Natural Bridge Park

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Natural Bridge Park near Natural Bridge, Alabama, is park in Winston County, Alabama, that has been open since 1954.[1][2] The current owners are Jim and Barbara Denton.

The park includes picnic accommodations, an artesian well which supplies drinking fountains, a gift shop featuring hand-crafted items, 27 varieties of fern, a variety of hemlock which dates back to the Ice Age and a 30 minute nature trail.

The Natural Bridge formation is 60 ft (18.3 m) high, 148 feet (45 m) long, and composed of sandstone and iron ore.[1][2][3] This bridge is the longest natural bridge east of the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Downhill from the natural bridge is an outcropping of rock, presenting the image of a large American Indian head, in the right profile view, similar to that of an old American Indian Head nickel (see photo). The stone image is just over 15 feet (4.6 m) high.

Downhill from Natural Bridge, the stone Indian head profile appears like the image on the nickel.

As of 2002, tourists paid $2.50 to enter the park.[1] Because of insurance concerns, visitors are not allowed to walk over the bridge, but instead, they view it while walking underneath.[1]

NOTE: Cost to enter park is still $2.50 as of October 2012. According to park brochure, park is open "from 8:00am until around sunset seven days a week."

History[edit]

The natural bridge formation is said by geologists to date back about 200 million years.[1] It was formed by water erosion of the weaker sandstone away from the stronger stone bridge spans,[2] creating an erosion feature: natural-bridge.[4]

The park itself opened in 1954 to the public.[2] It has long been known that the Creek Indians lived in this area, and they probably used the bridge-cave enclosure for shelter.[2] Downhill from the bridge is the image of an Indian stone head. It is not known how it got there. Perhaps it was the image of an Indian chief, or some type of symbolism for the Native Americans.[2]

This location was formerly known as "Lodi." [1]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Alisa Beckwith, "Natural Bridge History", 2002 (see below: References).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ettractions.com, "Natural Bridge of Alabama", 2008 (see below: References).
  3. ^ "Natural Bridge, Alabama (Cities)", 2008, Online Highways, webpage: OHwy-naturalb.
  4. ^ "Britannica Online Service :: Search", Britannica Online, 2009, webpage: EB-n6.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°05′35″N 87°36′53″W / 34.09306°N 87.61472°W / 34.09306; -87.61472