Natural Bridge Park: Adventures with Adamson Ford ep. 6

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The longest natural bridge east of the Rockies. Photo via Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

Over 200 million years ago, most of Alabama was covered in a shallow sea. When the water washed the sandstone away, ancient iron ore veins were left behind. Today, that iron ore is holding up a massive natural bridge. We went to check it out for ourselves, thanks to our friends over at Adamson Ford.

200 Million Years and Still Kickin’

⬇️ watch this video ⬇️

Natural Bridge is actually a town in Alabama, located about an hour northwest of downtown Birmingham in the southwest corner of Winston County.

The park itself, where the bridge is located, opened in 1954. At 148 feet, the bridge is the longest rock arch east of the Rocky Mountains. It towers more than 60 feet high and is part of several massive rock formations.

Natural Bridge Park is located just outside William Bankhead National Forest, and it truly looks like something from another world. It’s an extraordinary and ancient find—right here in Alabama.

In fact, Alabama’s Natural Bridge even made it into the Atlas Obscura, the “definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders.”

Tag Along on the Adventures

The Natural Bridge was incredible to experience, and there’s no doubt it’s a hidden Alabama gem—one of many. Over the last few months, we’ve teamed up with a local company that’s been part of the Birmingham community for more than a century to find these hidden gems.

Adventures with Adamson Ford is a series where we scope out the best day trips within a few hours of Birmingham and bring you along with us. Here’s where we’ve gone so far:

As the weather cools off, it’s the perfect time to start planning those weekend adventures. Drop these links in a group text with your favorite road trip buddies and get ready to hit the road. These are some destinations you’re definitely not going to want to miss.

Make a Day Of It

Natural Bridge Park is home to 27 varieties of ferns as well as Canadian Hemlocks that have been traced back to the Ice Age. There are several winding paths and caverns you can explore, so be sure to bring your hiking shoes!

The shaded forest floor looks straight out of the Pacific Northwest. It’s covered in ferns, and everything from the rocks to the massive tree trunks is coated in bright green moss.

At the entrance to the park, there’s an adorable little gift shop selling everything from postcards to keepsakes, toys and more. The vintage Coke machine out front added to the feeling we’d stepped back in time.

  • Address: County Rd. 314, Natural Bridge, Alabama, 35577
  • Admission: $3.50 for 12 and up | $2.50 for 6-12 years
  • Open 7 days a week, rain or shine
  • Phone: (205) 486-5330
  • Social: Town | Gift Shop

The Ride: 2020 Ford Explorer

Ready for anything. Photo via Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

When you’re gearing up for any adventure, whether it’s exploring an ancient rock formation or a new carpool, the last thing you want to be worrying about is having enough space.

Our friends at Adamson Ford hooked us up with a 2020 Explorer to hit the road. It has plenty of room for your whole group and their stuff—whether it’s a picnic, tent and bedroll, or school backpack.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is roomy while still maintaining that sporty and adventurous look. The touch screen GPS came in handy for our road trip, and if you’re dealing with dirt or mud, the trunk has an easy-to-clean rubberized surface option.

After this road trip, I was about ready to trade in my ride and upgrade to something that .

Always Adamson, Always Family

Discover something awesome. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

If you’re gearing up for your next road trip, Adamson Ford is ready to get you there. Whether you need a new car, a tune-up or anything in-between, they’ll treat you like family.

Whether you’re headed out on a new adventure or just headed into the office, you deserve an upgraded ride. Give them a call today!

Do you have a favorite hidden gem that we need to check out? Shoot me an email at beth@bhamnow.com to let us know.

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.