The SkyBridge will open to visitors in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Friday

By Rachel DeSantis
May 17, 2019 08:30 AM
Gatlinburg SkyLift

A sky-high, record-breaking bridge is now open in Tennessee.

SkyBridge, which will welcome its first visitors on Friday in Gatlinburg, is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the U.S., stretching 680 feet long and 5 feet wide.

The bridge, which can hold 500 people at the same time, is part of SkyLift Park, which got a major renovation this year after it was damaged during the Gatlinburg wildfires in 2016.

The massive bridge offers panoramic views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains and the town of Gatlinburg, and features glass floor panels that allow visitors a glimpse of the valley 140 feet below.

It’s set to open with a celebratory ribbon cutting on the same day SkyLift Park will reopen to the public after its upgrade.

Gatlinburg SkyLift/Instagram

Guests had previously been able to ride the SkyLift chairlift, but were unable to exit at the top of Crockett Mountain due to damage sustained in the fire.

The new and improved version of the park, which first opened in 1954, features a SkyDeck observation area with a snack bar, gift shop and seating.

“The Gatlinburg SkyLift is an instantly recognizable landmark in the downtown area, and we wanted to preserve its history and all treasured memories in our expansion,” General Manager Randy Watson said in a statement. “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.”

SkyBridge doesn’t hold the world record however. The longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the planet opened in Switzerland in 2017, stretching 1,620 feet long — more than double the length — and is only 25.6 inches wide.