Take a leisurely stroll to the Bridge and beyond on our oldest and most well-known trail. Originally constructed in 1926, the trail begins at Cascade Falls near the Cedar Creek Cafe, passes under the Bridge, and follows the creek to Lace Falls—a luscious 50-foot cascade—for a total walking distance of about a mile on relatively flat land.
The trail’s namesake, Cedar Creek, begins on Short Hills just a few miles northeast of the Bridge, and ends at the James River a few miles south. It is thought the creek entered a cavern millions of years ago and, over time, eroded much of the underlying limestone rock to sculpt the Bridge.
The creek and the surrounding land is now an important part of the ecosystem. Look and listen for birds such as Common Raven, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Green Heron. Watch the creekbed for Queen Snakes and Northern Water Snakes, and look to the forest floor for wildflowers such as Large-flowered Trillium, Jack-in-the- Pulpit, and Wild Columbine. Butterflies like the Red-spotted Purple, Eastern Comma, and several species of swallowtail, are common and sometime quite tame here.
Be sure to visit the Monacan Indian Exhibit and other historical points of interest on your walk, including an old saltpeter mine used during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 for collecting raw materials for gunpowder production, and the Lost River, a mysterious underground channel of water that now spills into Cedar Creek.
Note: During the winter season, we highly recommend calling the Rockbridge Center Gift Shop (gateway to the Natural Bridge) prior to your visit. For the safety of our guests, the Cedar Creek Trail and Natural Bridge is occasionally closed on short notice due to icy, unsafe conditions. Thank you!
Rockbridge Center Gift Shop: 540-291-2121 ext. 7833