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Gutsy travelers, take note — these sky-high walkways are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Built at dizzying heights around the world, aerial walkways not only provide outstanding views, but also give adventurous pedestrians some serious bragging rights. From suspension bridges spanning deep gorges to swaying rope walkways through towering treetops, these 10 aerial footpaths are sure to test your nerves if you’re brave enough to cross.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (Vancouver, Canada)
Located among the treetops of a temperate rainforest along the Capilano River in western British Columbia, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers multiple sky-high walkways for intrepid travelers. Best known for its eponymous suspension bridge, the 450-foot-tall, 230-foot-long overpass was first constructed by a Scottish civil engineer in 1889. Thankfully, the bridge has since been rebuilt with cables strong enough to hold an airplane, allowing visitors to cross safely.
Other thrilling experiences in the park include Treetops Adventure, which allows visitors to traverse suspension bridges between the park’s old-growth trees, and the Cliffwalk, a death-defying, suspended walkway along a steep canyon.
Royal Gorge Bridge (Cañon City, Colorado)
One hour from Colorado Springs, Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the United States and a sought-after experience for adrenaline seekers. Built 956 feet above the Arkansas River, the suspension bridge is four times higher than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and nearly as tall as the Chrysler Building.
Constructed in 1929 to allow visitors a view of the gorge’s staggering beauty, the footbridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Since its construction, Royal Gorge Bridge has been reconstructed for added safety measures and even survived a fire in 2013. Since then, the walkway has been trademarked as “America’s Bridge,” with hundreds of thousands of brave souls crossing every year.
Titlis Cliff Walk (Engelberg, Switzerland)
Hanging 9,977 feet above sea level, the Titlis Cliff Walk is an astonishing feat of engineering at the summit of Mount Titlis in Switzerland. The highest suspension bridge in Europe is made of steel cables and allows pedestrians to cross a 1,650-foot-deep chasm. A mere three feet wide and 328 feet long, the footbridge is a thrilling journey over the glacial abyss.
To reach the bridge, visitors must first brave a gondola and then a revolving cable car — both of which offer 360-degree views of the magnificent Swiss Alps. Next, they must walk through a glacial cave in order to reach a sky-high platform with panoramic views. Those who are gutsy enough to cross the bridge will be rewarded with the Ice Flyer, a chair lift that offers a unique perspective of the deep crevasses below.
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park (La Fortuna, Costa Rica)
A 30-minute drive from La Fortuna in central Costa Rica is Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. Containing a vast complex of connecting walkways (six of which are hanging bridges), the park treats visitors to sky-high views of the rainforest’s treetops and understory below. The park also offers dramatic views of the Costa Rican countryside and Arenal Volcano in the distance.
The collective length of the park’s 16 bridges stretches for two miles and takes roughly two hours to complete. Along the way, visitors may encounter animals such as tropical birds, sloths, and monkeys. To see nocturnal animals like the red-eyed leaf frog and kinkajou (also known as a “honey bear”), the Twilight Tour and the Mistico Night Walk offer visitors the perfect opportunity to spot these exotic creatures when the sun goes down.
Carrick-a-Rede (Ballintoy, Northern Ireland)
A small, rocky island off the shore of Northern Ireland, Carrick-a-Rede translates to “Rock in the Road” in Scottish Gaelic. Named for its position as a barrier preventing migrating salmon from swimming through the ocean channel, Carrick-a-Rede was once considered a boon for salmon fishermen. In 1755, local fishermen built a rope bridge to connect the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede to increase their daily catch.
An upgraded version of the rudimentary bridge still stands today, but since the salmon population has declined, Carrick-a-Rede is owned and operated by the National Trust. Built 100 feet above sea level, the hanging bridge is a short but exhilarating journey across the chasm below. Since it transports visitors over a rocky sea, most people who cross over to Carrick-a-Rede won’t notice the views of the craggy coastline until they’ve made it safely across.
Langkawi Sky Bridge (Langkawi, Malaysia)
Located on Pulau Langkawi, the main island in the Langkawi archipelago off the coast of Malaysia, the Langkawi Sky Bridge is the longest curved free-span bridge in the world. At 410 feet in length, the bridge was built after materials were airlifted to the top of Gunung Mat Chinchang, the second-tallest mountain in Langkawi. Today, a cable car also carries visitors to the Sky Bridge.
Connecting two peaks, the Sky Bridge features a prominent curve designed to offer visitors 360-degree perspectives of the surrounding forest and the Strait of Malacca. The five-foot-wide bridge also allows plenty of space for foot traffic and includes glass floor panels that give visitors a glimpse of the staggering 2,300-foot drop below.
El Caminito del Rey (Malaga, Spain)
Spanning a narrow gorge in southern Spain, El Caminito del Ray was once considered the world’s most dangerous footpath. Built in the early 20th century as a way to transport workers to the dam near Gaitanejo Falls, the walkway was officially opened to the public by King Alfonsi XIII in 1921, earning the name “King’s Little Walk.”
The path has since been restored and is a much safer journey for visitors, despite its location along a sheer cliff. To walk the footpath in its entirety requires a minimum of three hours and includes crossing a suspended 300-foot-tall walkway over the gorge. Trekkers often spot wildlife along the way, including golden eagles, wild boars, and Iberian ibex. A bus shuttles visitors between the trailhead and terminus.
OCBC Skyway (Singapore)
Located in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove features 18 “supertrees” that rise 164 feet above the ground and are illuminated at night. Covered in 162,900 different varieties of plants, such as orchids, ferns, and tropical flowers, these human-made “trees” are designed to collect rainwater for irrigation purposes.
Connecting the supertrees is a 400-foot-long platform known as the OCBC Skyway. Built 72 feet above ground, the skyway offers sweeping views of Supertree Grove and Singapore’s Marina Bay. At the top of the tallest supertree is an observatory and rooftop bar, which is an ideal place to take in the Garden Rhapsody Light Show. Scheduled twice an evening, this award-winning light and sound show is a dazzling way to see Supertree Grove in all its glory.
CN Tower Edgewalk (Toronto, Canada)
A recognizable landmark on the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower measures 1,185 feet tall at the very top of its antenna. A mere 17 feet below this height is the CN Tower Edgewalk, a death-defying journey for those in search of a serious rush of adrenaline. As the highest, hands-free circle walk in the world, the Edgewalk allows visitors to circumnavigate the 16-story building on foot.
Of course, extreme safety precautions are taken in order to complete this terrifying trek around the five-foot ledge. Edgewalkers must wear jumpsuits and be fitted with safety harnesses that anchor to the side of the building. Once secure, they are allowed to walk hands-free around the tower and can even lean off the edge for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Stairway to Nothingness (Schladming, Austria)
Located in Dachstein Glacier Resort, the Stairway to Nothingness is not for the faint of heart. Boasting a vertigo-inducing drop of 1,312 feet, this infamous stairway is accessible via a 328-foot-long suspension bridge that connects the massif. As the highest bridge in Austria, the massive, steel-and-concrete structure weighs five tons and took six months to complete in 2013 — drawing plenty of intrepid visitors to its dizzying heights.
After crossing the bridge, visitors can muster up the courage to journey down the 14 steps down into “nothingness.” In this case, nothingness is a clear glass viewing platform offering incredible views of the Austrian Alps and full visibility of the precipitous drop below.