Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Natural Bridge is now a State Park!

On Sept. 24th Natural Bridge officially became a State park. To celebrate, admission was free for the day. Natural Bridge is less than 2 hours from our house, but we've never visited it before. It's always been on our bucket list, but the $18 a person admission just seemed too steep for a one mile hike to see the bridge and a rather unimpressive waterfall.Especially with so many other free/inexpensive places to hike just as close by.

This past Saturday my son had a band competition that was near Roanoke, and quite close to the Natural Bridge. So we dropped him off in Floyd to meet up with his band class and then continued on to Natural Bridge.  

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson paid 20 shillings to purchase the bridge from King George III of England, it has remained in private hands ever since. So we are very excited to see it finally become a State park. 
i really had no idea how massive the Natural Bridge is. It is a  the 215-foot high limestone arch. Picture just don't show the size of it correctly. It really is a neat thing to see and very hard to photograph.  Cars actually drive over the top of it.

 Cedar Creek, which still flows under Natural Bridge carved out of the landscape centuries ago. The main trail follows the creek about 1 mile to Lace falls. It's an easy lovely hike with historical signs about different landmarks along the way.

i found the lost river to be fascinating.  All you can see is the small opening of a cave, but you can hear the river flowing. 

They also have a Monacan village set up with information,  demonstrations and lots of things to explore. We really enjoyed our visit, and plan to return again when we have more time so we can hike some of the other trails and possibly visit the Caverns.  With Natural Bridge becoming a State park, the admission price will be lowered significantly to around $8 a person, which is much more reasonable and they have plans to add more hiking trails and who knows what else.

After visiting Natural Bridge we headed to Glenvar, to watch the Floyd County Marching band compete.  It made for a long, but enjoyable day. i felt a little bad that my son didn't get to visit the Natural Bridge with us, but i know that we'll be back now that it's a State park.  i'm really eager to see the improvements they made to the area. 


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