We are those friends who think we can walk anywhere. One day, driving across the George Washington bridge, we were wondering aloud how wide the Hudson River is and where there might be pedestrian crossings.
Google told us about the Walkway Over The Hudson. A 1.28 mile span between Poughkeepsie and Highland where one can walk, ride, or rollerblade across the bridge deck, 212 feet above the river.
A leisurely strolling pace and stops for lots of photos, will take you about 2 hours to walk the span and get back. We’ve visited in Summer and in Winter and the cold weather definitely inspires you pick up the pace!
The Poughkeepsie Metro North Station is nearby, so you can hop up here from NYC easily with no car. If you’re driving, there are easily accessible parking lots on both the East and West sides of the span. The West end in Highland is getting a bit of a makeover, so started on that side for this visit.
There’s a recently built welcome center, which of course, like most public spaces, is currently closed due to the pandemic. There are restrooms and vending machines available though! So you can hit the head or grab a snack on either end of your walk. They’re building another on the east end, but it’s not finished yet. It will be nice to have these options on both sides of the bridge!
Would have loved a cup of hot cocoa for the walk 😭. But since the area is closed for the pandemic, we did our pre-adventure ritual. Kali covering up every bit of exposed skin, and Paul committing any nearby maps to memory.
Also new on this side of the span, is a beautiful statue of New York native and civil rights activist Sojourner Truth. We took some time out of our walk to read the sign nearby, and learned a lot about her life, as well as the artist, Vinnie Bagwell, who happens to be from Yonkers! Local artists for the win!
The Walkway Over the Hudson started out as a railroad bridge between Poughkeepsie and Highland, New York. It was built in 1889, and was the longest and highest rail bridge in the world when constructed! It remained in service until a fire in 1974 burned a significant amount of the ties and other wooden parts. The bridge was repaired and the walkway was installed in 2009. It is now a part of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
As we made our way along the bridge, we’re treated to literal breathtaking views of the Hudson river, still full of ice from the recent winter storm. Everyone we passed on the bridge was wearing a mask, so extra points to all these responsible New Yorkers! The weather was perfect for our walk, low wind, and clear skies. Although bicycles are allowed on the walkway, we didn’t see many on our trip. Probably more popular during the summer months.
Overall, it took us about an hour and a half to stroll to the other side and back again. We can only turn the NYC pace down but so far. 😄
It’s perfect for a quick day trip, and fits in well with a visit to a local taproom or winery, or any of the many beautiful small towns in the area. Next time you’re headed to the area, take some time to enjoy the beautiful views of the Walkway Over the Hudson!