If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor recreation, you might want to visit the magical Treetop Skywalk in Gatlinburg, the longest tree-based bridge in North America.
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in Anakeesta Theme Park, the 800-feet long bridge offers guests the unique experience of walking among the treetops.
If you’re wondering what the word “Anakeesta” means, it is a Cherokee Indian term meaning “Place of the Balsams” or a place of high ground.
The Treetop Skywalk comprises 16 interconnected bridges suspended 50 to 60 feet in the air, depending on which part of the bridge you are.
While walking through the trees, you will catch a glimpse of the beautiful wildlife present, including birds and bears.
“As your eyes seek to take in the utter splendor of the living mountain, you are surrounded by the aroma of dogwood trees, spruce and hemlock. No matter how warm the day, the air that touches your face at that elevation feels cool and fresh,” said the Smoky Mountains Local Expert Team of the experience.
The hanging bridge looks even more magical at nighttime as it’s lit with beautiful fairy lights, making this outdoor recreation walk feel like a dream.
Guests are reminded to respect the trees, which means peeling, marking, or harming them in any way is strictly prohibited.
The park monitors the health of their trees with the help of Daniel Laine, their staff Arborist who completed a degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech. With over 20 years of experience in the tree care industry and 22 years as a United States Army Reserves member, Anakeesta knows their trees are in good hands.
Traversing the skywalk would require you to walk on bridges that sway and move, walk up and down the stairs, and walk on uneven surfaces, so make sure you are able to walk without assistance.
Guests using a wheelchair could still enjoy Anakeesta’s amenities, as the park has plenty of wheelchair-accessible parts, including the Firefly Village shops, dining pavilion, Gondola cabins, and scenic viewing platforms.
Unfortunately, you can’t bring your pets with you to Anakeesta, except if they are ADA-certified service animals. If you are visiting the park with one, you must notify the staff when purchasing your ticket.
Aside from the skywalk, Anakeesta Theme Park also features the AnaVista Observation Tower, the tallest building in Gatlinburg that gives breathtaking 360-degree views of the mountains and the forest.
If you’re a daredevil, you can try zip-lining through the treetops or riding the mountain roller coaster.
All that activity is bound to make you hungry. Luckily, the park offers several dining places, including some with panoramic views.
Here’s what Jasmine Martin, creator of the blog “Raising the Martins,” has to say about her trip to Anakeesta.
“The whole trip is still vividly etched in my mind, and I am planning to go back in the fall. Anakeesta literally has something for everyone. From the play areas, to the zip lining, and thrilling skybridges there is something the entire family can do.
It would even make a great date night adventure, or just something to come and do to unplug from the hustle and bustle of life.
There’s seating sprinkled throughout showcasing the beautiful view of the mountains, which gives you a moment to just sit and relax. There’s just so much to see and do. It really is like a whole new world here.”
Indeed, the Treetop Skywalk is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature. Click here to learn more about Anakeesta Theme Park and this one-of-a-kind experience.
Take a video tour below of adventurous outdoor recreation:
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