On our way to Washington DC we found this natural treasure that was a wonder to see in person.
While the entrance building is grand it will pale against the natural beauty awaiting you.
Once you have paid your admission ($8 adults / $6 kids) you may either walk down the hill to the start of the trail or take the shuttle bus down there. We took the easy shuttle bus. At the bottom of the hill and just before the start of your hike is a restaurant. This was closed on our visit but the view was very nice.
The trail from the restaurant to the bridge parallels Cedar Creek. It was raining steadily during our visit. I don’t care for rain much but the beauty surrounding me made it seem less irritating.
It was a short hike to see this magnificent site formed by nature. This was actually once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
Unknowingly, we actually drove across this bridge on US Route 11. It has some high walls on the roadway to prevent people from stopping.
Here are some additional facts about the archway.
While the archway is the main attraction, there are more sites to see if you are up to some hiking.
The Monacan Indian Village Outdoor Museum is not too far from the bridge. If you wait a bit they open up the village for demonstrations. The hut with smoke coming out was due to the fire inside. It was very warm (which was nice in the rain) but it was pretty smoky.
A bit farther up the trail is the Saltpeter Mine where elements to make gunpowder were mined from this sight. Not much to look at but this place played a very important role in the history of America.
This is where I left my wife to venture on to the sites farther up the trail – again, in the rain.
This is the lost river. Pretty much a small creek that flows out from the hillside. It got its name from the fact that no one has been able to locate the source of this underground river.
At the end of the trail is Lace Waterfalls. The hike is nearly a mile from the start of the trail to the end. I was soaked from the rain and a little underwhelmed that it wasn’t bigger. All-in-all it was a beautiful hike had it not been raining constantly. Now you know what is at the end so you can make an informed decision of your own.
Once your return you can browse the extensive gift shop. This is where you get tickets and start your journey but save your energy for the nature hike first and browse later. You could easily spend a couple of hours or more between the hike and the gift shop.
Once we had finished with Natural Bridges, we found an assortment of attractions that lined the road for the next 4 miles along US Route 11 northward. The zoo above is only one of many of these attractions. Check out the gallery and the links below for more about these. We did visit Foamhenge (no longer at this location) and the Virginia Safari Park on our return trip. You could easily spend a weekend here and still not see everything.
If we lived close we would be spending much more time here. Unfortunately, we were only passing by during this trip. We will be stopping by again when we pass this area.
For more information check out these websites below: