Another Route To The Top Of Natural Bridge – Friday, July 4, 2014
When we got back from our hike yesterday, the nice quiet campground we left had started to fill up. I guess with July 4th falling on a Friday, many people took Thursday, July 3rd, off as well. We decided to get out early this morning and enjoy the hiking before the rest of the weekend crowds arrive.
Yesterday, we hiked up The Original Trail #1,
went out to Lookout Point on Laurel Ridge #6
then hiked down Balanced Rock #2.
Today’s hike would be up Rock Garden Trail #4 to Natural Bridge,
then down on Battleship Rock Trail #3.
Both descriptions below describe the UP hike only.
Access to most trails must begin at The Original Trail.
We were so early today that even the Daylilies hadn’t opened yet ;o))
Not far long, we were scrambling around a downed tree!!
After the downed tree,
the trail just kept getting better and better all the way to the TOP !!!
I’ll just let you come along through the photos…
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
It was a MAGICAL hike !!!
TA DA… There She Is !!!
The hike up was 1.75 miles, but it took us a little more than 2 1/2 hours!!
Just a lot of scrambling and exploring along the way;o))
Now you can’t hike up to the bridge without going up on the top.
Soooo…. just another trip through Fat Man’s Squeeze…
then we saw that MARVELOUS view!!!
(Those young men were on the edge and making us nervous!!)
There were a few more people up there this time.
One couple took our photo with Lookout Point in the background :o)
We didn’t spend too much time before heading back.
We hadn’t packed a lunch and we weren’t sure how long the descent would take.
We had to do the Fat Man Squeeze again
since Battleship Rock Trailhead is under the bridge.
At the very beginning of the descent,
we passed this huge cave in the side of the cliff !!
Once we got through the steep, damaged section…
The trail became a gentle slope through the blooming Rhododendron:o))
It amazes us how the trees grow right over the rocks!!
This tree looks like its rock just rolled away ;o))
After a pretty walk through the woods,
we had one more steep set of steps !!
After the steps,
Battleship Rock Trail connects to The Original Trail which means…
we are back;o))
The hike down was nice, but we have one question.
Why is this called Battleship Rock Trail???
We looked and looked, but never found Battleship Rock !!!
at 8:57 PM