Where is the longest pedestrian only footbridge in the world? Are you thinking in the Andes or the Alps? Actually it is in New York State and its called The Walkway Over the Hudson.
The Walkway Over the Hudson was built as a railroad bridge in the 1800s. It is 1.28 miles long, 212 feet above the river, and it connects Highland to Poughkeepsie. It was abandoned in 1974 after a fire. Work was done on it and it reopened in 2009 as a state park that is free to enjoy.
The Walkway isn’t just for walking. People can cross on bike, jog, and bring their dog. It is wheelchair accessible on booth ends.
While there continue your hike. On the Poughkeepsie side of the bridge it connects with the Dutchess Rail Trail. This is a 13 mile rail trail running from the Walkway to Hopewell Junction Train Depot. It is paved the whole way with wide shoulders that are gravel or sand. Bicyclists may prefer riding on the paved area of the trail while runners may prefer jogging on the unpaved shoulder.
The Walkway hosts different events. On January 1st they host First Walk- an organized first hike of the year. Other state parks have similar events.
During Memorial Day weekend they are open late one night and have luminaries lining the bridge in honor of those who died in the service of their country. It is a fund raiser for veteran’s groups and people can sponsor luminaries. On July 4th they charge admission to watch the fireworks from the Walkway. The money helps sponsor the fireworks and upkeep of the Walkway.
Hours and Days
They are open all year. A regular hiker told me they plow after snowfall, so don’t let a recent snowstorm hinder you if you enjoy winter strolls. They normally close at sunset, but are open late for special events. They also put up on the announcement board the temperature of the concrete in warmer weather so you know when to avoid bringing your canine hiking buddy.
Concessions and Restrooms
There are food carts and restrooms on both ends of the bridge. If you go early and the food carts are not open there are businesses nearby that sell food. Food carts may not be open during morning hours. As of now there are vendors selling bottled drinks, Italian ice, ice cream and kettle corn.
If you are traveling from New York City by train take the Hudson Line and get off at the Poughkeepsie stop. Follow the directions on the Walkway’s website to get to the entrance. If you are traveling by car it may be easier to park on the Highland side. The turn off Route 9W is north of the Poughkeepsie Bridge.
For more information go their website at: https://walkway.org
Do you want a scenic hike? Do you want to have stunning views of the river? Make the journey to the Walkway Over the Hudson.