Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
We visited the Natural Bridge in Virginia on our road trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s not far off Interstate 81 and boasts a mile long trail under a 215 foot natural stone arch. The trail meanders past the ‘lost river’, a native American village replica and some waterfalls. There are also tours of the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns.
This area is a National Historic Landmark. Thomas Jefferson purchased the 157 acre property from King George III for 20 shillings in 1774. It was a tourist attraction even back then. George Washington surveyed the area and carved his initials on the wall of the bridge, allegedly.
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: State Park, National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: August 6, 1998
Date of my visit: August 16, 2013