Natural Bridge State Park – North Adams, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

North Adams, Massachusetts

Natural Bridge State Park

Naturally formed white marble arch housed in an abandoned marble quarry from the 1800s. 

This state park that contains the only naturally formed white marble arch and human-made white marble dam in North America.

Housed in an abandoned marble quarry from the 1800s, you can still see where former employees etched their names in the marble. It is estimated that the arch formed by Hudson Brook is 550 million years old.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, romantic novelist, visited in 1838 and wrote “The cave makes a fresh impression on me every time I visit it … so deep, so irregular, so gloomy, so stern.”

Also contains a small sculpture park.

In Music for a Quarry by Walter Fähndrich, clear tones call across the natural amphitheater of the Hoosac Marble Quarry from 10 speakers, equally spaced along its circumference, for 15 minutes of twilight every evening. Working with the latitude and longitude of the quarry, a computer program begins the music at the same solar time (rather than clock time) each night. The start time (near 8 or 9 p.m. in summer, near 4 p.m. at the winter solstice) changes as the spatial relationship between the earth and sun changes. The first tone appears at the precise moment of astronomical sunset, a moment that is both permanently fixed and changing daily. During this 15-minute period, the burden of comprehending the physical space shifts slowly from the eye to the ear as the sounds are traced to their sources.

Know Before You Go

Make sure to enter from McAuley Rd entrance. There is no parking on the Natural Bridge Rd entrance.

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