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Mile High Swinging Bridge

An out-and-back with stunning views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge in Grandfather Mountain SP.

Hiking Moderate

1.7 km
82 m
82 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.6 km
Mile High Swinging Bridge Map

The Mile High Swinging Bridge is the single must-do hike in Grandfather Mountain SP. An engineering marvel and "true landmark of a pioneering spirit" according to the park, this short hike enjoys commanding 360-degree views from the highest suspension footbridge in America. Named for its elevation above sea level (5,280'), the hike will leave you memories to last a lifetime as you stand above one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems known on the continent.


22 -feet long and hovering nearly 80 feet above a break between peaks, this is a hike everyone in the family will enjoy. The bridge was originally constructed in 1952, rebuilt in 1999, and is open year-round, though winter sees far fewer visitors due to frigid temperatures and winds experienced along the mountain. Those with a fear of heights or prone to motion sickness may not want to traverse the bridge due to its tendency to sway, but benches are available nearby so that you can still sit and enjoy the views.

Seen here, this hike begins at the lower parking area where there is space for dozens of vehicles. Parking is available at the upper lot, and an elevator offers access to those with disabilities. Restrooms are available within the visitor center, and a small fee offers access into the park - no matter where you choose to begin your hike.




Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between March and November


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area