GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Visitors can catch a balancing act in the skies of Gatlinburg this week as SkyLift Park brings back the popular SkyWalk highliner event for Spring 2023. The daring slackliners are performing this week.

Rucksack Circus Highline Team members will perform the SkyWalk across the Crockett Mountain gorge, running alongside the record-breaking SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Performers will walk on a slackline 150 feet above the valley floor. The line will run approximately 225 feet on the bridge’s city side.

John McKay with the park’s marketing team spoke about the unique event.

“Get out over the valley yourself on the SkyBridge while these guys are performing right below you,” McKay encouraged visitors. “I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else and I don’t think these guys have any fear.”

Highlining is described as the act of walking at great heights on a “line” of webbing, generally made of nylon or polyester. It differs from traditional tightrope walking in several ways: Lines are rigged to a much lower tension, usually 1,000 pounds or less, which can cause the line to swing and bounce freely, making for very dynamic movements. Performers also do not walk with a balance pole or any stabilizing lines.

Previous performances in 2020 and 2022 brought record attendance. Additional shows have been added this year to accommodate public interest.

The SkyWalk will be held at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park located at 765 Parkway in Gatlinburg. The schedule of highline performances is listed below. The Skywalk event is included with general admission tickets which can be purchased at the Gatlinburg SkyLift ticket booth or online.

  • Monday, March 20 – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 21 – 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 22 – 10 a.m., 12 p.m, 2 p.m.