The Mile High Swinging Bridge is located on Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina, and it is a fun and fascinating destination for both children and adults. This feat of engineering stretches across an 80-foot ravine and was built at an elevation in excess of one mile above sea level. This 228-foot suspension bridge is unique, and walking over it is a thrilling opportunity for visitors to Grandfather Mountain. The view from the bridge is stunning and is the primary reason why so many families enjoy spending the day at this glorious attraction.
Access to the Mile High Swinging Bridge is made easy and accessible for people with disabilities by use of the Top Shop elevator. With a 50 yard path and a bench near the bridge for resting, it is accessible for wheelchairs and most people will be able to enjoy the bridge’s charms with ease.
The Mile High Swinging Bridge was built in 1952 so visitors could access Linville Peak to enjoy an unparalleled panoramic view. The wooden bridge was drafted by Charles Hartman, Jr., and it was manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina before being moved and rebuilt over a period of three weeks at Grandfather Mountain. The weather presented many difficulties during the time that the bridge was being assembled on the mountain due to a hurricane. The original cost of the bridge was $15,000.
Charles J. Parker, former North Carolina Tourism Director, named the bridge at the dedication on September 2, 1952 which was led by North Carolina Governor William B. Umstead. Although it was built to improve access to the mountain, the bridge itself has become a visitor attraction with the walk to the other side being an enjoyable highlight of the visitor experience.
The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 to replace the wooden components with galvanized steel for strength and durability. The wooden bridge required regular painting, and the modern galvanized steel makes maintenance an easier task. The new bridge was designed by Sutton, Kennerly and Associates Engineering and was built by Taylor and Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost to remake the bridge was $300,000.
Other attractions at Grandfather Mountain include nature trails, wildlife viewing in dedicated environmental habitats, a nature museum, fudge shop, restaurant and picnic grounds. The Mile High Swinging Bridge offers a panoramic view of these beautiful surroundings.