

-State abbreviations followed by a number (RR is for Red River Gorge) represent the The Journal of Natural Arch Discoveries numbering system.  

-The postcard shown on the Index Page is of Mantle Rock (postmarked 1914).  The card gives an incorrect measurement of 225 feet (it actually measures about 154 feet) and Livingston Co. is spelled incorrectly.

-All photographs on this webpage were taken by V. Fife or T. Fife, unless otherwise noted.

-While this web page is only concerned with the arches of  Kentucky, Tennessee and the surrounding states you can follow this link to see my pilgramage to Arches National Park .


I would like to thank V. Fife, S. Fife, C. Mansfield, Z. Mansfield, J. Mathison, L. Peterson, J. Vansant, C. Moore, B. Wheeley, A. McDade, T. Des Jean, N. Terzakis, K. Garnes, T. Brothers, D. Brandt-Erichsen and J. Burns for support, shared information, bushwhacking companionship, etc.  Finally, I would like to give a big thanks to J. Horstmann and the NABS for hosting this site.

Send all comments to T. Fife at : kyandtnarches@msn.com

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