K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Date created
October 23, 2007
Linville, Avery County, North Carolina
This photograph copyright ©2007. Terms of use

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The Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC

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This is the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina. “Mile High” refers to the fact that the bridge is located at an elevation a mile above sea level. “Swinging” refers to the fact that the bridge is a suspension bridge and therefore moves some with the wind. The bridge is 228 feet long and spans an 80 foot chasm. Summer visitors clad in shorts and t-shirts are often surprised at how chilly the mountain peak is due to the elevation and high winds. Grandfather is known for its high winds, which are some of the strongest in the High Country. In fact, the bridge has been nicknamed by some locals as the “Singin’ Bridge” due to the fact that wind streaming through the bridge’s metal supports and slats makes a whistling sound.

Until 1999, the bridge was constructed mostly of wood. In 1999, the bridge, including the cables, side rails, and floor boards, was rebuilt in galvanized steel. This change in materials meant that park employees would no longer have to hang across the gorge to paint and repaint the bridge.