Natural Bridge State Park (2022)

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This content takes priority over any other information provided on this park's webpage.

The park is open daily from 9 a.m.-dusk, weather permitting. The Visitor Center is open daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Trail Store isopen daily 9 a.m.-dusk. We will post an alert if the park or any facilities have to close due to severe weather.

Base Camp is open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends and Holiday Mondays. It is located in the downstairs section of the Visitor Center.

No shuttle service is available at this time. Accommodations for accessibility can be made upon request to the contact rangers at the Visitor Center.

Food service will be available weekends beginning in April.

The Monacan Village is currently closed to visitors.

General Information

The 37th state park was dedicated on September 24, 2016, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark in 1988. The 215-foot tall Natural Bridge is a limestone gorge carved out by Cedar Creek. The park is more than just the bridge; beautiful forests and rolling meadows showcase the area's karst terrain, and vistas of surrounding mountains and the James River valley display nature's splendor. Access these via 7 miles of hiking trails, including Cedar Creek Trail, which leads from the park's Visitor Center under the bridge to the Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls with its 30-foot cascade. Seasonal living history programs connect you to the past and cover how people once used the area's resources for survival and inspiration. Start at the visitor center, where you will find exhibits and a gift shop.

  • Accommodations for those with accessibility needs can be made upon request at the park's Visitor Center.
  • Cedar Creek Trail to the Natural Bridge and the Monacan Village is a moderate-rated trail.
  • Strollers are not recommended because of the descent into the glen to the Natural Bridge.
  • It is an outdoor experience requiring appropriate footwear, physical exertion, and hydration while enjoying the trail.
  • Restrooms are available at the beginning of the trail, located in the park's visitor center and the Trail Store at the Cedar Creek Pavilion.

HOURS

VisitorCenter

  • January to the 2nd Weekend of March: 9:00 a.m. to dusk daily
  • 2nd Weekend of March to Thanksgiving: 10:00 a.m. to dusk 6:00 p.m. daily
  • Thanksgiving toJanuary: 9:00 a.m. to dusk daily
  • Closed Christmas Day

Contact Station and Trail Store

  • January to the 2nd Weekend of March: 9:00 a.m. to dusk Friday-Sunday
  • 2nd Weekend of March to Thanksgiving: 9:00 a.m. to dusk daily
  • Thanksgiving to January: 9:00 a.m. to dusk Friday-Sunday
  • Closed Christmas Day

Virginia Department of Transportation study of Rt. 11, which runs atop Natural Bridge.

(Video) Natural Bridge State Park in Virginia (4K)

Hours

See above

Location

From I-81, take exit 175 or 180A to U.S. 11 and follow signs to the park.

Drive Time: Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, four hours; Roanoke, 30 minutes.

Park Size

1,540.22 acres.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

None. For information on availability of other parks' overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve onlineor call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.

Recreation

TRAILS

More than 7miles of hiking trails wind through the park providing a glimpse of nature. The Cedar Creek Trailgoes under the Natural Bridge to the Monacan Village, Lost River and Lace Falls. The Buck Hill Trail offers a hike much like hiking the Appalachian Trail.The Blue Ridge Trail and the Skyline Trail offerspectacular views of the Blue Ridge andthe Appalachian Mountains. Pack a lunch to take along and enjoy many scenic vistas. Cedar Creek Trail access beyond the bridge is limited during winter; call before arriving for details.

Children's Discovery Area

An outdoor experiential area for families to have fun enjoying nature, the Children's Discovery Area has two components at this time: the Kids in Parks Track Trail and the soon to be certifiedNature Explore Outdoor Classroom. The Track Trail offers the chance to visit the site with a choice of four self-guided brochures. The brochures teach about pollinators, birds of the Blue Ridge, animals that may be seen in the park and how nature can hide and seek. The outdoor classroom is a play space using natural features to engage children and immersethem in an outdoor environment of creative play. Remember when as a child you would play games in the woods in your neighborhood or explore wild adventures in a woodlot near you?This is exactly the same sort of experience, so come and planto get dirty and have fun. Sponsored by a generousgrant from Dominion Power, The Freedom Food Festival and the Friends of Natural Bridge State Park, this site provides some of the most stunning views in the park. So after you have seen the Natural Bridgetake the time to enjoy being a kid again.

