Kinzua Bridge State Park

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I’m not sure who said that, but my visit to the Kinzua Bridge State Park definitely filled my “excited fear” quota for the day!

Kinzua Bridge State Park is located in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania. It spans 329 beautiful acres in McKean County. I’m not usually too fearful of heights, but this bridge overlook admittedly made me feel a bit dizzy. I had to walk at my own pace while Alan and Maddie took the lead.

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The Kinzua Bridge was built in 1882 and was once described as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” It was 301 feet tall, over 2,000 feet long, and made of wrought iron. In 2003, a tornado whipped through the area and destroyed 11 of the 20 bridge towers. For me, seeing the collapsed iron supports still laying in the valley was the eeriest part of the visit. It was a sobering reminder of the sheer force of nature and it’s no wonder it was featured on the television show Life After People.

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The mangled, collapsed supports are still laying in the valley where a tornado struck in 2003.

The overlook is beautifully created from the original bridge with the tracks still intact. The end of the overlook has a very cool clear floor where you can see to the bottom. I was surprised Maddie walked onto the glass, but then again, she does follow Alan everywhere!

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After exploring the views from the overlook, we headed down to the Kinzua Creek Trail that lead beside the bridge and down into the valley. It was amazing to hike the valley so close to the fallen structures.

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I would highly recommend the Kinzua Bridge State Park for anyone visiting the area. I loved how the park was a mix of adventure, excitement, and history. Seeing this fallen architectural marvel was an ominous reminder of the power of nature. It’s an experience I know I won’t soon forget.

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website.

 

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