Gatlinburg is getting some competition.
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Breaks Interstate Park- River Overlook
Credit: Breaks Interstate Park- Ronnie Hilton

Bridge-hounds, rejoice. The Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia and Kentucky is getting what will be the largest pedestrian bridge in North America courtesy of a generous grant up to $433,000 from The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, as WJHL News Channel 11 initially reported. Additional funds from other sources amounting to $326,000 have also been given to the park for this project.

"The Breaks Interstate Park Commission is extremely excited to see this project coming one step closer to fruition. This bridge will provide connectivity between the Kentucky and Virginia portions of the park and is part of a larger effort to connect the Appalachian Trail in Virginia with the Great Eastern Trail in Kentucky," Austin Bradley, Superintendent of Breaks Interstate Park tells Southern Living. "For us, it represents a huge step forward in our efforts to redefine the Breaks as a premier adventure tourism destination."

The new bridge at Breaks Interstate Park is expected to open in spring 2021 and the bridge will cross over Russell Fork River (the exact location of where the bridge will be erected is pictured above). Construction is scheduled to start in fall of this year and the bridge will clock in at 725-feet long upon completion. As of now, the SkyBridge at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is said to be the longest pedestrian-only bridge on the continent, measuring 680-feet long.

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If you are planning a trip to Southwest Virginia before the bridge opens, there's still plenty to do at the sprawling park known as the "Grand Canyon of the South," thanks to its five-mile gorge that drops to 1,650-feet deep. Seasonally, enjoy biking, hiking, rock climbing, and more before restoring your weary limbs at campsites or cabins within the park. We're guessing those campgrounds and cottages will book up a lot faster once the bridge makes its debut.

We're looking forward to experiencing the bridge at Breaks Interstate Park for ourselves—and earning the bragging rights to say we walked across two states in just one day.