Sunday, May 17, 2015

Virginia's Natural Bridge Park

Date of Visit: May 12, 2015

The Natural Bridge is something I've been really wanting to see since reading about it in the 1940s Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion. While it was out of the way, it ended up making a good thing to add to our Skyline Drive trip.

You start at the visitor center, which has a ramp entrance off to one side. You also need to make sure you go out that same door because you can't get to the ramp from the other doors.

The path down to the natural bridge has steps, but they run a shuttle that has a lift. The regular stop involves steps out the back of the visitor center, so they call them to do a pickup in front of the visitor center when needed. They don't do tie downs, so Mik transferred to a regular seat on the way down. On the way up he decided to just stay in chair and didn't complain at all. It's just a short drive up and down the hill and they go slow, so really it is a rather smooth ride.

The trail from the shuttle to and under the natural bridge is a paved path. The Cedar Creek Trail continues on to a waterfall after that. This part of the trail is gravel and a little steep near the first bridge, but we has no issues until we got to the lost river. Of course, the free wheel was a big help, especially since one of Mik's casters is currently totally messed up to the point the freewheel was useful even for the paved path.

The Cedar Creek Trail goes past a Monacan Indian village exhibit, a saltpeter mine, and a lost river. We skipped the exhibit because we weren't interested. The saltpeter mine has a very smooth bridge over to where you can peek in a little.

The lost river was the one part of the trail that was tough as the bridge over it isn't level with the ground. It wasn't that hard, but we did wait for Dad to catch up to make sure we didn't do something like at Pipestone.

It is worth going over the bridge because the trail is just as good as before the bridge and it is a nice viewpoint of the waterfall, especially considering Mik didn't get to see the other falls Dad and I hiked down to in Shenandoah National Park the next day.

Destination Info:
Virginia's Natural Bridge Park
15 Appledore Lane
Natural Bridge, VA 24578

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