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.

 

The Gateway Lodge

When my husband and I were married in 2015, our bridal party kindly gifted us a honeymoon at The Gateway Lodge in Cooksburg, Pennsylvania. It was an incredible time with equal parts adventure and relaxation!

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The relaxing fireplace in the lodge common area.

Last weekend, my husband and I returned to enjoy The Woods Spa. (We took a selfie after, but we still had the massage chair lines on our foreheads, so I decided against posting the picture.) It was so nice to be back in Cooksburg. The massages were wonderful and the lodge was as cozy and charming as ever. I’m looking forward to visiting again when the weather gets warmer.

The Gateway Lodge is a great weekend destination for nature lovers. It is located within Cook Forest, an 8,500-acre expanse of beautiful wilderness in Cooksburg, PA. When visiting in the summer months, be sure to take advantage of the horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and swimming available. Once you’re tired and ready for a break, head back to the lodge and relax before dinner.

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The cozy front porch is adorned with white lights and lanterns.

The restaurant in the lodge is an amazing farm-to-table organic experience. There are gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. If you enjoy wine, the restaurant has been awarded the “Wine List of Excellence” by Wine Spectator. The country breakfast menu includes options such as French toast, a spinach egg bake, fireside oatmeal, an eggy sandwich, fruit, coffee, tea, and more.

As an active person, I love when my vacations mix adventure with relaxation; this is something The Gateway Lodge does very well. I like spending my days outside and spending the evenings relaxing comfortably by the fire. I would highly recommend The Gateway Lodge for any nature lover!

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For more information, visit The Gateway Lodge’s website here.