Walk in the Sky on the Longest Pedestrian Bridge in North America

We have always dreamed of floating through the sky high in the mountains, and with the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, TN, we could almost accomplish that dream. On our accidental trip to Gatlinburg, we looked around at what to do, and when we heard about the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg – the longest pedestrian bridge in North America – we were immediately drawn to it. There are actually two chairlifts in Gatlinburg, but we really wanted to go over the bridge, so we chose SkyLift in downtown.

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What You Need To Know Before You Go

The SkyLift pedestrian bridge is almost 700 ft long and 150 ft high and even has a clear section in the middle where you can look straight down. It is brand new to the area. If you are afraid of heights, you may want to skip this attraction. The bridge does sway a little towards the middle, but the view is worth it.

Wildfires of 2019

It opened in May 2019, and it is part of the rebuilding process from the destructive wildfires of 2019. Those wildfires devastated the areas of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are believed to be started by two teenagers, and then downed power lines added to the fire’s spread. The two teenagers avoided any prosecution due to jurisdiction inconsistencies between the federal laws governing the national park and the local community laws. The wildfires even threatned the animals in the aquarium. We saw evidence of those fires everywhere while going up this chairlift, but they are most noticeable in the areas that the bridge crosses.

Tickets

There are two lines to get on the chairlift – one for purchases the tickets and one for the chairlift itself. We found it easier to have one of us stand in the chairlift line and the other go buy the tickets. The tickets are good for all day and multiples rides, if desired.

Easy Climb on the Chairlift to SkyLift Park

Once we got on the lift, it was a pleasant ride up the mountain. It was just like a ski chairlift, but much easier to get on and off.

Chairlift of SkyLift Park going up the mountain to the Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
SkyLift Park

As we rode up, we crossed the river that goes through town.

Chairlift of SkyLift Park going up the mountain to Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
Riding the chairlift at SkyLift Park

Lounging with a view on SkyDeck

At the top of the lift, there is an observation deck with a souvenir shop and cafe. The deck has cascading fountains all around it and places to sit and just relax. We got some water from the cafe, sat by the fountain, admired the view, and people watched for a while.

Water cascading fountains and flowers on the observation deck near the Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
Fountains on the SkyDeck

The observation deck had some cute photo opportunities with some bear statues with a beautiful view behind it.

Statues of 3 bears with mountains in the background at the Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
Bear statues on the SkyDeck

SkyBridge Pedestrian Bridge

The ride up and the observation deck were really nice and relaxing, but we came up to walk the SkyBridge. It was a beautiful day, sunny, but not too hot and it was a perfect day to be on the bridge.

Entrance to SkyBridge Pedestrian Bridge

Entrance to the Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
Entrance to the SkyBridge

We did feel really high up and the view was amazing. The bridge did sway a little bit when people were walking around you, but it wasn’t enough to be scary.

The Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge from the side with people walking on it
SkyBridge with the mountains behind it.

In the center of the bridge, we stopped to take a photo of the town below and the mountains on the other side. It was absolutely gorgeous on this clear day. We could see for miles. The puffy white clouds, blue of the mountains, the green of the trees, and the colorful little town made a perfect photo.

In the photo below, on the lower right, we saw some of the downed trees from the wildfires.

A view of Gatlinburg from the center of the Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge
Town of Gatlinburg as seen from the SkyBridge

Clear Section of SkyBridge Pedestrian Bridge

In the center of the bridge, there is a clear section, when you can look directly below you. It was a little disorienting looking down as you walk, but a really neat feature.

The center portion of Skybridge Pedestrian Bridge has glass that you can see through
Middle of the SkyBridge

The view that was saw was worth the price of the ticket, and we can now claim that we walked the longest pedestrian bridge in North America. If you are interested in even more beautiful views, read about the Roaring Forks Motor Trail.

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References

 

6 Responses

  1. Rhonda Albom says:

    I like that the bridge has stabilizing cables along the length to keep it from swaying too much. I think the clear sections in the middle might be a little disconcerting to walk over but I would just look out at the great view.

  2. Angela says:

    The bridge walk looks amazing. I love doing things like this. Probably a bit scary when you’re actually doing it but so worth it. We always look out for things like this when we’re travelling and I had no idea that there was a bridge walk this long in America.

  3. Cindy Ladage says:

    I didn’t know this was finished this is been on my list and I would love to travel here my husband and I went to Gatlinburg for a honeymoon I love the aspect of taking the Skylift to this wonderful walkway.

  4. Sarah says:

    This looks like a lot of fun although I do get spooked by heights, so the clear section will probably completely freak me out but you have to do it, don’t you?

  5. Leland West says:

    Such an adventurous bridge. I always admire such places.

  6. Renata - www.byemyself.com says:

    This bridge looks amazing. However, I’m afraid of heights so I would probably walk back after three steps 😉 Therefore, I particularly enjoy your pictures that allow me to experience something I’ll probably never do. Thank you!

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