March 12, 2021
Asheville’s Secret, Scenic and Secluded Bridges
Posted by: Asheville BBA
Asheville is home to unlimited outdoor activities. From scenic hikes in the summer along the Blue Ridge Parkway to winter sports in the snowy season, there is always plenty to do outside. One of the most underrated activities in the city is to explore the local bridges. Read on to find out why Asheville's bridges are some of the most interesting attractions in the area.
After its completion in 1925, Historic Bridge #7 in the town of Lake Lure opened to traffic along the highway. When a newer bridge was opened in 2011, this bridge was converted into a flowering, unique pedestrian walkway. The overpass is covered with gorgeous blooms and green arches in the community garden that spans across the Rocky Broad River. Enjoy the unmatched experience of admiring the colorful blossoms while the river flows underneath. This bridge is a must-see local Asheville attraction.
After an enchanting trip exploring this budding bridge, keep the good times going by booking a room at Chestnut Street Inn. Located within walking distance of downtown Asheville, you are right around the corner from delicious restaurants and an exuberant nightlife scene.
Blue Ridge Parkway over the French Broad River
We’re letting you in on a real local tip here, so now’s the time to have some faith. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 393.5 to experience the secluded magic of this unnamed bridge over the French Broad River. The nearby French Broad Outlook at milepost 393.8 gives a great view of the river and has a sign with information about the area’s history in the 1800s. Rick at Engadine Inn and Cabins raves about this great view of the river with minimal traffic. While you’re on that side of town, check out the flowers at NC Arboretum, take a ride with Zen Tubing, or maybe hike a trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The historic bridges located around the Biltmore Estate are over a century old. Bass Pond Bridge features an iconic red brick arch. The spot is so beautiful, in fact, that it was featured in the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans. Before heading to the Biltmore Estate, it pays off to do a little planning. For tips on how to make the most of your trip, check out our Local’s Guide to Visiting the Biltmore Estate.
Coming to Asheville for a special occasion? Let the folks at 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage take care of everything you need. Their romantic packages let you wow your partner with luxurious surprises, while you relax!
Captain Jeff Bowen Bridge
When crossing the I-240 East/I-26 West bridge over the French Broad River, keep your eyes peeled for a painted silo. For five years, the silo read “Good Vibes” and then “Stay Weird” for another 11 months. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, however, local artists began to update the silo more frequently. The latest message, pictured above, states “Stay True.” Asheville locals take these words very seriously. The silo, located in the River Arts District, is a popular location for tourists and locals alike to take photos for social media.
Although you do have to drive a bit out of town on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views from Mile High Swinging Bridge don’t get much more scenic. Afraid of heights? This might not be the destination for you. Built in 1952, this 228-foot suspension bridge floats one mile above sea level. Visitors to Grandfather Mountain love the 360-degree views from one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Don’t forget to bring some warm clothes. Winds at the top are notoriously extreme and even topped out at 121 MPH in 2019!
After facing your fears on Mile High Swinging Bridge, indulge in a serene, romantic experience at Beaufort House Inn. You’ll love the gourmet breakfasts, free parking, and close proximity to downtown Asheville.
Speaking of fears, Helen’s Bridge might just be the most haunted place in Asheville, if you believe in that kind of thing. Although the striking stone bridge was built in 1909, its story really begins in 1930. According to local legend, a woman named Helen hanged herself from the bridge after her daughter perished in a fire at the nearby Zealandia Mansion. Helen has been spotted in her black funeral dress around the bridge at night, especially after her name is called. In fact, some people have reported that their car will not start after trying to interact with Helen.
Only 5 minutes from Helen’s Bridge, accommodations at Sweet Biscuit Inn are anything but scary. Guests rave about their scratch-made daily 3-course breakfasts crafted with fresh ingredients.
River Arts District Greenway
Lastly, the most recently completed bridge in Asheville is for pedestrians! There are several bridges on the newly completed greenway in the River Arts District. The greenway runs all the way from Carrier Park to the River Arts District. The latest section just opened up, so it’s the perfect time to explore! The greenway is super popular and runs through the heart of the RAD. There are plenty of grassy areas, benches, and picnic tables, all along the flowing French Broad River.
If you’ve visited every cool bridge on this list, it might be time to hit the road again. Local innkeeper Sheri at Wright Inn says that The Old Red Bridge in Hot Springs and the Bridge Over French Broad in Marshall are both worth visiting. Want more insider tips to the Asheville area? Learn even more about what to do in Asheville by staying at an independent inn. Your innkeeper will gladly offer tips about the Blue Ridge Parkway, nearby kayaking spots, and more. Let the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association help you find the best inn, B&B, or boutique hotel for your next getaway.