SWIMMING

There are no designated swimming areas.

FISHING, BOATING

Those 15 and younger may fish in Cedar Creek. The nearby James River has plenty of sunfish, smallmouth bass, catfish and muskie. Access the James from DWR ramps in Buchanan and Arcadia in Botetourt County and take out in Glasgow in Rockbridge County.

(Video) Natural Bridge State Park Virginia Walkthrough History Review 2021

HORSES

No horses, riding trails or stables. Click here for detailson nearby trails and stables.

HUNTING

None.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

Download (external link for use with Avenza App) the geo-referenced map

Download the geo-referenced map for this park

Nearby Attractions

Picnic Shelters

There are picnic tables behind the visitorcenter. Cedar Creek Pavilion has a sheltered area for picnicking, and the Cascade picnic area seats up to 24 and can accommodate a tent. The Leave No Trace outdoor classroom has five picnic tables and a fire pit. Picnicking is also available at Base Camp behind the Visitor Center and the trailheads of Blue Ridge and Skyline Trails.

No refunds will be given within 14 days before the reserved day. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILITIES

The park's interactive classroom seats up to 80. The room can be set up for theater or classroom seating with tables and chairs, a podium with a sound system and an LCD projector with screens are available.

(Video) Natural Bridges State Beach | Bay Area Hiking Trails

CancellationPolicy:

61 days and above 50% non-refundablecancellationfee

0-60 days 100% non-refundablecancellationfee

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

At the visitor center, buy admission ticketsand check out exhibits in Base Camp that describe the area's natural, historical and cultural heritage. There's also a large shop with gifts, souvenirs, local artisans'workand other items.

TRAIL STORE

At the Trail Store, you can purchase admission tickets along with refreshments before or after your hike. A small gift shop is located in the store. The Trail Store is part of the Cedar Creek Pavilion and is open seasonally.

RESTAURANT

The Outpost Café is a snack bar in the visitor center offering a variety of ready-to-serve snacks, ice cream and novelty items. It is open seasonally.

LAUNDRY

None.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

Base Camp offers nature and cultural exhibits. It is an interactive space with touch screen monitors, an observation beehive and exhibits of wildlife found in the park. The Interactive Classroom provides groups up to 80 with meeting space and audiovisual equipment for conferences, training and social events.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY

  • The main level to the visitor center and restrooms
  • Restrooms at the Cedar Creek Pavilion
  • Accommodations for those with accessibility needs can be made by calling the park for more details.
  • Cedar Creek Trail to the Natural Bridge and the Monacan Village is a moderate-rated trail. Strollers are not recommended because of the descent into the glen to the Natural Bridge.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

Experience life in a typical Monacan Indian settlement in the park’s outdoor exhibit. Learn about gardening, cooking, tool production, pottery making, basket weaving and more. At Base Camp in the park’s visitor center, there is a Monacan history exhibit including a replica wigwam as well as other interpretive information when the outdoor exhibit is closed seasonally or because of inclement weather. Programs about the area's geology and diverse biology also are available. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

CONCESSIONS

The Outpost Café Snack Bar is in the Visitor Center. A variety of ready-to-serve hot and cold foods are available. Pizza, pretzels, hotdogs and nachos just to name a few.

(Video) Natural Bridge State Park | Natural Bridge, Virginia | Monacan Village

HISTORY

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson bought 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.

In May 2013, then owner Angelo Puglisi announced plans to sell the Natural Bridge complex by year's end. Nearby Lexington, Rockbridge and Buena Vista passed resolutions urging a positive outcome as did land trusts across Virginia and the nation. The Valley Conservation Council and Rockbridge Area Conservation Council hosted tours, wrote articles, encouraged support and formed the Friends of Natural Bridge.

