Natural Bridge

Geographically occurring wonders are always sight to behold, casting awe into the minds and hearts of those who see them. The naturally occurring bridge in Natural Bridge, VA, a town named after the arch itself, is no exception.

At about 500,000 to one million years old, this geological rarity is the result of a collapsed cave roof.

When I first laid my eyes upon the structure, I was in total awe. I’d seen images of naturally occurring arcs in the past, but never had I seen one in person. The magnificent structure stood at a mighty 215 feet (66 meters) high and varied in width from 50 to 150 feet (15 to 45 meters). Immediately I pulled out my phone and accessed my camera, ready to fill my storage with pictures. To the left ran Cedar Creek, consisting of beautiful, untainted water and filled with rain
bow trout. To the right were numerous formations on the large rock wall, from small openings to rigid surfaces. Along the walls and atop the bridge grew plant life, ranging from bushes to trees. The brown-gray rock and green vegetation against the blue backdrop of the sky provided a picture perfect setting.

Past the formation was a small, walkable bridge, under which the creek flowed. The trail led upwards, benches placed on either side for tourists to sit and admire the amazing structure. Up the trail and through some bends, I came upon a Monacan Indian Village, equipped with clay-infused barricades, wigwam, and all other basic facilities within Monacan Indian settlements. One such facility was a trade post, where a historian gave lessons on the mass decrease of Native Americans overtime and lectured on what he called the problems with modern history. “The big problem is not fake news; the big problem is fake history,” he said, talking about how politics and emotions have been allowed to influence and distort history. I personally found the lecture very informative and thought provoking.

Later, I traveled farther down the path to where I found an out cropping, where one could go deep within. Later still, I came upon a large, hand-sized spider resting upon its egg and a coiled snake not far from it. Finally, I made my way down a long, upward path next to the rolling river towards a water fall of sorts. After a long walk, I finally found myself at the water fall look out, joining many people looking in awe, not just at the waterfall or pools, but a man swimming. A man had climbed down and stripped to his undergarments, going into the water. He swam all from the look out, up to the waterfall and began to climb. The water near the falls was beautiful, pools of about five to ten feet in depth giving a majestic sea green hue. Elsewhere the water rolled across the rocks, visible due to the pureness and clarity of the mountain water, not at all far from the source of the river.

I would greatly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to visit to do so. Whether one is a geologist, photographer, or simply loves natural structures, Natural Bridge serves as one of the greatest geological landmarks which one can visit. I myself plan to return one day, and with a greater camera, no less.