Natural Bridge, in Rockbridge County, Virginia is the site of a geological formation which occured when the local Cedar Creek carved its way through the mountainous limestone. What resulted was a natural structure that now stands over 200 feet tall and 90 feet wide in the shape of an arc, giving it the appearance of a bridge. The Natural Bridge is designated both a Virginia and National Historic Landmark. Historic US Route 11 crosses the bridge, but the tourist attraction's landscaping now blocks any view from the roadway.
The bridge is thought to have once been a sacred site of Native American Indians. George Washington reportedly surveyed the site of the bridge for Lord Fairfax. As evidence to support this claim, the initials "G.W.", along with a surveyor's mark are carved into both into the bridge and a nearby rock.
Thomas Jefferson bought the land area that included the bridge in 1774. After he became a U.S. president, he built a cabin there, where he used to visit, and hosted a number of people who wouldb become historical figures. The Commonwealth of Virginia took ownership in 2014.
Visitors can find nearby attractions, including a cave, picnic areas and a zoo.
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An old farmhouse stands in a wooded area of rural Shenandoah County. Photo: West Phillips