Natural Bridge State Park, N. Adams, MA Sept. 2014

Found Natural Bridge State Park on the outskirts of N. Adams. And what a find! Lovely little park sitting atop a deposit of white marble that runs from Canada to Connecticut. Arrived just before 10AM, and got a private ranger-led tour of the park’s features, geology, and history. There’s an arch of marble, carved by glacial melt thousands of years ago.

Below the arch is a brook that carved through the marble, creating a narrow, twisty slot canyon like you’d see in red rock country – but this is all WHITE MARBLE!!!

And the dam built across the brook is the only white marble dam in the country.

The marble was used for tombstones and industrial use. Marble craftsmen used slabs onsite to practice carving, and lettering. Even Nathaniel Hawthorne visited here in 1838 and recorded his experience about Hudson’s Cave (or Falls) in An American Notebook “The cave makes a fresh impression on me every time I visit it … so deep, so irregular, so gloomy, so stern.” He also carved his name in the cave, but it’s deep in, and we couldn’t see it from the platform. So strange to see slabs of marble just tumbled in the stream.

Downstream from the dam and arch is the marble quarry, a beautiful curved wall of white marble wrapping around a huge lawn. There are speakers set up for an audio soundscape program that people come to listen to at dusk over a picnic dinner. Weddings, too, with the marble backdrop must be pretty dramatic.

Then there’s the site of the old marble mill, which burned in 1947, plus a hike in the woods.  Lovely little spot. Plus we got our free Senior Pass – and now get free lifetime parking at all state parks.

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