Natural Beauty Activities
Natural Bridge State Park
On September 24, 2016, Natural Bridge, a National Historic Landmark, became Natural Bridge State Park, and thus, the 37th jewel in the crown of the Virginia State Parks collection.
Visiting the Park
- $6 for ages 6 to 12; $8 for those 13 and older
- Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
- Shuttles to and from the accessible Cedar Creek Trail are available from the Visitor Center from 8:30 a.m. until the park closes.
- Natural Bridge State Park is located at 6477 S. Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, VA 24578
More than six miles of trails meander through Natural Bridge State Park. The primary trail is the beautiful Cedar Creek Trail that leads visitors beneath the soaring limestone bridge, past the Monacan Indian Village and Salt Peter Cave to Lace Falls.
Park Trail Guide
MONACAN INDIAN HISTORY
Through the Monacan Indian Village visitors are able to get a glimpse of what life might have been like for these native Americans. The outdoor exhibit is open April 1 through Thanksgiving weekend. Interpreters teach traditional Monacan gardening, cooking, tool production, pottery making, basket weaving, and more. During the off-season months, a classroom on the first floor of the Visitor Center showcases other Monacan history, including a replica wigwam.
Park guests 15 and under may fish Cedar Creek, a clear stream that also draws in ducks and plenty of lizards and salamanders.
Picnic areas are available at the Visitor Center or along Cedar Creek Trail.
A Brief History of the Bridge
In 1774, Thomas Jefferson purchased the bridge and 157 surrounding acres from King George III of England for 20 shillings. The bridge passed from one private owner to the next and became a tourist destination. For nearly 250 years the Bridge stayed in private hands and that was fine; until it wasn't.
In May 2013 then-owner Angelo Puglisi announced his plan to sell the Natural Bridge complex before the end of the year. Local communities passed resolutions (Rockbridge, Lexington and Buena Vista), and land trusts across the state and nation urged a positive outcome. The Valley Conservation Council and Rockbridge Area Conservation Council assumed leadership roles and hosted tours, wrote articles, encouraged support and formed the Friends of Natural Bridge. Continue Reading ...