The Natural Bridge: The Newest State Park in America
It’s also one of the oldest tourist destinations.
One of the oldest tourist destinations in the U.S. officially became the nation’s newest state park last month. The Natural Bridge, a 215-foot-tall limestone arch, had been privately owned since at least 1774, when Thomas Jefferson paid King George III of England 20 shillings for the natural wonder. In 2014, the nonprofit Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund acquired it in order to preserve the bridge and donate it to the state. Flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Natural Bridge is located in the southern part of Virginia. The state, which is currently managing the park in partnership with the fund, will hire a park manager and a chief ranger to oversee its 1,500 acres. It will be Virginia’s 37th state park.