When I first heard that the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, Walkway Over the Hudson, was located in the Hudson Valley in New York, I was – surprised. Really, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world is less than an hour and a half away from home, practically in my back yard? I was intrigued and curious, and wanted to take my family as soon as we could.
Somehow months went by and it wouldn’t be until fall that we could go – and yet, as I came to realize, what better time to go than in fall. With the changing of the seasons and the vast landscape that the Hudson Valley is, I knew the backdrop, with its rich autumn colors, would be the perfect time to visit.
Located in Poughkeepsie, NY, with an entrance in Highland, NY as well, it is about two hours north of New York City, and accessible via Metro North, Amtrak and car. We were taking the car and decided to drive to the Highland entrance, as we heard there were food trucks there, and I really wasn’t in the mood to make lunch, being a day off from school. We had no trouble parking and grabbed an early hot dog and ice cream lunch, sitting at one of the picnic tables by the entrance to the bridge. I had to fuel these girls up, I thought to myself, because what I hadn’t told them is that the bridge is 1.28 miles long, and we were walking both directions. So after a hearty, sugar-filled meal, we started off on the Walkway.
With the fall foliage on its way to full bloom, the first part of the walk was just being able to see all the wonderful colors of the season, and although a bit crowded, feeling like we were away from it all. Soon enough we came to some railroad tracks below and watched a train whistle by, shortly followed by the emergence of the water. For, after all, Walkway Over the Hudson takes you over the Hudson River.
As we continued our walk, the views became more and more dramatic, with boats and bridges in the distance, the sparkling of the river, and the rolling hills of the countryside flanking either side of the bridge. At 212 feet tall, it’s pretty high up, with a lot of scenery to see and take in. But there’s also a lot to take in on the bridge as well, for every type of person it seemed, was walking, jogging, strolling, scooting, biking, you name it, over the bridge. Young, old, babies, teens, exercise fanatics, hippies, were all enjoying the walkway on this glorious day. It’s clear the locals take pride in their bridge, and as they should. There were lots of families there enjoying it like us, many of them with strollers and bikes. As my girls started to get tired, I told myself, next time we may come with bikes.
We finally made it to the other side – to Poughkeepsie – and had a long snack break before heading back. The people on the Poughkeepsie side were accessing the bridge either from the street, or a little ways down the bridge there is an elevator one can take from the Poughkeepsie waterfront as well. It seemed like a popular thing to do, as there was a long line. We continued on and after a few breaks finally made it back to where we began. My girls, I have to say, were total troopers. They walked a long way. But with views like these, no cars to contend with, and kids buzzing all around, it wasn’t that difficult of a feat, for they enjoyed – almost – every minute of it.
Walkway Over the Hudson, 87 Haviland Road, Highland, NY 12528 and 61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Walkway Over the Hudson, 87 Haviland Road, Highland, NY, 12528 and 61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601