Curiosity

The Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge In The U.S. Is Set To Open This Spring

It's sure to be an adventure, but not for the faint of heart!

This one’s for you, thrill-seekers: The longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the United States is set to open soon in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

At 680 feet long, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge promises stunning views of the magical Smoky Mountains. For added excitement, the bridge has see-through panels installed at its highest point, which sits 140 feet above the ground.

I am terrified of heights, so this news gives me some serious heebie-jeebies. But I support everyone’s right to good, clean, spine-tingling fun — and by the looks of this photo posted on the Gatlinburg Skylift Park’s Instagram account, walking this new bridge fits the bill:

The SkyBridge is part of SkyLift Park, one of Gatlinburg’s longest-running attractions. The SkyLift takes riders from the center of town to the top of Crockett Mountain and back. It’s a ski lift that leads to no skiing.

The park’s renovations also include the SkyCenter and SkyDeck — a restaurant and bar at the top of the mountain with outdoor seating, panoramic views and, of course, a gift shop.

The park posted a short video of the view from the new SkyCenter on its official YouTube channel:

There has been a bit of controversy over the bridge’s record-length status. The SkyLift folks claim that the SkyBridge will be the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in all of North America. But earlier this year, a reporter from the Knoxville News Sentinel found a bridge in Canada that claims to measure 800 feet across — 120 feet longer than the SkyBridge.

Nonetheless, SkyBridge’s online materials still insist that it’s the longest on the whole continent. I suppose the two can hash it out themselves once the SkyBridge finally opens. Meanwhile, both of them have nothing on the Charles Kuonen Bridge in Switzerland. It’s more than 1,600 feet across and, at one point, goes all the way up to 280 feet above ground.

Right now, there’s no official opening date for the bridge. However, the SkyLift social media accounts suggest that the grand opening is happening “this spring.” A March 2 post on the SkyLift Park Facebook page offered a little more insight, saying the bridge could be open “sometime in between” early April and mid-May.

With summer vacation plans taking shape soon, that’s perfect timing for the caravans of travelers coming to Gatlinburg.

As for me, the fraidy-cat, I’d be hitting the hotels at Dollywood.