Test Your Nerve on the World's Longest Timber-Towered Suspension Bridge
Boyne Mountain Resort has long been a magnet for travelers in search of adventure—skiing, mountain biking, hiking, ziplining. And now, it's home to SkyBridge Michigan, the world's longest timber-towered suspension bridge.
After a year of construction, SkyBridge Michigan opened to the public on Saturday, October 15. The pedestrian bridge, which is 1,200 feet long and 118 feet high, spans the peaks of McLouth and Disciples Ridge above the Boyne Valley—and is open to guests year-round.
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To access the bridge, visitors ride the historic Hemlock Scenic Chairlift, one of the oldest in the world, to the summit of the mountain before embarking on the open-air journey.
"When you first exit onto the towers and onto the suspended portion of the bridge, you're not over a valley—you're actually in the treetops," says Mandy Stewart, CEO and Owner of Experiential Resources, which designed and constructed the bridge. "You're walking through a canopy of gorgeous Michigan forest before you suddenly pop out, and then boom—Boyne Valley—right in front of you." That's when the bridge's open-air design is most impactful.
Halfway across, the bridge's steel floor transitions to laminated glass (yes, real glass!) for just 36 feet, allowing clear, dramatic views of the valley floor below.
Experiential Resources (ERi) also constructed Gatlinburg SkyBridge in Tennessee, which opened in 2019.
"We knew we wanted SkyBridge Michigan to be as significant as the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, but we also wanted it to have an identity that was tied to northern Michigan," says Stewart. The bridge's design was inspired by the famous Pure Michigan "M." Once that stroke of inspiration hit, the bridge took six months to design.
The timber towers are SkyBridge Michigan's most distinctive features, each standing nearly 52 feet tall and weighing about 111,000 pounds. The timber-frame design is a nod to the state's logging history. Timber was sourced from family-owned Matelski Lumber in Boyne Falls.
"For the region as a whole, I think it's going to be a huge draw," says Erin Ernst, director of communications at Boyne Resorts. She expects SkyBridge Michigan will appeal to bridge enthusiasts as well as a broader population of tourists, including those already familiar with surrounding towns like Charlevoix and Petoskey. "A lot of people come to our great communities around us that are well-known vacation spots, and I think SkyBridge Michigan will really be an attraction for those people to continue coming to us and having that northern Michigan experience as well."
SkyBridge Michigan is open year-round, so no matter when you visit, the state's wild and alluring natural beauty will be camera-ready. Tickets provide all-day access for guests to experience unlimited crossings and chairlift rides. Once on top of the hill, visitors can also access a network of hiking and biking trails, the Eagle's Nest restaurant. At night, the bridge will be illuminated.
Visit the website for hours, tickets and more details to plan your adventure.