Natural Bridge


brochure Natural Bridge - Trails

Trail Guide for Natural Bridge State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.

WELCOME TO NATURAL BRIDGE STATE PARK. EMERGENCY - Call 911. Emergency phone numbers for non- Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Park in designated areas only. There is a per person admission fee. For more information, visit or contact the park office. To make your visit safe and more pleasant, we ask that you observe the following: The park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. Hikers need to be off the trails by a half hour after sunset. PRESERVE - Help preserve your park. Please don’t cut or mar any plants or trees. Collecting animal or plant life is allowed only for scientific purposes by permit from the Richmond headquarters. Don’t feed any wild animals. No trespassing is allowed on the rock face of Natural Bridge. It is also unlawful to destroy, deface, damage or remove any part of the rock face. ALCOHOL - State law permits alcohol use only in private areas or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. PETS - Pets are permitted in enclosed areas or on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Please clean up after your pet. Pets must be attended at all times. Pets are not allowed inside facilities; service dogs are not considered pets. DRONES AND OTHER AIRCRAFT - Drones, other unmanned aerial vehicles, including remote control aircraft, and aircraft in general may not be flown in state parks pursuant to 4VAC5-30-400. LITTER - Please help us keep the park clean by placing litter and recyclables in the proper receptacles and recycle centers or carrying out your trash. The releasing of balloons is not allowed. Decorative balloons must be deflated and disposed of as trash. In an effort to reduce the impact on landfills, we encourage the use of Leave No Trace Principles including pack it in - pack it out. FISHING - There are fishing areas for those 15 years and under. People under 16 years may fish without a license. A Virginia freshwater fishing license is required for those 16 and older. PARKING - All vehicles must be parked in designated areas. Lock valuables in your trunk and keep your vehicle locked when unattended. GROUP EVENTS - A special Use Permit is required for all group events that involve amplified sound, catering, equipment rentals and vendor deliveries. PARK ACCESSIBILITY - We strive to make each park as barrier-free as possible. Universally accessible facilities are available throughout Virginia State Parks. Please check the park’s website for details. life-threatening emergencies and after-hours assistance are posted at contact stations and other places in the park. INFORMATION - Park information is available at the visitor center or the entrance gate. For more information on Virginia State Parks or to make a cabin or campsite reservation, call 800-933-PARK or visit The Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on all state holidays. Natural Bridge Caverns and the Natural Bridge Hotel and Conference Center are not part of Natural Bridge State Park. ABOUT NATURAL BRIDGE - Mecoure mechin kihoe is a Monacan greeting meaning, “You are welcome to be here.” By visiting Natural Bridge State Park, you join a distinguished group. To Monacan Indians, the area’s first inhabitants, this was sacred land. To Thomas Jefferson, who owned the property in 1774, this land was a source of inspiration and wonder. To frontiersmen, including Daniel Boone and Sam Houston, who passed by on the Great Wagon Road, this was a gateway to the West. Learn more about those people from interpreters along Cedar Creek Trail. GIFT SHOP AND ARTISAN CENTER - Visit our gift shop inside the visitor center. Tickets to see the bridge and caverns can be purchased, as can memorabilia of your visit. The gift shop offers a wide variety of apparel and souvenirs. Our consignment center houses local artisan’s crafts. Paintings, mugs and jewelry are just a sample of the fine crafts offered. NATURE PROGRAMS AND GUIDED HIKES - Check in at the park’s visitor center to find out about special activities during your visit. Special state and national programs are scheduled throughout the year. Pack a lunch or enjoy a meal at the snack bar while you are at the park. MONACAN INDIAN EXHIBIT - Walk 500 yards from the Cedar Creek Cafe, along the Cedar Creek Trail, and visit a Monacan Indian outdoor exhibit, a living history experience. The exhibit is open 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., April – Thanksgiving. GEOLOGY - The bridge itself is one of the oldest geologic features on the East Coast. The limestone base consists of compressed remains of organisms that lived in the seas during the Ordovician period of the Paleozoic era nearly 500 million years ago. When the nearby James River was formed 200 million years ago, the bridge was part of an underground cave system. Eventually, water changed course, and the cave collapsed, leaving only the thickest part of a ceiling - the bridge we see today. Virginia State Parks TRAIL INFORMATION DIFFICULTY SCALE EASY - From .5 to 1 mile; grades are short, typically fewer than 100 feet and less than 10 percent of the trail length; easily accomplished by all users, including the elderly and those with physical or mental disabilities, with little risk of injury or fatigue. Natural Bridge State Park MODERATE - From 1 to 5 miles; steepness and grade lengths vary; at least 60 percent of the length is fairly flat; healthy people can accomplish the trail with little risk of injury or fatigue. DIFFICULT - Trail length is greater than 5 miles; more than 70 percent of the trail is on a grade; experienced hikers only or groups of three to five people recommended; there is a risk of overexertion or injury to those not conditioned. BEAR AWARE - Things to remember in bear country: • Keep your dog on a leash at all times. Off-leash dogs are the most common cause of backcountry negative interactions with bears. Consider leaving your dog at home. • If you meet a bear, do not run. Back away slowly while facing the bear. Alert it to your presence by talking and making a bit of noise. • Use extra caution in places where hearing or visibility is limited, such as brushy areas, near streams, where trails round a bend and on windy days. • Reduce your chance of surprising a bear on the trail by making noise, talking or singing. TRAIL GUIDE VIRGINIA STATE PARKS ARE A TONIC FOR THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT. Museums, visitor centers and nearby historic sites make state parks cultural treasures. The recreational opportunities in state parks are endless and easy to see – from swimming and boating to horseshoes and hiking, there’s always something to do in a Virginia State Park. If you encounter a bear, please report the contact to the park office. 6477 South Lee Highway. Natural Bridge, Virginia 24578 540-291-1326 WWW.VIRGINIASTATEPARKS.GOV 800-933-PARK Trail Mileage Usage Difficulty Buck Hill Trail Blue Ridge Trail Cedar Creek Trail 1.80 3.30 0.80 H H+B H n 11 gto xin Le To H = Hiking H+B = Hiking and Biking = Easy = Moderate = Difficult ar 81 Parking Point of Interest Restrooms Amphitheater Snack Bar Waterfall Picnic Area Wildlife Viewing l B dar ai l Tr ou n ek Monacan Village w go as Gl To Ce da r Cr ee Lost River k ai l Tr y Hotel 130 il Ce da rC re Lace Falls Buck Hill Tr a Caverns Historic H ote Park B ou nd Red Knob Overlook e Trailhead il Tra ge Rid y Blu Information 11 kB r a P Visitor Center Jefferson Point ary Monacan Village o d un Natural Bridge Salt Peter Cave 760 1 La 0.5 Miles ffe r 0.25 Sh a 0 ne Go lf Co u rs e Ro ad 608 Cedar Creek Cafe Cascade Falls Picnic Area Visitor Center

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