Natural Bridge was first discovered by the Monacan Indians who deemed it, “Bridge of God.” In 1750, George Washington, engaged by Lord Fairfax, surveyed the surrounding acreage of Natural Bridge. During that visit he scaled up the left wall of the bridge about 23 feet and carved his initials, “G.W.””, which are still visible today. A few years later, Thomas Jefferson set out on horseback on a series of bridal paths from Paxson’s Tavern (in what is the town of Glasgow today) and discovered the bridge. In 1774, Jefferson purchased the land patent from King George III which included the Natural Bridge and 157 acres for the sum of twenty shillings or about $2.40 or in today’s dollars about $160.00. The price was so low because the land wasn’t suitable for farming. There are records that Jefferson visited Natural Bridge four times. In 1803-1804 he had a two story stone and log cabin built near the present site of the Natural Bridge Hotel where he and his guests stayed. During the war of 1812, Jefferson allowed saltpeter, used for gunpowder and ammunition, to be mined from a cave near the arch and in 1816 he provided a live-in custodian by leasing the land to Patrick Henry. Upon Jefferson’s death in 1826 the property was left to his family. Thomas Jefferson kept a guest book for guests to sign and among the visitors that signed the book are: James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, the Eighth President of the United States, John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Daniel Boone, an american pioneer and explorer, and Sam Houston, the first governor of Texas.
The Natural Bridge arch stands 215 feet high (55 feet higher than Niagara Falls), is 40 feet thick, 100 feet wide and spans 90 feet. At its peak, Natural Bridge stands 1,160 feet above sea level and Route 11 passes directly over the span.
In 2014 the Natural Bridge was sold to the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund. The sale included the arch, hotel, caverns and 1500 acres. The VCLF will donate all but the hotel and caverns to the state to be run as a park. Natural Bridge is a national historic landmark that has been in private hands since Thomas Jefferson purchased it 240 years ago.
Natural Bridge is located about 35 miles from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and takes just under an hour to reach. While visiting Natural Bridge you can continue on the path and see the saltpeter cave, the Lost River and Lace Water Falls. The walk is a gravel path on level terrain. To get to the arch you need to go down 137 steps, but if you have trouble getting around, they offer a van that will take you to the level terrain. There is an admission fee charged to enter the path to the Natural Bridge.
Using your GPS you can find Natural Bridge by using this address:
15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 24578 (540) 291-2121 or:
Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast from Mapquest:
|1.||Start out going northwest on Cabell Sttoward E St.
Zoom to this Step
|2.||Turn right onto Rivermont Ave.
|3.||Rivermont Ave becomes Boonsboro Rd/US-501 Bus N.||2.6 mi|
|4.||Turn right onto US-501 N/Boonsboro Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N.
|5.||Turn left onto US-501 N/VA-130/Elon Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N/VA-130.||6.3 mi|
|6.||Turn slight left onto Rockbridge Rd/VA-130. Continue to follow VA-130.||6.3 mi|
|7.||Stay straight to go onto S Lee Hwy/US-11 N.||0.09 mi|
|8.||Take the 1st left onto Appledore Ln.
|9.||15 APPLEDORE LN is on the left.
The 7th annual Terrapin Mountain 50K and half marathon will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Sedalia, Virginia. Located about 25 miles northwest of Lynchburg, VA the course runs through the George Washington National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many runners camp there the night before but others want a comfortable bed a warm room and if they bring their non-running spouse/friend/partner we offer a good nights sleep before a day filled with excitement and challenges. The race starts about dawn.
Runners of both the half marathon and 50K race follow trails that involve steep climbs and switchbacks that take them up the mountain, where the overall elevation change during the course of the race is about 3,250 feet. The half marathon is one loop of Terrapin Mountain while the 50K course consists of multiple loops of Terrapin Mountain. The 50K qualifies as part of the Virginia based trail race series known as the Beast Series and the Lynchburg Ultra Series. These runs are designed for serious runners that have done extensive off road training on steep grades.
Last year we had a guests who ran the half marathon, was proud to have completed the race and thoroughly enjoyed returning to the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast to relax and rejuvenate with a massage in our on-site Massage and BodyWorks Studio. We would love to host you while you participate in this challenging event. Call us at 434.846.1388 to check on availability or you can always check our on-line reservation system.
