Is Kinzua Skywalk Actually Safe?

Arriving At The Kinzua Skywalk

The Kinzua Skywalk was rated one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks in the World by Culture Trip. This information alone was enough to add it to my road trip itinerary. It was nearly two in the afternoon when we arrived to this autumn dream in Pennsylvania after our adventures in Niagara Falls.

Stepping onto the bridge, we began the short walk. Running down the middle of the bridge was a railroad track, which I found quite odd. Why would someone take a railroad to travel 500 feet? Maybe it was some tourist trap that used to operate. I could definitely see an American paying for that.

I walked down the tracks for a few strides before realizing it was a bit eerie that you could see the Kinzua Gorge through the cracks of the Kinzua Bridge. (Whoever settled this area clearly didn’t have much of an imagination). It looked like quite a far way to fall if something gave out and if my phone slipped, well, that would be the end of that.

Though many of the trees were now bare, a few colors of autumn were still left floating in the hills. The sky was a bright blue belle and the sun glinted just right off of the sparkling river bending through the trees. It was gorgeous.

Walking the Kinzua Skywalk

We reached the end of the Kinzua Skywalk in a matter of minutes, where the path then opened up to a wider viewing area. In the center of it was a square of glass tiles. Being the daredevil I am, I took the uneasy steps into the center of the square, seeing now exactly how far I would fall and onto which boulder. It wouldn’t be my favorite road trip to crash hundreds of feet through trees branches to my death. 

“Did you see this?”

Looking up, I walked across the platformand peered over the edge. To my surprise, there lay what used to be the rest of the skywalk. I instantly regretted my trust in its safety as I waddled all over the open tracks and glass floor. This must’ve been why the railroad tracks seemed so out of place.

The steel rested sideways up the hill, mangled and rusted. Some pieces were shattered and tossed a significant distance away into the gorge. Whatever occurred here, it didn’t look like it went down gracefully. This information, we would find out later.

Now, feeling significantly less safe on this death trap, we made the walk back toward the visitor center. As we stepped off the skywalk, we noticed a few informative plaques about the area.

Information Overload

“Ooooo that’s not very safe. I saw you on there!” a wrinkled lady with white tufts of hair spouting out in various places shouted at me. 

Walking toward her, I read the plaque.

The laminated glass floor is one inch thick.

Oh, Jesus. 

I walked over to the next sign.

From the observation deck, you can see the debris field left by the tornado.

I suppose this sign made me feel a bit better than the last. I mean, at least the bridge didn’t face complete destruction for no reason on a sunny October day.

As Large As Liberty

Exploring the Park

Inside of the visitor center, we were faced with more information than we could ever hope to know about the area. Apparently, the weakest link ended up being its corroded anchor bolts to its foundation. If these bolts had been good, perhaps it never would have collapsed.

Even so, I did not find it the least bit surprising that when I googled Kinzua Skywalk after my visit, the first suggested question was Is Kinzua Skywalk safe?

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