This geological formation has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain of Cedar Creek, forming an arch 215 ft high with a span of 90 ft wide. It consists of horizontal limestone strata, and is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the creek once flowed. Before the settlers came to the New World, the Natural Bridge was a sacred site of the Native American Monacan Indians. The initials "G.W." were carved into the wall of the bridge, and it is believed that it was written by George Washington before he became president. Later, Thomas Jefferson purchased 157 acres of land including the Natural Bridge from King George III of England in 1774. Jefferson built a two-room log cabin, with one room reserved for guests, beginning its use as a retreat.
Visitors can walk some distance to the end of the trail underneath the bridge, beyond which the remnant of the waterfall that helped to form the bridge can be seen. Also, visitors are invited to see the sound and light show each evening at dusk.