I love squirrels. I enjoy watching them leap from treetop to treetop in our backyard or in the campgrounds we visit. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a squirrel’s view of the world and how it might feel to stroll through the treetops. You might well imagine my delight when I discovered the Tennessee Treetop Skywalk in Gatlinburg, TN.
Better than zipping!
I’ve taken ziplines through forest trees, but I felt cheated in a way because everything goes by so fast. It all becomes a blur. There’s no time to really notice birds, butterflies and, well, even squirrels! I guess that’s why they call it a zipline. You really do zip through the trees! I’d been looking to find a better way to experience the forest. That’s when I discovered the Treetop Skywalk. It far surpasses ziplining—at least for me.
What is it?
The Treetop Skywalk is the longest tree-based bridge in North America. Featuring a five-foot wide walking path, this suspension bridge enables visitors to experience treetop views as well as see the forest and its inhabitants below. Greater than the length of two football fields, the Skywalk is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America.
Need not zip through
In my opinion, the best part of the Skywalk is that you can set your own pace as you walk across this engineering marvel. A slower, deliberate pace will allow you to experience the Great Smoky Mountains from a treetop perspective. At midpoint on the bridge, 140 feet from the forest floor, you’ll come to a heart-stopping section where the bridge features 30 feet of glass decking. The glass enables you to look below your footsteps to see the valley far below. It’s mind-blowing!
Take your time and you may spot a bear. Construction workers say that as the bridge was being built, bears often wandered near to see what was going on. It’s also not uncommon to see woodpeckers, songbirds, butterflies, and small forest mammals (like squirrels). Take a walk across the Skywalk at night and you may see raccoons, owls, and other nocturnal forest creatures.
Where is the Skywalk?
Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Skywalk bridge is part of the attraction Anakeesta, or “the place of high ground,” according to the Cherokee language. Skywalk’s central location makes it a great getaway for Midwest RVers or for RVers traveling cross-country. There are several RV parks near Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also nearby.
Check out Anakeesta.com for more information.
I could never get my wife on that.
Thanks, Gail! If you make it to the Chattanooga area, we host a Boondockers Welcome site (Davis Farm) NE of Chattanooga between exits #11 and #27 on I-75. 😎
Do it, Gail. And when you’re there, say “Hi” to Neal for me. He’s one of my very favorite commenters here. Oh … Hi, Neal! 😉 Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com