Virginia is for nature lovers. If you set foot in this fantastic state, you must explore the natural rock bridge. The sights are simply breathtaking. Looking at pictures won't do it: you need to see it for yourself.
A wonder of nature
The Natural Bridge of Virginia has appeared in famous paintings and books. Monacan Indians worship it, and it belonged once to Thomas Jefferson, who bought it from the King George III of England. Today, it is a national landmark and the entrance to discover natural hiking trails.
The structure of the bridge is made of solid grey limestone, carved out by the Cedar Creek. It is 215 feet tall, and the Ordovician rocks have existed for 500 million years old.
The park that comprises the bridge is around 1,540 acres. The state park offers beautiful forests, rolling meadows, and views to the mountains and the Hames River valley that surround it. The famous Cedar Creek Trail starts from the bridge, leading to the Monacan Indian Living History Village and to the Lace Falls, featuring a magnificent 30-foot cascade.
In the village, you will connect with the past. Learn about the history of the Monacan Indians and how they used the resources in this area for survival. For them, this was a sacred site that was denominated as the "The Bridge of God."
While in the park, make sure you also visit the Natural Bridge Caverns. They were discovered in the 20th century and opened in 1977. To behold the awe-inspiring caves, you must descend 34 stories beneath Earth's surface. Keep in mind that the temperature in the caverns keeps cool at 54 F degrees, so you bring a jacket with you and proper shoes to ease the descending.
Once down there, you will view the structure of the cavern and special features, such as the Colossal Dome room: a big dome-shaped room that was created over many years. Plus, you will learn how they were formed. Tours take place every 60 minutes and last about 45 minutes.
Good to know
The state park is open from 8 am to 5 pm. At the visitor center, you'll find all the information you need to explore the bridge and its surroundings. There is also a gift shop if you feel like buying some souvenirs or snacks for the walk.
When driving on I-81, take exits 175 or 180A and follow the signs that lead you to the park.
While in the area, explore the Cave Mountain Lake recreation area for camping, rafting, horse riding, kayaking, and more activities in nature.