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Former viaduct to open as scenic pedestrian walkway in Pennsylvania

BRADFORD, Pa. — The Kinzua Sky Walk, a new pedestrian walkway on the bed of a former viaduct 220 feet above Kinzua Creek, is scheduled to open this fall, hopefully in time for fall foliage viewing of the hardwood forests of the Allegheny Plateau of central Pennsylvania in late September and early October.

A National Historic Site, the Kinzua Viaduct was the longest and highest viaduct in the world when it was built across the Kinzua Gorge in 1882. It was rebuilt in 1900 to handle heaver railroad engines and was used until July 2003 when it was partially destroyed by a tornado.

The six remaining towers have been restored as the walkway, which extends into Kinzua Gorge. An octagon shaped overlook at the end of the walkway will have a partial glass floor.

The walkway is part of Kinzua Bridge State Park, which is accessed via the Kinzua Bridge Scenic Byway and nearby Pennsylvania Route 6 in McKean County. The park and walkway are both free.
 The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau has recently started a group incentive program in conjunction with Kinzua Bridge State Park and the Allegheny National Forest called Fun with Trees and Leaves.

While exploring the state park with a guide, the participants try to identify selected tree species using clues such as bark, leaves and the tree’s Latin names. Field guides are then used after the initial walk to help with identification.

The participants have a digital photo taken with the “Leaf People” and e-mailed to the address of their choice. Each person that completes the program is given a set of four collectable leaf identification cards.

As an added bonus for groups, a complimentary copy of the award-winning DVD “Tracks Across the Sky” can be ordered from the visitors bureau at no charge with the scheduling of a tour during the 2010 season.