The largest suspension bridge to have ever been built in North America can soon be enjoyed in the city of Gatlinburg. Before we go into the details, let me ask first, what is a pedestrian suspension bridge? A pedestrian suspension bridge is also known as a footbridge. In simple terms, it is a bridge only for foot traffic or pedestrians.
Initially built to connect two pieces of land at high points. The earliest forms of footbridges are stepping stones and have highly developed into intricate designs over the years. Their purpose was to allow the smooth passage of people from one entry to another. Also, to be able to have easy access to the transportation of goods to far-flung areas. They serve as a great way to allow people to enjoy wonderful sights and sceneries in breathtaking locations. Such is the case of the new suspension bridge in Gatlinburg.
The general manager of Skylift Park stated this in a press release on their Facebook page, “The wildfires destroyed the iconic chairlift and shop, and rebuilding has been a labor of love for our team. We’re proud to say that the ‘Best Seat in Gatlinburg’ is back and better than ever with these breathtaking new additions.” This just goes to show that Americans are resilient and are unstoppable when it comes to their passion and love for their country and hometowns.
Skylift Park has always been keen on being able to provide an opportunity for locals and guests alike to enjoy the panoramic views of Gatlinburg. The park initially opened in 1954 and has been an iconic part of the town since then. So, when a wildfire in November 2018 destroyed the ride’s tower, a lot of tourists and people from Gatlinburg felt really sad.
However, the owners assured everyone that Skylift would come back bigger and better. They built the chair lift using helicopters to put the towers in place. They also upgraded the chairs from two-seaters to three-seater chairs. There are nearly ninety new chairs with five hundred pounds limit on each chair. This 1.6 million dollar project is now completed just after six months after the wildfire. Inspectors tested the chairs by loading 500 pounds of water in a bin and secured them on the new three-seaters. There is yet a final inspection before they fully start operating. That exciting day for the opening will be on May 17, 2019, at 1:00 PM.
Along with the reconstruction of the chair lift, the park is now home to the largest suspension bridge to in North America. In their Facebook page, the park described the bridge as something that, “Guests will be able to walk across at their own pace, taking in the views and enjoying the spectacular setting before walking back when they’re ready,” They also say that “The SkyBridge is an absolutely spectacular but easily attainable experience you’ll remember for a lifetime — especially as you cross the glass-floor panels in the middle of the span.”
The six hundred and eighty feet in length bridge measures five feet in width and reaches one hundred and forty feet in height. There is no time limit that you have to worry about when you’re on the bridge, and so you will be able to have all the time you want to take in the beauty around you. You will have the It is specifically located at 765 Parkway at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park.
Others say that the SkyBridge is not the longest suspension bridge. This is because Kelowna Mountain claims that they have a suspension bridge which is around eight hundred feet. Julie Ard was quick to address this issue. He stated, “The stated length of ‘over 800 feet long’ is the distance between the points at which the bridge’s anchoring cables enter the ground,” said Ard. “The Gatlinburg SkyBridge is believed to be the longest of its kind in North America. Its length of 680 feet is a measurement of the suspended walking surface visitors can experience versus a measurement of the overall components of the bridge.” Julie Ard is part of Boyne Resorts which runs the Skylift Park.
So, while the management of Kelowna Mountain is yet to respond, the SkyBridge claims supremacy in walking distance length or America’s longest suspension bridge. They say that the walking space is the part where visitors will most likely derive a great experience since they have a lot more area to cover Gatlinburg’s panoramic views and sceneries.
In one of the parts of the bridge, you will get an overview of the incredible city of Gatlinburg, on the other side; you’ll get panoramic views of the mountains. There’s also an exhilarating glass floor panels in the middle of the bridge will help give you an illusion of standing on top of the world. They say you haven’t really gotten a taste of Gatlinburg until you visit the Skylift park. They offer the best spots for Instagram-worthy photos and a once in a lifetime experience that you can enjoy with your family.
The new pedestrian suspension bridge in Gatlinburg is more than just another progressive structure built by man. It is more than just showcasing the wonders of money and technology. More than just getting a legendary park up and running again. Even so much more than having a new attraction that visitors can enjoy.
A lot of people got hurt when the November wildfires hit the town. There were a lot of people who lost their jobs and even lost their homes. Rising from the ashes, Skylift Park is sending a positive message out to the entire community. We cannot simply let life’s circumstances knock us down. It’s important to be strong and fight our way through it all. Most importantly, we cannot just accept life’s blows and defeat. We are to fight and stand up even better than before.
The reconstruction of the chair lift and the addition of the suspension bridge and Skydeck prove that some great things come out of challenging times. Strong people can wing it and learn from past trials. They can turn them into something great. A lot of people are very eager for the opening of the new and improved local attractions. I think it has been in a way a beacon of hope for the people of Gatlinburg. It is a symbol that they can rise above anything together as a community.
If you are looking to give us a visit, we have the most affordable and beautiful cabins for your accommodation. Just shoot us a message, and we will assist you the best way we can. See you at the bridge!