Gatlinburg, Tenn. — Gatlinburg’s new SkyBridge is tough to beat for a mountain panoramic. It spans 680 feet and every step stakes a claim as the best seat in the Smoky Mountains.
Randy Watson oversees Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and the bridge was his idea. In 2016, the Great Smoky Mountain fire nearly burned Gatlinburg off the map. Flames destroyed or damaged more than 2,000 buildings and 14 people were killed.
Bridge construction took nine months and three miles of steel cable to build a platform across a ravine capable of holding 500 people at once. In the middle of the bridge there’s a surprise on the deck, 15 feet of clear glass. You can see straight down and it’s like walking on air. If you have any fear of heights at all, the freakout factor is high.
From the bridge to the ground, the drop is 150 feet. For many people, there’s only one way to walk across: Don’t look down. Even Watson fights the same fear.
“I’ve walked out on it probably 100 plus times now, you know, I always stop. Ya have to stop and look,” Watson said.
Seeing past uncertainty, it’s all about the view.
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