Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 291-2121,
  • Site Access: Admission Fee, Daily
  • Visit Website


Environmental Study Area Fee Food Handicap Accessible Hiking Trails Information Interpretive/Nature Programs Interpretive Trail Lodge Parking Phone Picnic Restrooms

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Site MPO08: Natural Bridge of Virginia


Elevation: 1116 ft. The impressive 200-300-foot limestone arch, spanning 100 feet in width, attracts a large number of visitors intrigued by both the natural and historical aspects of this site. It once served as a wildlife trail and corridor for an American-Indian Trail known as the "Great Path." Later, settlers and pioneer farmers called it the "Great Wagon Road," for it was used as a horse and wagon road. Prior to America's independence, the bridge and surrounding land belonged to the English Crown. The first private owner of the bridge was Thomas Jefferson, who purchased it from King George III in 1774. Today, enchanting history and surrounding nature combine to provide an awe-inspiring ambience to the Bridge. The Cedar Creek Nature Trail offers visitors a delightful one-mile hike beneath (and through) the Natural Bridge along Cedar Creek. The creek holds treasures such as northern water snake and American bullfrog. Dragonflies such as widow and slaty skimmers patrol the creek bed in sunny spots, while the dazzling metallic ebony jewelwings line shaded creek banks. Along the creek, look for great blue and green herons, belted kingfisher, and numerous swallows. The woodlands hold a variety of woodpeckers, including red-bellied, pileated, and downy woodpeckers, as well as eastern screech owl, white-breasted nuthatch, and nesting yellow-billed cuckoo. Blooming wildflowers attract eastern tiger swallowtail, red-spotted purple, common buckeye, and red admiral. A list of wildflowers along this trail, which includes trillium, Virginia bluebells, columbine, and flame azalea, is available at the visitor's center.


From the Locher Tract, return to SR 130 and turn left, heading west for 3.1 miles to the Natural Bridge of Virginia entrance and gift shop on the left.

Loop Map