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BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
Natural Bridge, VA
Milepost 62

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Parkway Index

Mileposts:
(heading north)

Page 1 (MPs 400s)
  
Smokemont Campground
  Waterrock Knob
  Mount Pisgah CG

Page 2 (MPs 390-340)
  Asheville, NC
     Asheville KOA East
     Biltmore Estate
     Chimney Rock
  Craggy Gardens
  Crabtree Meadows CG

Page 3 (MPs 316-304)
  Linville Falls CG
  Grandfather CG
  Grandfather Mountain

  Linn Cove Viaduct

Page 4 (MPs 297-294)
  Julian Price CG
  Moses Cone Park

Page 5 (MP 292 exit)
  Boone
  KOA Boone
  Village of Blowing Rock
  Blowing Rock Attraction
  Mast General Store

Page 6 (MPs 291-190)
  West Jefferson
  Church of the Frescoes
  RiverCampUSA
  Virginia Creeper Trail

Page 7 (MPs 217-176)
  Puckett Cabin
  Meadows of Dan CG
  Mabry Mill
  Mayberry Campground
  Mount Airy
  Pilot Mt. State Park

Page 8 (MPs 169-61)
  Rocky Knob CG
  Roanoke Mountain CG
  Virginia's Explore Park
  Peaks of Otter CG
  Otter Creek CG

Page 9 (MP 62)
  KOA Natural Bridge
  Jellystone Natural Bridge
  Natural Bridge

Page 10 (MPs 45-0)
  Chimney Rock
  20 Minute Cliff
  Humpback Rocks

  Shenandoah NP
(MP 0!)

North Carolina Index

Virginia Index

 

I had seen beautiful pictures of this attraction and decided it was a must-see as part of my Parkway experience. I admit, though, that hearing it touted as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world I thought must be a bit of an exaggeration.

Therefore, I was not at all prepared for how awe-struck I was from the first glimpse of what nature and Cedar Creek created here. The stats, though impressive (215' feet high - 55 feet higher than Niagara Falls) do not convey the majesty of the bridge and its surroundings.

Its history, while interesting, also does not account for its fascination. Vaguely visible on one of the walls are the initials "G.W." said to be left by George Washington in 1750 when as a young man he surveyed the surrounding area. It was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, who built a cabin on the grounds in 1803. Long before that, the ancient Monacans considered it a sacred site and called it "The Bridge of God." This sounds like the most fitting explanation to me. I took hundreds of pics and none could capture how beautiful and majestic this creation is - go see for yourself and you'll see what I mean.
Stroll under the bridge a short way and you come upon a recreation of a typical Monacan Village. See what their lives may have been like 300 years ago as you watch Ms. Bertie weave her artistic baskets.

Further along Cedar Creek Nature Trail's shaded paths will take you past things like Lost River, Saltpeter Cave and butterfly garden.

I liked it here so much that when I met up some good buddies during my return trip heading south, we made this an outing. Here I am with my favorite Margarita maker, Helen, one of the Class of 2005 I camped with at Quartzsite. We're at the end of the trail at Lace Falls, a worthy destination. She, hubby Bill and I really enjoyed our time here together.

The leaves were just starting to get tinges of color and I imagine this place is absolutely amazing all decked out in their fall finery.

I had missed the show they put on at dusk, the "Drama of Creation," on the stop I made when heading north. Mom and I were just too pooped after our daytime explorations here. But it sounded like such a neat thing - colored lights flowing across the bridge walls, symphonic music and excerpts from the story of the first seven days of creation from the Bible. So when I visited with Bill and Helen, we made sure we made time for it. Maybe we were a bit over tired, too, because that's the only thing we were a bit disappointed in. We suspect that some of the lights were malfunctioning because it just wasn't nearly as dramatic as the brochure made it look. But it was pretty cool being there anyway when the artificial lights were out and just the brilliance of countless stars lit up the skies viewed through the archway - that was my favorite part and made me grateful for the drama of this, one of God's most beautiful creations.

Either walk the trail from the visitor center or a shuttle will bring you within easy walking distance to the bridge. When mom was with me, she really appreciated the ride and the chance to sit and gaze at the surrounding beauty while I walked the nature trail. The complex here includes a beautiful inn, caverns, wax museum and more. There's also plenty of room for RV parking in the visitor center parking lot.
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