Natural Bridge

State Park - Virginia

Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, comprising a 215-foot-high (66 m) natural arch with a span of 90 feet (27 m). It is situated within a gorge carved from the surrounding mountainous limestone terrain by Cedar Creek, a small tributary of the James River. Consisting of horizontal limestone strata, Natural Bridge is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the Cedar Creek once flowed.



Visitor Map of Natural Bridge State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.Natural Bridge - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Natural Bridge State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.

Official Visitor Map of Blue Ridge Parkway (PKWY) in North Carolina and Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Blue Ridge - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Blue Ridge Parkway (PKWY) in North Carolina and Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Bicycle Map of Virginia. Published by the Virginia Department of Transportation.Virginia State - Virginia State Bicycle Map

Bicycle Map of Virginia. Published by the Virginia Department of Transportation.


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

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

Travel Guide for Virginia Mountains. Published by Virginia Tourism.Virginia State - Virginia Mountains

Travel Guide for Virginia Mountains. Published by Virginia Tourism.

Brochure of Virginia State Parks. Published by Virginia State Parks.Virginia State - Virginia State Parks

Brochure of Virginia State Parks. Published by Virginia State Parks.

Features & Stories of the Travel Guide for Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.Virginia State - Virginia Travel Guide

Features & Stories of the Travel Guide for Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.

