Friday, June 22, 2012
Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Our weekend at Natural Bridge began and ended with snakes on the path. For those who know me, or have read my past posts, this should have been enough to turn me against nature forever. But I persevered, steeled up my courage, and practically ran up the side of the mountain/hill to the top of the natural bridge where I felt sure that any snakes would slither right off.
There are 10 different trails to take, though we stuck with two familiar trails from my last trip: The Original Trail (0.75 mile), the easiest trail to climb, and Balanced Rock (0.75 mile). The paths are wide and easy to navigate. The one exception to that point is just below the natural bridge itself. In order to climb up the few stairs to stand on the top, you must go through a narrow needle's eye between rocks that could be problematic for claustrophobes.
Squeeze through there, anyway, because the views from the top are outstanding.
We walked a flatter trail around the edge of the cliff to get to Lover's Leap where we could look back at the bridge arch. Beautiful, beautiful.
Then we took a different trail down; a steeper trail named Balanced Rock Trail which had so many stairs that our calves were burning by the time we reached the bottom. This trail, with its many-colored stones, a cave entrance, and balanced rock, is much more picturesque. Nature photographers often set up equipment on this trail. We snapped quite a few pictures, too.
But the next day, we skipped the trails altogether and took the skylift to the top. I love skylifts and take them whenever I have a chance. I have to tell you, this was the smoothest, quietest, most peaceful skylift ride I have ever taken. Our feet dangled above lush green ferns and soft pines. It was incredibly relaxing and much enjoyed.