Natural Bridge of Virginia
The Natural Bridge of Virginia Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Natural Bridge of Virginia was carved from solid stone by Cedar Creek. The stream and gentle valley breezes created this natural wonder that rises 20 stories high. Its size can only be felt when standing beneath the arch. The scale can be seen by looking at the visitors in the image above.

Natural Bridge of Virginia is located near the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 616. The natural feature has been a source of wonderment by Native Americans, generations of travelers including soldiers, and now tourists. We have seen the arches in Arches National Park in southern Utah, but there is no comparison to this natural arch.

Benches along the pathway are for visitor seating during evening light and music show Drama of Creation. We didn't stay for this non-natural event that has been ongoing since 1927.

The Natural Bridge of Virginia is a National Landmark and recognized and awed by settlers for 300 years.

We visited Natural Bridge near the Blue Ridge Parkway during October 2010. The weather was damp and dreary as can be seen in our photographs of the area.

George Washington passed this way and his initials are carved upon the wall beneath the arch. (Graffiti of the day) The carving is at a considerable height above the water's edge and we have no idea how he reached that level.

George Washington's Initials

George Washington, as a young man, surveyed the bridge for Lord Fairfax. Two years prior to the Revolutionary War, King George III deeded Natural Bridge to Thomas Jefferson, a friend of George Washington. Jefferson purchased 157 acres of the area including the stone arch. The property remains in private hands.

Cedar Creek Trail
Cedar Creek Nature Trail

Cedar Creek Trail is a nice pathway leading under the natural bridge and up the creek to other attractions.

Along the trail can be seen a hole blasted in the ground to explore an underground Lost River. The river was heard flowing underground by Saltpetre Cave miners who were working nearby. Various attempts were unsuccessful to find either the source or destination of the subterranean river.

Native American Monacan Village
Native American Monacan Village

The trail above leads to a recreated Native American Monacan Village. The village depicts crafts and tools necessary to survive in the wilderness.

Jim chats with a very well informed gentleman around the campfire. Jim has his camera tucked under his coat to protect it from the falling rain.

Native American Monacan Village

A wax museum is located across the road from Natural Bridge and our admission tickets for the arch included a tour of the museum. The tour is self guided and ends with a portrayal of The Last Supper. A factory tour is also provided to see how wax figures are created.

Here is a link to their site:

Lace Falls
Lace Falls

Cedar Creek Trail ends at Lace Falls The waterfall is about a mile up the trail.

Page created 6 December 2010