What’s scarier than being hundreds of feet in the air? Being hundreds of feet in the air….and lurching back and forth.
These swinging bridges across the United States are all perfectly safe, as long as you use common sense and take your time. Some have storied histories, others are feats of engineering, and a few are impressive for their sheer scale. Just remember: one foot in front of the other, hold onto the railing, and don’t look down.
1. Ohio: Hocking Hills Swinging Bridge
Maintained by Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, this swinging bridge is part of a zipline canopy tour. The course offers ten different zip lines and five adventure skybridges. Visitors are securely harnessed and guided through the tour by trained professionals. This may be one of the best ways to get an eyeful of the beautiful Hocking Hills natural landscape.
2. Hawaii: Waimea Swinging Bridge
Spanning a canyon very near the Menehune Ditch, the Waimea Swinging Bridge is anchored only on either side, which means it sways with the movement of visitors. Though the bridge is well maintained, its wooden boards do creak alarmingly. The bridge is the only route across the canyon and leads to a number of private properties.
3. Montana: Swinging Bridge
Passing over Kootenai River between Troy and Libby, this bridge was constructed by the Forest Service to allow them better access to the other side of the waterway in the event of a fire. It is 210 feet long and stretches 100 feet above the river. Only three people may cross at a time.
4. Maine: Androscoggin Swinging Bridge
First built in 1892 to allow employees at the Cabot Mill to cross the Androscoggin River between Topsham and Brunswick, this swinging bridge is 330 feet long and features original 19th-century cables. When the river below is flooded, the waters can actually reach quite close to the bridge.
5. Tennessee: The Bridge of Prosperity
This is the longest swinging bridge in the United States. It measures nearly 400 feet in length. Stretching from Prosperity Mountain across Dunn's Gorge, the bridge is privately owned and crossing requires a small admission fee.
6. Florida: Canopy Walkway in Myakka River State Park
Located near Sarasota, this swinging bridge sits at the level of the treetops and is designed like those found in tropical rainforests. The bridge ends at an observation tower that affords views of the forest from 76 feet in the air.
7. Michigan: Croswell Swinging Bridge
This Croswell bridge was originally built in 1905 for a mere $300. Reconstructed after a flood, crossing the bridge can be frightening due to the sinking sensation experienced as the bridge bends beneath the weight of pedestrians.
8. Washington: Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge
This bridge soars 165 feet above the Tahoma Creek. It's the highest and longest bridge in Mount Rainier National Park. The park suggests that only one person at a time attempt to cross this 200-foot long structure.
9. North Carolina: Mile High Swinging Bridge
This bridge is at the top of Grandfather Mountain and swings one mile above sea level. The elevation is so great that visitors can occasionally walk right through low clouds. The bridge is 228 feet long, and affords beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
10. Alaska: Alaska Zipline Adventure Bridges
Located in Juneau, these swinging bridges connect a series of towering trees and ziplines. In order to reach all the bridges, visitors must zipline from tree to tree. Many of the bridges actually swing higher than the canopy of the surrounding rainforest.
11. Kentucky: Rooster Branch Swinging Bridge
Located at the intersection of Rocky Branch Road and Rooster Branch Road in Clay County, this swinging bridge offers incredible views of the Kentucky River. Depending on the time of year, the waters beneath the bridge may take on unusual colors as sediment collects and flows downstream.
12. Washington: Lava Canyon Bridge
Lava Canyon Bridge can be accessed by taking the Lava Canyon Trail in Mount St. Helens. There are gaps between the boards, allowing visitors to see the rushing Muddy River below. The bridge sinks beneath the weight of pedestrians, a sensation which can be unsettling.
13. Texas: Regency Suspension Bridge
Located between Mills and San Saba Counties, this suspension bridge is the last in Texas to remain open to automobile traffic. The boards creak and groan under the weight of vehicles, and stepping hard on the brakes produces some alarming swaying.
14. Georgia: Toccoa Swinging Bridge
Located above the Toccoa river in Stephens County, this 265-foot-long bridge is the longest such bridge east of the Mississippi. Reaching the middle of the bridge affords an unobstructed view of the beautiful Toccoa.
15. Wyoming: Thermopolis Swinging Bridge
This bridge was originally built by a mechanic out of scrap steel from an older bridge and cables from a nearby oil friend. The design and construction was based on a postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the mechanic had no engineering knowledge. Today, the bridge has been partially rebuilt and is safe to use.
Have you been on any of these swinging bridges around the U.S.? Any that you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments.