Natural Bridge, now a state park, seeing more visitors


ROCKBRIDGE, Va. (AP) -- Visits to Natural Bridge have increased significantly since the Virginia landmark became part of a state park.

The Roanoke Times reports the number of tickets purchased in the past 12 months to view the 215-foot-tall limestone arch in Rockbridge County increased by 41 percent over the year before.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation took over management of the property effective Sept. 24, 2016. The bridge and surrounding land were previously managed by the nonprofit Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.

Jim Meisner is a spokesman for the department. He says the increase in visitors is likely due in part to reduced prices but also the broader promotion and marketing that comes from being part of the state park system.

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