Lost Treasure of the Kinzua Bridge
The Kinzua Bridge was once known as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and holds a possible key to finding a buried lost treasure. Located in Mckean county of Northern Pennsylvania, the Kinzua bridge was the longest and highest viaduct in the world when first built in 1882. It stood majestically, 301 feet high and spanned 2053 feet across the Kinzua Creek. It was considered an engineering masterpiece, and today offers a thrilling walk across the sky.
The Kinzua Bridge also offers the key to solving a mystery involving lost treasure. According to the story at the exhibition center of Kinzua State Park, in the late 1880’s, a bank in the nearby town of Emporium, Pa. was robbed. The young robber made away with over $60,000 in gold coins and fled into the surrounding mountains to escape capture by authorities.
Eventually, several days later, the robber was found, but in quite distress. He had traveled on foot through the dense woodlands without food or water and during cold rains. He was barely alive, with a high fever, but without the coins. Before passing away from sickness, he revealed he had buried the stolen loot beneath a triangular rock within site of the Kinzua Bridge.
Although many locals quickly searched the area, the hidden cache was never discovered. Today it is the lost treasure of the Kinzua Bridge. Metal detectorists and other treasure hunters continue to search the mountains where the Kinzua Viaduct lingers in site and beneath triangular rocks. The only two clues to where the lost treasure was buried.
Nonetheless, visiting the Kinzua skywalk and park is an adventure in itself. Although, the viaduct was used for many years to transport coal and other needed materials across the Kinzua gorge, it is now a tourist attraction. After a tornado raged through the gorge and brought down 11 of the 20 bridge’s base towers in July 2003, it was decided the remaining structure would be restored and turned into a pedestrian walkway.
The 11.000 square feet visitor’s center at Kinzua Bridge State Park consists now of two exhibit halls and highlights the history and building of the Bridge, and later the skywalk. Interactive displays showcase not only how the bridge was first built in only 94 days, without scaffolding, an amazing and daring feat for the time, but other interesting displays too. There is one where you get to hear the different sounds animals of the area make. Bobcats sound creepy.
And for those daring today, the skywalk features a partial glass-bottomed observation deck. One can stand on the glass and look down to the base of the towers. Thrilling. Visitors can also hike down to the bases and look up. I read the sign for how thick the glass was AFTER standing on it. It is only 1 inch! What?! I thought it would be thicker.
It was a pleasure to visit the Kinzua bridge and it truly is an excellent visitor’s center and piece of history hidden out in the middle of nowhere. There are other interesting places nearby as well, like the Ice Mine in Coudersport (with a treasure story itself) and Cherry Springs State Park which is known as having one of the ‘darkest skies on the East Coast’. It is a favorite spot for stargazers, and as you can guess, lights are strictly prohibited.
Although I didn’t end up finding the stolen loot during my visit at Kinzua Bridge this time (I’ll be going back), I found a different kind of lost treasure in the history of the area. Lost treasures can be found anywhere if you are looking for them!
Best of luck with all that you seek! Always Treasure the Adventure!