The Kinzua Sky Walk is an excellent example of engineering expertise with eye-catching sceneries of the Kinzua Gorge. The bridge was constructed after the 2003 tornado on the remaining six of the historic Kinzua Viaduct's massive steel towers. The Kinzua Viaduct, situated at the Kinzua Bridge State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania, was once the longest and tallest railroad viaduct worldwide. It was also ranked among the World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Viewpoints and Skywalks. Moreover, the Kinzua skywalk features a walkway that extends out 624 feet with a set of railroad tracks leading to the Kinzua Gorge. With an impressive height of 225 feet above the floor of the valley, the Pennsylvania's Kinzua offers you a rare opportunity to "walk across the sky" and an exciting rush with its partial glass floor. In this guide, we will discuss the numerous reasons as to why you should try the Sky Walk at Pennsylvania’s Kinzua Bridge:
1. Venture Out
The Kinzua Bridge offers you a breathtaking view of the Kinzua Gorge and to peek through the glass floors at the valley's floor below. Named by the Culture Trip, U.K, as "One of the World's Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks and Viewpoints in the World", the Pennsylvania Kinzua will undoubtedly provide you with an exceptional experience. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, visitors can venture 600 feet out of the remaining support towers into the Kinzua Gorge as well as peer down into the glass floor at the end of the walkway.
2. Learn the History of the Kinzua Bridge State Park
During your visit to the Kinzua Bridge, you will receive a guided tour on the history of the Kinzua Bridge, whose construction began in 1881with the placement of stone piers. The initial viaduct was approximately 2,053 feet long, 301 feet high, and weighed 3,105,000 pounds. In 1900, the entire structure had to be rebuilt with steel to accommodate larger and heavier trains. The Phoenix Columns used in the towers were designed to be lighter in weight and have a greater strength than the previously used cast-iron columns. It took between 100 to 150 men, working a 10-hour shift, to complete the construction of the Kinzua Bridge in 105 days. Additionally, the newly constructed steel viaduct had the exact measurements as the original one but weighed more, around 6,706,000 pounds.
3. Modernly-designed Visitor center
The PA Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center is a modernly-designed building that offers a pleasant welcome to visitors at the Kinzua Bridge and the surrounding facilities. It was opened on 1 July 2016 to allow visitors to freely interact with the park staff, explore the scenic beauty of the Kinzua Gorge, and learn more about the natural wildlife and landscape. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Kinzua Bridge is an ideal example of modern pedestrian bridge architecture. Its modern aspects blend well with the historical structural elements to provide a gorgeous recreational attraction.
4. Family-Friendly exhibits
The Kinzua Bridge, located in Northwestern, Pennsylvania, offers its visitors with very engaging family-friendly educational exhibits. For example, you and your family can participate in hiking trails, picnic areas, visit the museum, or take family pictures while capturing the splendid view of the Kinzua Gorge. Moreover, the visitor center features several movies and displays that you can enjoy as a family.
5. Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Gift Shop
The Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center also houses the Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Gift Shop. The shop mainly sells artisan products and goods made by diverse and highly-skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers throughout the region. These Conservation Gift Shops are operated through a private-public collaboration between DCNR and Pennsylvania non-profit Wilds Center to support the center’s mission in marketing the locally-made products that display the region’s beauty and traditions.
6. Breathtaking views
The skywalk at the Pennsylvania Kinzua Bridge provides close-up views of the viaduct and broader views of the Kinzua Creek Valley. Both views are perfect for viewing fall foliage, especially within the first two weeks of October. Furthermore, the picture-taking platform situated underneath the skywalk allows visitors to take photos of themselves and the surrounding scenic beauty of the remaining six support towers after the 2003 tornado. The partial glass platform at the bottom of the observation deck also provides an eye-catching glimpse of the steel structure at the base. You can also catch a nice view of the bridge from the Picture Taking Platform situated under the skywalk.
7. Group and motorcoach tours
The Kinzua Bridge State Park provides its visitors with an RV, motorcoach, and bus-friendly tours to the park's Visitor Center and Park office to meet the Kinzua Bridge personnel. All visitors have the option of exploring both exhibits when visiting the Pennsylvania Conservation Gift Shop or joining the park’s staff for a guided tour on the Kinzua Bridge skywalk. However, all guided tours must be booked or scheduled in advance to reserve a tour date. You can opt to register online or contact their offices at 814-778-5467.
8. Convenient Seasons and Hours
The Kinzua Bridge State Park is usually open every day of the year, but day-use locations are closed at dusk. The park office and visitor is open to all visitors from:
- 1 January to Mid-March (past daylight savings). Opened from Monday to Saturday at 8.00 A.M to 4.00 P.M, and sometimes opened on Sundays.
- Mid-March to early November (during daylight savings). Opened from Monday to Sunday between 8.00 A.M and 6.00 P.M.
- Early November to 31 December (after daylight savings). Opened all week from 8.00 A.M and 4.00 P.M, but closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving Day.
9. Special Events
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural resources, the Kinzua Bridge Foundation Inc. organizes an annual two-day festival that is held during the third weekend of September that includes; crafts, music, entertainment, arts, and food vendors. The foundation is a non-profit company that is fully dedicated to the re-establishment and preservation of the Kinzua Viaduct, located in northwestern Pennsylvania.
The Kinzua Sky Walk is an engineering marvel that features breathtaking sceneries of the Kinzua Gorge. It is also considered among "The World's Top 10 Most Beautiful Sky Walks and Viewpoints in the World." Get started today by trying the SkyWalk at Pennsylvania's Kinzua Bridge.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn