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The Natural Bridge in Virginia was a great stop on our road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s not far off Interstate 81 and has a mile long trail under the 215 foot natural stone arch, past the ‘lost river’, a native American village replica to some waterfalls. There are also tours of the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns.
This area is a National Hiistoric Landmark. The 157 acre property was purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George III for 20 shillings in 1774 and was a tourist attraction even back then. George Washington is said to have surveyed the area and carved his initials on the wall of the bridge.
When we visited this site in 2013, it was under private ownership. In 2016, ownership transferred to the state of Virginia and became Natural Bridge State Park. Also in 2016, the new state park was designated an affiliated area by the National Park Service which provides for federal funding.
Location: 6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA 24578
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designation declared: 8/06/1998
Date of my visit: 8/16/2013