While we would love to have you as a guest at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, DO NOT try this race unless you have trained for it! If you want more information or want to register for the race click here to be connected to their website.
See the fall colors by air in a hot air balloon! The Lynchburg area is a colorful area in the fall. The brilliant fall colors can be seen while driving the windy mountain roads, hiking the many trails trails, kayaking down the James River, strolling the paved walking paths of the Blackwater Creek Trail system or by air in a hot air balloon.
Kathy and I took such a trip last winter. While it was too late to see the fall colors we enjoyed the peacefulness of floating above the trees, seeing the deer run through the forest and the quietness of flight (except when the gas valve was opened to keep the hot air balloon afloat). If you would like to indulge yourself and do something very special then consider booking your flight on your next visit to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The company that offers hot air balloon flights is Freedom Flights (click their name to be linked to their website where you can book a flight or purchase a gift certificate).
What you need to know about taking a hot air balloon ride is that Freedom Flights will cancel the flight if the winds are too high or if the weather is too bad. Obviously they are concerned with your safety so check the weather forecast before you book your flight. Currently they are running a $50.00 off per person special through November 10, 2013 so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets or gift certificate. The other interesting thing is that you will never know what you will see on these trips. The wind takes you where it wants to so each trip is different.
If soaring above the tree tops in a hot air balloon is not for you then there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the fall colors. Here are links to a couple of hikes that we have taken that should be spectacular when the fall colors are at their peak.
High Bridge Trail is a park on an old rail road line. This is a very flat and easy walk where you will walk over a very long bridge and see the fall colors from above.
Crabtree Falls is a moderate hike through the woods and up a mountain along water falls. This takes you on a nice drive where you will also see lots of colors. Don’t forget to stop at Woodson’s Mill and Bold Rock Hard Cider when you go to Crabtree Falls.
Falling Water Cascades is an easy walk. You will be driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and will see some great colors.
Disclaimer: The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast or the innkeepers have NO affiliation with this or any other hot air balloon company. For insurance purposes we are unable to recommend this company, however we had a great time when we went on our hot air balloon trip and would do it again, Call us at 434-846-1388 to book your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and if you would like a balloon trip, click on the above link to purchase your tickets.
There are so many great hiking trails in the area so it is hard to choose which one to visit, but we decided to try the Fallingwater Cascades Loop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County. It was one of those rare August mornings where the humidity was low and we had a couple days of unseasonably cool weather with lows in the upper 50’s at night and it was even more unusual that we didn’t have guests the night before so we could get up and hit the trails and take advantage of the weather. The hike is a short (about 1.5 miles) with an elevation change of about 1000 feet. It would take the typical person about 90 minutes to complete the loop, but it always takes me a lot longer because I stop to take lots of photos. Below are several photos I shoot, including a photo of a couple of nude sunbathers. The trail is well marked and it is classified as moderately difficult. The first half of the hike is all downhill and the second half is uphill. The grade is not steep but we recommend you wear the appropriate foot wear.
We started our hike by driving up to the Peaks of Otter to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traveling north on the Parkway which winds along the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the left side (west) was foggy (really heavy fog up to the ridge tops of the mountain) while the other side was clear. Remember the song you heard as a child about the bear going to the other side of the mountain…Well, now you know why he went to the other side, probably because he couldn’t see anything on the western side. There was a dip on the ridge top where the fog was flowing from the western side of the mountain to the eastern side and I was able to capture the above shot.
The hike is mostly through the woods so if you burn easily you don’t need to worry about getting sunburn. This would be a spectacular hike in mid October when all the leaves are turning colors. After about 20-25 minutes you come to the stream/water falls. You will spend about 20 minutes walking along the stream and falls until you start heading back up the trail to the parking area. As we parked and started hiking down the western slope of the mountain the fog instantly disappeared. Below are several photos that I took that morning. I hope you enjoy them.
Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast are below these photos:
Now, for the nudes sunbathing. As I mentioned above, it was a cool morning and this couple found a sunny spot on a fallen tree and decided to catch some sunshine….
What were you expecting? I guess you could call them nude!