Natural Bridge SP Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, comprising a 215-foot-high (66 m) natural arch with a span of 90 feet (27 m). It is situated within a gorge carved from the surrounding mountainous limestone terrain by Cedar Creek, a small tributary of the James River. Consisting of horizontal limestone strata, Natural Bridge is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the Cedar Creek once flowed.
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. Virgini
VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS Roanoke River—Roanoke ADVENTURE Head to the East Coast Mountain Biking Capital to become a #Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Outdoor lovers will enjoy over 1,000 trail miles of mountain biking and hiking, plus blueways and water trails for paddling, kayaking and canoeing. While you’re in the area, pop over to recently expanded Explore Park for camping in yurts and pod cabins, and don’t miss a chance to soar through the trees on the new Treetop Quest aerial adventure course with zip-lines. TREK Take a hike to one of the healthiest, most biologically diverse forests in the world in Virginia’s Western Highlands. A stark contrast to one of the region’s many greenways, National Forest land features sightings of wildlife, such as black bears, bobcats, brook trout and songbirds, as well as rare and unusual plants. Trails throughout the Alleghany Highlands and the counties of Bath, Craig and Highland offer insights to the region’s rich heritage, gorgeous landscapes and friendly communities. You can even access the famed Appalachian Trail! VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS Dody Ridge Mountain Bike Trail—Roanoke The VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS region connects small towns and vibrant cities through scenic drives in the western reaches of the state. With breathtaking views and a wealth of fresh air adventures, this outdoor mecca invites you to explore and enjoy before kicking back to enjoy your favorite locally crafted beverage. SAM DEAN 134 C O N C E RT S B Y C A N O E ( H E N RY ) : M AT T R O S S / D O D Y R I D G E M O U N TA I N B I K E T R A I L ( R O A N O K E ) : S A M D E A N QUENCH FISH Concerts by Canoe—Henry SPLASH Taste-test delicious craft brews at Explore Park’s historic Brugh Tavern, where Twin Creeks Brewing recently opened their second location. A few hops away is Beale’s in Bedford, Chaos Mountain Brewing in Callaway and Hammer and Forge in Boones Mill. Prefer a more urban experience? Try Three Notch'd in downtown Roanoke, which is also family-friendly; Deschutes Tasting Room for a variety of flavors; or Big Lick Brewing, where your pups can enjoy the afternoon together, too! Time for kayaking, tubing and biking in the Alleghany Highlands, where you can explore the great outdoors along the Jackson River Blueway or Scenic Trail. The newly opened Alleghany Outdoors in Covington rents kayaks, tubes, bikes and rafts, and offers the ultimate outdoor experience for locals and visitors. Try a combo trip for the ideal day outside, and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the back deck overlooking the river! Want to slow things down? Head east to Smith Mountain Lake for a houseboat excursion, thanks to Parrot Cove Boat Rentals and Sales, to explore the more than 500 miles of shoreline and hidden nooks and inlets of this unique man-made lake. Or head south to Philpoott Lake for Concerts by Canoe (or tube or SUP) – featuring live music on a floating stage for a floating audience! There’s plenty of outdoor fun to enjoy in the mountain hamlet of Paint Bank. Hunting and fishing enthusiasts can start at the state fish hatchery, capturing a unique look into the trout rearing and stocking process, with 1.6 million trout in all stages of development. Pack up your gear for a trip to Big Pine Trout Farm, where sportsmen test their skills for trophy-sized trout (and can even take home the catch for the evening’s supper!). Finish up your adventures by stepping across an actual swinging bridge in the Paint Bank General Store at The Swinging Bridge Restaurant, complete with wildlife displays, gifts and hunting and fishing supplies. VIRGINIA .ORG 13 5 Virginia’s Franklin County Learn H E R I TAG E Franklin County VIRGINIA'S Virginia's Franklin County is literally a vibrant confluence of gateways. It’s your gateway to a beautiful landscape, world-class outdoor recreation and incredible touchstones of Appalachian music and history. From the East, we are your gateway to Virginia's mountains. Heading west, we are the gateway to the Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. We’re also a gateway to Virginia's Rail Heritage Region. Whether you're here for a weekend getaway or looking to spend significant time here, there's something for everyone in Franklin County. Families will love the close proximity to two premier jewels of the outdoors – Smith Mountain Lake and Philpott Lake – where summer fun and seasonal events make for unforgettable vacations. Music lovers will marvel at the sound quality of the nationally acclaimed Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount. We also boast a passionate craft beverage industry of breweries, distilleries and wineries. SPONSORED CONTENT 136 Cahas Mountain elevation 3,571 ft Play OUTDOORS Plug into the vibrancy that is Smith Mountain Lake or quite literally unplug to feel the serene essence that is Philpott Lake. Coast with our mountain and trail biking, navigate five blueways, or experience miles of designated scenic byways. We are one of a handful of locations on
