Over the last decades, the structure that the Monacan Indians named the “Bridge of God” had become the epicenter of a sprawling tourist destination. A highway was paved over the top of the bridge, and visitors passed through a ’70s style gift shop of foreign-made souvenirs before paying $21 to view the bridge itself.
New owners have a different vision for Natural Bridge. Tom Clarke and his Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund bought the 1,500-acre property in February. Since then, they have been working to create a new experience for visitors. And they are collaborating with groups across the state to ensure that it will become Natural Bridge State Park.