Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

Pennsylvania

Kinzua Bridge Skywalk Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: McKean
Length: 0.11 miles
Trail end points: Kinzua Bridge State Park off SR 3011 and Kinzua Bridge Skywalk
Trail surfaces: Boardwalk
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6031616
Trail activities: Walking

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Kinzua Bridge Skywalk Description

At 301 feet high, the Kinzua Bridge—also known as the Kinzua Viaduct—was the tallest railroad bridge in the world when it was built in 1882. The bridge served the Erie Railroad and occasional excursion trains until 1959, when access to a nearby Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line made the aging bridge obsolete. In 1970, the State of Pennsylvania opened Kinzua Bridge State Park to the public, preserving the famous trestle, adjacent land and stunning views of the Kinzua Valley in perpetuity.

From 1987 until the bridge closed for restoration in 2002, the Knox and Kane Railroad operated sightseeing trips over the trestle and through the Allegheny National Forest. Unfortunately, in 2003, before restoration could be completed, torrential winds from a tornado demolished large sections of the bridge. It was ultimately determined the best use for the remaining structure was to create a pedestrian walkway, allowing visitors to the state park to view the beautiful gorge below. A glass-bottomed section at the end of the 600-foot remaining portion of the bridge facilitates the dizzying views.

If you're afraid of heights, there is a nearby overlook that provides a good look at the walkway and the twisted steel bridge remains still resting in the Kinzua Valley. You can also hike down into the valley and enjoy additional park trails below the bridge.

Due to the bridge’s permanent closure to rail traffic, the once popular Knox and Kane Railroad was forced to cease operations in 2006. The 74-mile former rail line from the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk southwest to Clarion is planned to eventually open as a rail-trail, preserving the line’s history and scenic views.

Parking and Trail Access

Kinzua Bridge State Park is located 4 miles north of US 6 near Mt. Jewett on State Route 3011. There is ample parking in the State Park parking lot.

Kinzua Bridge Skywalk Reviews

This has long been one of our favorite parks. The new walkway is well done and there is access to the valley again, so park goers may get a different perspective from below. A new visitors center will open in the spring of 2017. Well worth a visit.

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