Natural Bridge State Park is managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The park hosts 150,000 visitors per year and is expected to welcome more than one million per year in the future. Education at Natural Bridge focuses on bridge history, caverns, geology, and ecology. The Monacan Indian Living History Exhibit is continuing to develop and offers Virginia SOL compliant programs for students.
Student Field Trip and Group Day Tours
The Natural Bridge State Park is a great field trip and group tour destination in spring, summer, and fall. We invite people of all ages to learn about the discovery of the Natural Bridge, experience the Monacan Living History Exhibit, explore the deepest commercial caverns on the East Coast, and enjoy beautiful trails filled with native flora and fauna.
We offer a combination of interpretive programs at a discounted rate to schools and groups with a minimum of 10 people. For school groups, we have paid particular attention to the state of Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) criteria and developed our educational programs to be supportive of SOL requirements. Our Natural Bridge Student Group interpretive program is approximately 15 minutes long and covers the history of the Bridge and the fundamentals of geology, such as erosion and weathering.
Monacan Living History Exhibit
During a 45-minute tour of our Monacan Living History Exhibit, students and groups learn about the culture of the Monacan Indians, the effects of European settlers and trade goods on Native American life, and the value of archaeology in discovering past cultures. A special emphasis is placed on the use of waterways and natural resources for survival. Features of the exhibit include a newly constructed wigwam, longhouse, cooking area, men’s work shelter, and trading post. Interpreters can customize programs for K-12 students to cover Virginia and U.S. history, civics, and geography SOLs. Schools and groups are encouraged to explore the Cedar Creek Trail at their own pace while visiting the Natural Bridge State Park. Our Cedar Creek Trail features a saltpeter mine used during the Civil War for raw materials, a lost river, and a lush 40-foot cascade called Lace Falls.
Exploration Center: Indoor Classroom
Explore Natural Bridge State Park’s winter educational programs. We offer the opportunity to have SOL compliant tours at both of our indoor exhibits, the Caverns at Natural Bridge and the newly opened Exploration Center.
The Exploration Center includes a naturalist area and a Monacan history exhibit including a full size wigwam. This area allows for a 30-minute tour covering the same standards of learning as the outdoor Monacan exhibit.
The Caverns at Natural Bridge will offer winter educational tours and cover standards of learning through the main areas of the cave in a 30-minute presentation.
Timeline for travel around Natural Bridge State Park during the winter: Groups of 60 people total should allow a minimum of three hours and fifteen minutes to complete the Caverns, the indoor Monacan exhibit, the Bridge, and time for lunch.
For questions and to get pricing information please email Bob Moore or phone (540) 291.2121 ×7841.