Environmental Education Virginia State Parks are premier environmental education sites. Schools, scouts, groups and individuals are encouraged to come learn more about their world. Backyard Classroom programs, incorporating Virginia’s Standards of Learning, promote lifelong learning. They also help young people enjoy, appreciate and understand the outdoors. Programs & Festivals Master new outdoor cooking recipes. Pan for gold or tour a cave. Learn or improve outdoor skills. Enjoy a rangerled hike, eagle tour or owl prowl. Workshops and events are as diverse as the parks. VIRGINIA Discounts Virginia State Parks are affordable every day, but annual passes can save you money on parking, boat launching and swimming. The Customer Loyalty Program lets you earn points that can be redeemed for free or discounted overnight stays. STATE PARKS You can also receive a 25 percent discount on weekend cabins if you make a reservation on Thursday or Friday, based on availability. Just ask for the discount on the phone when you make the reservation. Park Accessibility Virginia State Parks strive to make each park as barrier-free as possible. Contact the Customer Service Center or individual parks for more information before your trip. Pets Pets are welcome but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in an enclosed area at all times. Cabin guests are charged $10 plus tax per night per pet. No pet fee is charged for camping. There’s plenty of history, too. Immerse yourself in Colonial times, the Civil War or the Underground Railroad. When it comes to festivals, you’ll find music, arts and crafts, local food and beverage, classic cars and more. Up-to-theminute, comprehensive information is available at Nature & History All parks have trails, many with signs explaining the environment. Wander trails at First Landing through cypress swamps or hike Caledon’s trails along ridges and ravines through rare oldgrowth forest. Overlooks at Hungry Mother, Grayson Highlands and Natural Tunnel offer a glimpse of powerful geological forces that shaped the land. See how rivers shaped some parks, such as Belle Isle, James River, Natural Bridge, Powhatan and Westmoreland. | 800-933-PARK (7275) Shenandoah River Seven Bends Sky Meadows 540-622-6840 540-622-6840 540-592-3556 CT • CT • Douthat 540-862-8100 T Natural Bridge 540-291-1326 Smith Mountain Lake 540-297-6066 • 540-854-5503 703-730-8205 703-339-2385 540-288-1400 • B/E/H • B/H • B/E/H/U VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS • • FP • • • • B/E/H H • FP • • B/H • • • B/E/H/U • H/U NORTHERN VIRGINIA Lake Anna Leesylvania Mason Neck Widewater • • • FP CT • • • • B/H/U • • • UD CT CHESAPEAKE BAY Belle Isle Caledon Machicomoco Westmoreland 804-462-5030 540-663-3861 804-642-2419 804-493-8821 • • • B/E/H/U • • B/H • CT • • FP • B/H • FP • P B/H/U COASTAL Chippokes Plantation False Cape­­­­ First Landing York River 757-294-3728 757-426-7128 757-412-2300 757-566-3036 • • P B/E/H/U • • B/H/U • • • B/H • • • FP • • B/E/H/U EASTERN SHORE Photo courtesy Jackie Jamison Kiptopeke CENTRAL VIRGINIA Bear Creek Lake­ High Bridge Trail Holliday Lake James River Pocahontas Powhatan Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Twin Lakes (Cedar Crest Conference Center) Boa t La unc h Boa t Re nta ls Fish in g Day Use O nl y Play grou nds Swi mm in g Trai ls BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS SHENANDOAH VALLEY 757-331-2267 • • • FP • • H/U/B 804-492-4410 434-315-0457 434-248-6308 434-933-4355 804-796-4255 804-598-7148 804-561-7510 434-392-3435 434-767-2398 T • • • • B/E/H T • • • • • • • • T • • • • • CT • • 540-643-2500 276-579-7092 276-781-7400 276-781-7425 276-699-6778 276-699-6778 • • • FP • • • T • • • CT • • • • B/H/U B/E/H • B/H/U B/E/H/U • SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Fairy Stone Occoneechee Staunton River Battlefield Staunton River 276-930-2424 434-374-2210 434-454-4312 434-572-4623 T • • • 276-865-4413 276-254-5487 276-940-2674 276-940-2696 276-523-1322 276-445-3065 T • • • • • • • B/E/H • B/H/U • • P B/E/H • • P B/E/H HEART OF APPALACHIA Breaks Interstate Clinch River Natural Tunnel (Cove Ridge Conference Center) Southwest Virginia Museum Wilderness Road CT • • • • B/H • P B/H/U H/U • B/E/H TABLE LEGEND­­­: B Biking CT Car-top Boat Launch E Equestrian FP Fishing Pier H Hiking P Pool Swimming T Electric Motors Only U Universally Accessible UD Under Development B/E/H B/E/H/U P • B/E/H/U B/E/H H • • Many parks offer overnight facilities suitable for reunions, weddings and special events. Some parks even have equestrian campsites. B/E/H/U B/E/H/U • T Claytor Lake Grayson Highlands Hungry Mother (Hemlock Haven Conference Center) New River Trail Shot Tower With lodges, cabins, yurts and campsites, the fun doesn’t end at sundown. Many cabins are available year-round, and most campgrounds ar
