Hike past powerful waterfalls and descend into the deepest caves on the East Coast of America at this remarkable national historic landmark.
The Natural Bridge is North America’s largest natural land bridge. This dramatic limestone arch was slowly carved by Cedar Creek over thousands of years. Admire this impressive arch and enjoy the many attractions that surround it. Go for a walk along the scenic Cedar Creek Trail, venture below the earth’s surface to the Caverns at the Natural Bridge and visit the site in the evening to see a beautiful sound-and-light show.
The 215-foot (65-meter) bridge was revered by the Monacan Native American tribe who named it “The Bridge of God.” It is said that the bridge was surveyed in 1750 by George Washington, who supposedly carved his name into the rock. Later Thomas Jefferson owned it. To reach the bridge, follow the trail downhill from the visitor center. Look for the remains of a 1,500-year-old arbor vitae tree along the way. If you don’t feel like walking, use the convenient shuttle bus to reach the site.
Stroll along the Cedar Creek Trail, which extends beyond the bridge for about 1 mile (2 kilometers). Developed in 1926, this picturesque trail leads along its namesake creek to reach Lace Falls, a spectacular 30-foot (9-meter) waterfall. During your walk, be alert for birds such as the Louisiana waterthrush and butterflies including the eastern comma.
Tour the Caverns at the Natural Bridge, which stretch down 34 stories below the earth’s surface. These 45-minute tours provide the opportunity to see underground lakes and impressive naturally carved rooms as well as interesting cave formations including stalactites and stalagmites.
Return to the bridge in the evening to watch its famous sound-and-light show. Possibly the longest continuously running light show in the country, it has been held every night since 1927. This Biblically themed show features a narration of the Seven Days of Creation accompanied by stirring music and dazzling lighting effects.
The Natural Bridge is 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Lexington. The bridge is open daily. Be aware that many of the surrounding attractions are only open seasonally. An admission fee is required. Experience a day of exciting outdoor activities at the Natural Bridge.