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Tennessee claims longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the United States

May 20, 2019

This one’s for you, thrill-seekers: The longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the United States opened May 17 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At 680 feet long, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge promises stunning views of the majestic 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.

These new additions feature a restaurant and bar at the top of the mountain with outdoor seating, panoramic views and, of course, a gift shop.

These views look like they’re best admired in person, though plenty of photos and videos already exist to entice visitors to the SkyCenter.

One short video of the view from the new SkyCenter was posted on the park’s 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 now that the SkyBridge has finally opened.

According to the SkyLift Instagram account, visitors are already enjoying the epic views from the bridge.

Meanwhile, SkyBridge still has 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 the ground.

Tourists have posted dizzying photos from that bridge, like the one below from @catherineyoungcreative, to Instagram.

The SkyLift social media accounts long suggested that the grand opening would happen this spring, and sure enough, the bridge opened to the public on May 17.

And it’s good timing, too, as it was well ahead of Memorial Day, which is traditionally a popular weekend for hitting the road for a trip.

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

Just look at the beautiful sunset from this bridge in the sky!

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