3 hours from Washington, DC
There is no other way to get to Natural Bridge than by car, own or hired. Keep in mind that Natural Bridge is neither city, nor a town, it's a small dot although it's usually marked on large scale Virginia maps. No wonder, Natural Bridge is famous of and named after a nature wonder discovered by Indians long before European colonisation.
Natural Bridge is located in western Virginia, over 3 hours southwest of Washington, DC, over 2 hours west of Richmond and over 1 hour southwest of Charlottesville. It's located off I-81. Take exit 175 or 180 to US-11 (S. Lee Highway) and follow the direction signs. Free parking lots are placed around the crossroad US-11 & VA-130. I didn't know where is the entrance and I parked in front of ugly, 3-store, brick building which housed National Forest Information Center (picture 2) and it was right place.
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Shuttle or scenic pathway
Visitors enjoy the view over the Natural Bridge from the bottom of deep gorge. There are two ways to get there from a parking lot:
1. Take a bus on my picture. It's called a shuttle in the USA. It's short and free of charge drive down. You may tip a driver like a few passengers did. The shuttle loading area is by the Summerhouse Cafe (picture 3), some 150 yards (m) from the Natural Bridge.
2. Take scenic pathway to bridge and go 137 steps down (picture 4-5). It takes some 15 min. as I remember.
We went down on foot and took a shuttle up. My recommendation is taking a pathway to see some small attractions along. More in my Things to Do tips.
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
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