From Small Country, a day trip to any of Virginia’s natural wonders is in order
Natural Bridge and Natural Tunnel
Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, about an hour and a half drive away, in which Cedar Creek has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain, forming a natural arch 215 feet high with a span of 90 feet. Natural Bridge has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Since 2016, Natural Bridge has been managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of Natural Bridge State Park.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park extends along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. The Skyline Drive runs its length, and a vast network of trails includes a section of the long-distance Appalachian Trail. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks like Hawksbill and Old Rag mountains. Shenandoah is home to many bird species, plus deer, squirrels and the elusive black bear.
Caverns and Caves
Head to the Shenandoah Valley and Heart of Appalachia! Featuring eight caverns are perfect anytime of year. Virginia’s caverns are great places to escape summer’s heat and perhaps even warm up on a cold winter day. Below-ground temperatures hover around 56 degrees, so caverns are the perfect attraction any time of the year.
Luray – Luray Caverns are the largest caverns in the eastern USA and a National Landmark. Some of the most spectacular creations were formed just one drip at time, such as Giant’s Hall, vast expansive chambers decorated by predominantly golden columns, 10-stories tall. The gold colors come from iron and clay soils seeping from the ground along with the calcium carbonate “drips.”
Originally called Luray Cave, just west of Luray, Virginia, the caverns have drawn many visitors since its discovery in 1878. The underground cavern system is generously adorned with speleothems such as columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and mirrored pools. The caverns are perhaps best known for the Great Stalacpipe Organ, a lithophone made from solenoid-fired strikers that tap stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to those of xylophones, tuning forks, or bells.