Take a stroll throughout the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which is ready to open on Might 17
Brianna Paciorka, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

Simply earlier than I stepped out onto the glass panel portion of the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, my toes and my mind have been having a pleasant disagreement in regards to the concept.

My toes needed to face on glass and look down as a result of it sounded enjoyable. My mind thought standing on glass 150 toes above the bottom was a horrible concept. 

1000’s of holiday makers can have the identical dilemma whereas crossing (or not crossing) the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, which opens Friday on the foothills of the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park, studies the Knoxville Information Sentinel, which is a part of the USA TODAY Community. 

My toes received the argument.


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The SkyBridge Gateway

The 700-foot-long bridge, which runs parallel to Gatlinburg’s fundamental strip, appears to be like small from the bottom degree on the entrance to Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.

As we rode the raise as much as the highest of Crockett Mountain – in itself a little bit of an adrenaline rush – the clouds hung low over the mountains and the temperature dropped.

We hopped off the raise on the high, about 1,800 toes above sea degree, crossed a brick patio and headed up a number of dozen steps to the bridge platform.

The view from there illustrated that the bridge, which spans the size of greater than two soccer fields, had a major dip within the center.

My mind wasn’t sizzling on that dip, both.

The 5-foot-wide bridge now not regarded small, in order that was a plus. However the valley beneath it now not regarded shut both.


Stroll with Information Sentinel reporter Brenna Mcdermott as she crosses the glass-floor panels on the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge
Brianna Paciorka, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

Crossing the SkyBridge

The bridge is secured with thick steel wires the dimensions of my higher arm and anchored by greater than 1 million kilos of concrete.

Advertising and marketing coordinator Marcus Watson stated if 500 individuals who every weighed 400 kilos have been standing on the bridge, it nonetheless would not close to the load restrict. 

That stated, lengthy bridges sway and this one rocked sufficient to make my legs wobble throughout the first and final quarter of the stroll. 

We left the swaying behind as we neared the center of the bridge, which hangs 150 toes above the forest under.

Maintain a good grip in your telephone throughout selfie time otherwise you’ll by no means see it once more. 

Standing on glass above Gatlinburg

I have been skydiving, zip lining and parasailing, however my abdomen nonetheless dropped as my toes stopped simply in need of the three glass panels. 

It did not assist that, in an virtually cinematic style, the wind picked up at that second. 

Photographer Brianna Paciorka had already walked out onto the glass in entrance of me – backward, thoughts you – to seize my expression. So, to avoid wasting face, my foot-brain debate was temporary and I took my first step.

There can be loads of individuals who will flip again earlier than standing on the glass, I might guess. That is high quality – you continue to get to expertise the nice view. 

However in the event you do step onto that cup, defy your mind.

I took a breath, planted my toes and regarded down. Beneath me was a 100-foot-tall tree. Ultimately, my mind righted itself and I used to be in a position to benefit from the view down.

Do not get me mistaken; I used to be attempting to be as light-footed as potential, and my adrenaline was pumping for the remainder of the stroll.

Even with low-hanging clouds, we had an amazing panoramic view of the park and downtown Gatlinburg. Together with time for images and video, we crossed the bridge in about eight minutes. 

SkyBridge will probably land on the bucket lists of many journey seekers, nevertheless it’s not simply an adrenaline rush.

It is an opportunity to get a mountaintop view for these of us who won’t ever hike Mt. LeConte. My toes and my mind agreed the view was price it.


The Gatlinburg SkyBridge in Tennessee stretches almost 700 toes and is suspended about 150 feet-high.
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Earlier than you go

Opens to public: 1 p.m. Might 17

Tackle: 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN

Hours: open day by day; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (10 p.m. after Memorial Day)

Admission value: ages 12-64, $19.95; ages Four-11, $14.95; ages 65+, $17.95

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