Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Natural Bridge State Park

We recently went to Natural Bridge State Park. It's been on our to-do list for awhile, and we were in the area, so we decided it was a good time to finally check it out.

Ocean was in the stroller so he didn't make it into any pictures :)

It really is quite spectacular.

George Washington supposedly surveyed the Natural Bridge area in 1750. His initials can be seen carved on the side of the rock wall. Thomas Jefferson purchased a 157 acre tract of land that included the Natural Bridge in 1774 from King George III for 20 shillings. I wish land was still that cheap :)

on the back side of the arch

There's a trail that leads past the Natural Bridge to an old Monacan Indian village site that's now a living history exhibit.

If you follow the trail further, you come to an old saltpeter mine that was used during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. You can't go in, though in all honesty, I wouldn't have wanted to. It just looked like a cramped, dirty, dark opening in the overhanging rock.

The trail continued over a stream that was formed when the miners blasted the rock to expose the hidden river they could hear, but not see. No one's been able to find the beginning or end of the river despite multiple attempts.

The trail ended near Lace Waterfall. Though it looked to me like some trees had fallen down part of the waterfall, which makes it a little less scenic.

looking downstream from the falls

The trail was a nice little walk of about a mile and a half or so from the Natural Bridge to the falls and back. It was also accessible- Ocean was in the stroller the whole time without any off-roading needed. There's some caverns nearby that we plan on visiting the next time we're in the area.

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