Cedar Creek Trail

1 review #1 hike out of 1 in
1.9 mi
Distance
57 min
Time
terrain
187 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a easy out and back trail in Natural Bridge State Park.

This trail goes by Natural Bridge of Virginia and Bridge Entrance & Gift Shop.


This is an easy and wide trail which you will start by descending a series of concrete stairs at the trailhead. As you arrive at the bottom of the first flight of stairs you will enter a small parking area for the United States Post Office located in the bottom level of the visitor center. You will make your way across the parking area to another flight of stairs that will take you to the entrance of short, covered walkway. Be sure to note the plaque on the right side of the cover that was placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. As you pass through the small section of the trail that is covered you will make the final descent down the stairs. This portion of the stairs is parallel to a small creek with an interesting waterfall near the bottom of the stairs. The most difficult part of the trail is the stairs, and they are only at the beginning and the end.

At the bottom of the stairs, located behind and connected to the fee shed; you will find a souvenir shop and a picnic area. There is a covered area with tables, fireplace, and facilities. As pass beyond the fee shed area you will see Cedar Creek on the left side of the trail. The trail will follow the creek for the remainder of the hike.
The Natural Bridge is 0.1 miles pass the fee shed. As you approach the bridge there are several benches along the way to sit and enjoy the view. While looking up towards the top of the bridge keep in mind that US Highway 11 is passing directly on top of the bridge.

As you travel along the trail you will see a variety of tree species and in the springtime wildflowers. Continuing along the trail you will pass an amphitheater followed by the Monacan Indian Exhibit. The Monacan exhibit is meant to be a living history exhibit. Unfortunately, my visit was during the Covid-19 pandemic and the exhibit was closed and in disrepair. Hopefully, this will be reopened at some point in the future.

As you proceed down the trail you will see a side path passing over a bridge on your left. This short side path dead ends in a Salt Peter Cave just on the far side of Cedar Creek. The Park Service allows you to approach the cave but asks that you do not enter the cave.

Just pass the Salt Peter Cave and on your right, you will pass the Lost River. There is a plaque explaining some interesting facts about the river and how it became opened to its current state.
Cedar Creek Trail terminates at approximately 1 mile and at the end of the trail, you will see Lace Falls. This is good place to take pictures.

Please remember to practice “Leave No Trace” – Take out what you take in.

Getting Started

Parking is available at the Natural Bridge State Park Visitor Center. Depending on when you start your day and the time of the year you will pay an entrance fee at the Natural Bridge State Park Visitor Center or the fee shed. If you pay your fee at the visitor center, you will enter the visitor center before you start on the trail. If you pay at the fee shed, you start on the trail and pay the entrance fee at the bottom of the stairs.

The Cedar Creek trailhead is located just to the left of the Natural Bridge State Park Visitor Center (while facing the visitor center). There is a sign at the top of the stairs to get you started.

Facilities are available in the visitor center.

Taking Children

This can be a fun hike for families. The trail, after the stairs, is flat, wide, and stroller friendly. There is a stone wall between the trail and the creek for most of the hike. At one point you pass over the creek on a low-profile concrete bridge. This bridge is close to the water and has no barriers. Be advised I saw snakes on the trail, on the wall, and in the creek. The snakes I witnessed were non-venomous banded water snakes and will generally move away from you as you approach.



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