Hotel Weyanoke—Farmville Small Towns, Local charm, cozy curios and open arms make these small towns in Virginia worth exploring. Character WRITTEN BY MARY & BILL BURNHAM T KYLE LAFERRIERE 10 he phrase “small town” evokes nostalgia, authenticity and heartfeltwarmth in many of us. What’s not to love? They are authentic, accessible, friendly and stocked with locally-owned businesses. These are communities where you can get off the crowded highway, park the car and walk, ride a bike or even kayak through downtown. Small, family-run businesses offer one-of- a-kind handmade items, from jewelry and art to craft beers and wine. Farmers markets offer locally-grown produce and seafood spring through fall. With almost 200 incorporated towns, dozens more villages and hamlets, plus nearly 30 designated Virginia Main Street Communities, the hard part is deciding which Virginia towns to visit. VIRGINIA .ORG 11 Here are some of our favorites, d ending starting in southwest Virginia, an metown with a shameless plug for our ho on the Eastern Shore. High Bridge Trail State Park—Farmville Harrisonburg Big Stone Gap 12 Farmville HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL STATE PARK (FARMVILLE): ALI ZAMAN / SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA MUSEUM (BIG STONE GAP): JASON BARNETTE June Tolliver House and Art Folk Center—Big Stone Gap Southwest Virginia Museum—Big Stone Gap JUNE TOLLIVER HOUSE (BIG STONE GAP): TIM COX Southwest Virginia’s coal-mining history comes to life in the “Trail of the Lonesome Pine,” Virginia’s longest-running outdoor drama, performed Thursday through Saturday nights, late June through August. Before you go, be sure to read the Big Stone Gap novels by Adriana Trigiani, or watch the Hollywood film by the same name starring Ashley Judd and Whoopi Goldberg. Upon arrival, you can visit places featured in the film, such as Mutual Pharmacy, the Book Mobile, the Farmers Market, as well as the outdoor drama. Fine, well-preserved period homes house The John Fox Jr. Museum, the Southwest Virginia Museum and the June Tolliver House. Cozy B&Bs, cafes and a variety of antique and curio shops round out this small town gem. Fun Festival: 100th annual Tri State Singing Convention, June This formerly industrial town has been reinvented for recreation, craft beverage and shopping lovers. The Appomattox River that once carried tobacco barges is now a designated Scenic River carrying paddlers in search of whitewater or the calmer four-mile Farmville Blueway. The railroad that once carried coal now carries hikers, bikers and equestrians on the 30-mile-long High Bridge Trail State Park. Repurposed tobacco packing houses and lumber warehouses are reincarnated to house Appomattox River Company, Green Front Furniture and the Third Street Brewing Company, serving up local beer, live music, games for the kids and a pet-friendly beer garden. Together with the Virginia Tasting Cellar and the soon-to-open second location of James River Brewing, Farmville is fast becoming a destination for craft beverage lovers. Fun Festival: Heart of Virginia Festival, May Set amidst the vast playground of the idyllic Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg has been called “one of the best mountain bike towns in America” by National Geographic. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs and artisans have blended the past with the present to create a lively melting pot that is distinctive to this college town. Named Virginia’s first Culinary District in 2014, Harrisonburg’s cultural diversity serves up fare from around the world, while taking advantage of locallysourced farm-to-table ingredients. Food. Bar.Food features “global comfort food,” while a mother-daughter team creates soulsoothing pastries at Heritage Bakery & Café. The arts scene is equally diverse, epitomized by the Agora Downtown Market, a community of small businesses under one roof in an historic building. Named for James Madison, fourth president and the “Father of the Constitution,” are the stunning Hotel Madison and James Madison University (JMU), where nearly 20,000 students lend a youthful vitality to this historic town. Fun Festival: Harrisonburg International Festival, September VIRGINIA .ORG 13 Within Virginia’s larger cities, find pockets of uniqueness that make you feel like you’re in a small town! ROANOKE’S HISTORIC GRANDIN VILLAGE This walkable urban village is eclectic and family-friendly at the same time. Spend Saturday morning at the Community Market, dine on an outdoor patio, shop independentlyowned boutiques and take in a first-run or classic film at the 1930s Grandin Theatre. RICHMOND’S SCOTT’S ADDITION One of the hottest, newly revitalized neighborhoods in the state capital. Warehouses converted to breweries, cideries and distilleries, bold street murals, a cinema and a retro bowling alley make this a happening night scene. Immerse yourself in Virginia’s Lake Country at Virginia’s only lakeside town. Buggs Island Lake, also known as Kerr Reservoir, draws anglers to dozens of fishing tournaments yearl

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