Directions (provided by Mapquest and edited by Mike Bedsworth):
|1.||Start out going southeast on Cabell Sttoward D St.||0.01 mi|
|2.||Take the 1st right onto D St.
|3.||Turn left onto Rivermont Ave.||0.8 mi|
|4.||Rivermont Ave. becomes Church St. after you cross over 5th Street||0.2 mi|
|5.||Stay in the Right lane of Church Street and take the US-29 S ramp.||0.1 mi|
|6.||Merge onto US-29-BR S, also known as the Lynchburg Expressway||3.8 mi|
|7.||Exit via EXIT 8B towards US-460 onto Candlers Mountain Road.||0.9 mi|
|8.||Merge onto US-460 W towardRoanoke/Danville.||20.8 mi|
|9.||Take the US-221 N/VA-122 N exit towardBedford/VA-43 N.||0.2 mi|
|10.||Turn slight right onto US-221/US-460-BR/E Main St/VA-43/VA-122/N Bridge St.||1.3 mi|
|11.||Turn right onto US-221/N Bridge St/VA-43/VA-122.
|12.||Take the 3rd left onto VA-43/Peaks St. Continue to follow VA-43.
When you reach the “T” in the road turn Right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and take the parkway heading north. Access to the trail head is near milepost 83. There will be a parking area on the left (Western Slope) and a sign on the Parkway will say Fallingwater Cascades Overlook.
Enjoy the hike!
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA is approximately 20 miles from Appomattox Courthouse we wanted to make our blog followers and guests aware of a unique experience taking place just minutes from us in April.
“The Long Road Home – Fall of Richmond” re-enactment and living history weekend will take place April 5, 6 & 7, 2013 in the Clover Hill Village, just east of Appomattox, VA. Beginning at 9:00 am of Friday and lasting until 2:00 pm Sunday a unique set of events, activities and interactions will be taking place within the living history village. Visit with troops while they set camp. View battalion drills, trench work, battles and hospital scenes. Interact with Generals Lee and Grant, Presidents Lincoln and Davis. Attend a wedding and barn dance. Watch the medal presentation and pay call. Obtain an interesting perspective of life during the Civil War.
Unless you are a re-enactor and will be “camping” call us, 434.846.1388, to make your reservation and stay in comfort (indoor plumbing, central heat, a hot shower, our delicious 4-course breakfast, comfortable bed)! We’d love to host you while you experience the way things were.
For more detailed information and to see the full weekend schedule visit www.appomattoxhistoricalsociety.org Clover Hill Village is located at 5747 River Ridge Road in Appomattox.
Did you know that the maple trees in Virginia produced sap, which can be made into maple syrup, just like the trees in New Hampshire and Vermont?
Did you ever wonder how maple syrup is made?
If the answers to these two questions peak your interest then you will want to visit the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, between the hours of 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. The Cemetery’s historic grounds supervisor will be conducting a demonstration on how the century old maple trees, on the Cemetery grounds, are tapped and the sap is converted into maple syrup. The maple syrup is then sold in the Cemetery gift shop throughout the year (very limited quantities, while supplies last!)
The sap is produced and tapped from trees at least 15 years old, or with a trunk at least 12-inches in diameter. Beginning in early February, when the temperatures start to warm up but the nights are still below freezing, small splines are placed into the trunks about 2-inches deep and usually on either the left or right side of the tree. The clear sap drips into bags which is collected until about the end of February. Once a sufficient amount of sap has been collected the sap is boiled to a temperature of 219 degrees and is a light amber color. From 2 gallons of sap about 1 cup of syrup is produced.
The Old City Cemetery is Lynchburg’s most visited tourist site. The grounds are comprised of over 20,000 graves, most of which have long since lost their grave markers or headstones. Beautiful during each of the four seasons, the winter months bring a sense of starkness, quiet and contemplation. Great pictures can be taken throughout the Cemetery and will provide fabulous results.
Located at 401 Taylor Street, visit their website www.gravegarden.org for their calendar of events, directions or interesting facts and descriptions.
Come stay with us at the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and one morning you will delight in a 4-course breakfast featuring maple syrup! Visit our website www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com to check our availability calendar and book your room. It’ll be a fun weekend!
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