At the parking area, there is a kiosk with a map of Skyline Trail and other trails at the Natural Bridge State Park. This is a short, easy to follow trail with wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park asks that you leave no trace; pack out everything you carry with you, collect your pet's waste, keep pets on a lease, be aware of bears, and leave only footprints.
Located within Natural Bridge State Park, this loop description is in a clockwise direction. It begins to the right of the kiosk. There is a red sign for the Skyline Trail. The Skyline Trail and the Kids in Park TRACK Trail follow the same path for the first 0.5 miles. Follow the mowed path back toward Golf Course Road and then cross the road (look for traffic). After crossing the road it begins a short moderate climb. It is a mowed path through a meadow of wildflowers. Near the top of this climb (0.25 miles) there is a wide opening with a bench to rest on while watching the clouds pass lazily overhead. There is a great view of Thunder Ridge Wilderness and the James River Face Wilderness, and Sharp Top at the Peaks of Otter.
The climb continues for a short distance past the bench, but the grade is easy. There are now woods on the left. After the climb the Skyline Trail begins an easy descent to a junction. The distance is 0.5 miles. The TRACK Trail continues straight out to Jefferson’s Point, an International Dark Sky stargazing site. This short, mowed path leads to two benches. From these vantage points, the Blue Ridge can be seen stretching from the southwestern horizon northeast. It also offers a great opportunity to view the night sky during programs offered by park rangers.
To continue on the Skyline Trail, make a left at the junction with the spur and begin to descend. Almost immediately, there is a bench on the right. Turn left again and make a short moderate descent back to Golf Course Road. The distance is 0.6 miles. After crossing the road (look for traffic), the grade moderates and becomes easy. There is a short, easy climb that ends at 0.75 miles when the path passes through a narrow gap in the trees.
It now descends to the Children’s Discovery Area (1.0 miles). Stay to the left of a small stand of trees while passing the General Store on the left. Exit the Discovery Area and descend back to the trailhead.
From the Lexington Visitor Center, drive east on Washington Street to a left at the stoplight onto East Nelson Street (US-60). Continue .2 mile to a right onto Lee Highway (US-11 S Bypass). Drive .9 mile to a left at the stoplight, continuing south on Lee Highway southbound. Stay on Lee Highway for 12 miles and Natural Bridge State Park entrance will be just ahead of you on the left with the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center on your right. Continue past the park and hotel on US-11 for 1.1 mile and turn left on Golf Course Road (CR 760). There is a sign for the Skyline Trail and the Children's Discovery Area at this intersection. Continue 0.5 miles and turn left at the entrance for the Skyline Trail Head and Blue Hollow Campground. Make an immediate left and proceed 150 feet to the parking area. There is a $5.00 fee for parking.
- The awe-inspiring Natural Bridge is a widely known wonder and makes for a fun and informative afternoon for all.
- The Natural Bridge area is chock full of family-friendly attractions including the Caverns at Natural Bridge, Dinosaur Kingdom II, Natural Bridge Zoo, and Virginia Safari Park.
- Grab a snack at Natty B's Café or if you’re headed back into Lexington, stop at Pink Cadillac Diner on Route 11 for an Elvis Burger or Foot Long in a ‘50s diner atmosphere. Pick up some fresh fruit at Virginia Gold Orchard.
- And for the parents, Great Valley Farm Brewery & Winery and Halcyon Days Cider Co. are kid and pet friendly!