On Feb. 6, 2014, the dream to ensure the protection of the bridge in perpetuity came together thanks to the nonprofit Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund and its leader, Tom Clarke. Puglisi gifted the bridge and 188 acres of the property — valued at $21 million — to the fund. The nonprofit group agreed to pay for the remaining 1,300 acres with a loan from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Resources Authority.

The state will not own the Natural Bridge property until the debt is paid off but took over management of about 1,500 acres here on Sept. 24, 2016. The state park does not include the Natural Bridge Hotel and Conference Center or the Caverns at Natural Bridge.

FRIENDS GROUP

The Friends of Natural Bridge State Parksupport, promoteand protect the park. They sponsor a number of activities annually including Winter Speaker Series, Kids Fishing Day, Earth Day programs, Trails Day-Clean the Bay Day, a summer concert series, National Public Lands Day and Luminaries Under the Bridge. If you'd like to join, email fonbsp@gmail.com

MASTER PLAN

Master plans are written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every 10 years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every 10 years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

Events, Programs

  • 08/07/2022 - Base Camp Discovery Center
  • 08/09/2022 - Full Moon Yoga
  • 08/09/2022 - Self-Guided Dark Sky Nights
  • 08/12/2022 - Base Camp Discovery Center
  • 08/13/2022 - Base Camp Discovery Center
  • More events at this park.

Blogs

  • AmeriCorps NCCC working at Natural Bridge State Park
  • Epic Fall Road Trip
  • Holiday traditions at Natural Bridge
  • 6 Reasons to Visit Natural Bridge This Fall
  • Back to Nature--Hiking, Native Plants, and Trees of Natural Bridge
  • More blogs about this park.

At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.

Natural Bridge State Park (10)Natural Bridge State Park (11)Natural Bridge State Park (12)Natural Bridge State Park (13)Natural Bridge State Park (14)Natural Bridge State Park (15)Natural Bridge State Park (16)

Amphitheater, Camp Store/Gift Shop, Hiking, Nature/Cultural Programs, Ranger station, Visitor Center, Restrooms, Snack Bar, Universally Accessible

(Video) Marsh - DJ Set (Live from Natural Bridge State Park, Kentucky)

FAQs

How much does it cost to see the Natural Bridge? ›

It has also been designated a National Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Bridge Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for kids ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. Gates are open from 8: a.m. until dusk.

Is Natural Bridge State Park worth visiting? ›

The bridge is natural but everything else about the site is man made. You enter through a huge visitors center with lots of things to buy. The only way you can get a glimpse of the landmark is to pay a fee and walk down man made steps to the viewing set.

How much does it cost to go to Natural Bridge Ky? ›

This “shortcut” is an 11-minute one-mile journey up the steep terrain surrounding the Bridge. Once you reach the top you'll be able to walk atop this miraculous 30-foot wide “sidewalk” in the sky. The roundtrip time for the Sky Lift is 22 minutes and costs $13 for adults and $10 for kids.

How long is Natural Bridge hike? ›

The bridge is part of an easy one kilometre walk (among several others in the park), descending through ancient forests teeming with birdlife. Visiting the Natural Bridge at night is an incredibly unique experience from visiting in the day, as the cave lights up with rare glow worms.

Can you see the Natural Bridge without hiking? ›

No - the only way to see the bridge is to actually go down to the bottom of the creek bed and walk back towards it along their path.

Is Natural Bridge one of the 7 Wonders of the World? ›

Located in the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, the Natural Bridge is one of those natural wonders. In fact, it has been hailed as one of the nation's most visited natural wonders and known as one of the seven natural wonders of the modern world.

Videos

1. TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE STATE PARK | Payson, AZ | 2020
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2. Natural Bridge - Natural Bridge State Park - Natural Bridge Kentucky - Red River Gorge
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5. Natural Bridge State Park || Massachusetts
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6. Visit KY's Natural Bridge State Resort Park
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