Walkway over the Hudson - the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge - connects Poughkeepsie and Highland NY and makes for a breath-taking outing in the Hudson River Valley.
Spectacular views from 212 ft. Easy hiking with fun detours. Tasty restaurants and pubs nearby. What are you waiting for?
Walkway Loop Trail (4.5 mi)
Follow the Loop Trail for a complete experience of Walkway Over the Hudson. This ensures awesome views from both the Walkway and the Mid Hudson bridges. And, as you'll see, offers some pleasant diversions along the way.
The loop is completely paved and level, so leave your hiking boots at home.
Do, however, expect large crowds of strollers, sightseers, joggers, and cyclists.
And, if you go on a steamy Memorial Day like we did, you might even see people on golf cars handing out American flags and water bottles.
Views from the Bridge
Don't be disappointed by the fences blurring your view at first. As you walk further down they disappear.
Pictured below is a southern view of the Mid Hudson Bridge and the Waryas Park to the left. You can also see the Empire Cruise Lines vessel, Mystere at port.
The park is accessed immediately by the train (metro-north, 90 min from manhattan) and restaurants and the Mid Hudson Childrens museum are within walking distance from it.
To the north, on the Poughkeepsie side, you might be able to make out the Marist College campus less than a miles way. Further up, though not visible, the gilded estates along Millionaire's Row begin.
At 1.28 miles, it shouldn't take very long to cross the Walkway Over the Hudson, but take your time. It's a beautiful place to be.
More Stuff To Do...
When you get across the walkway, over the Highland side, the loop trail follows Haviland Road (.5 mi). This will take you to the Mid Hudson Bridge, back over the river to Poughkeepsie.
Franny Reese State Park - Just before you get on the bridge though, you will see stone steps leading down under it (near the flag post and memorial).
This will take you into Franny Reese State Park.
Once you get down the steps, and you make a right under the archway, there's a short uphill hike that will take you to an overlook.
The views here are pretty solid. You're looking directly down on the Mid Hudson Bridge.
This is a good place to get a shot of the entire Walkway Over the Hudson. It's worth the 25 minute detour.
Of course, you could extend that. The state park is over 250 acres with several miles of trails and features ruins of a 19th century estate.
Nearby Restaurants - Once you've crossed the bridge back into Poughkeepsie, continue to follow the Walkway signs. This will guide you back towards the train station and restaurants.
We chose Riverstation, which had excellent paninis and a nice outdoor deck with river views.
Plus, they let us bring our dog!
Around the corner you also have Mahoney's Irish Pub and Steakhouse, and Amici's; an Italian Restaurant.
Further south, not on the walkway loop trail, is Shadows On the Hudson. Shadows is a bit swanky and has huge views of the river. Great place grab a drink after a hike. Just don't bring the dog.
Mid Hudson Children's Musuem - If you've got the kids with you, consider stopping here at Waryas Park, just off the Walkway Over the Hudson Loop Trail.
The museum focuses on teaching your children about the environment, science, the arts, and world-culture in a fun interactive environment.
It looks nice, but I've heard mixed reviews.
Anyway, it's there for you to see for yourself: 75 North Water Street Poughkeepsie, NY (845) 471-0589
Getting to Walkway Over the Hudson
You can access the Loop Trail from either the West side at 87 Haviland Road in Highland NY - Or on the East side in Poughkeepsie at 61 Parker Avenue.
There's free street parking on Haviland Road in Highland NY and in Poughkeepsie NY on Brookside, Taylor, and Washington streets.
By train, take Metro North to the Poughkeepsie station, head up Davies Place (off Main Street) and follow the signs.
We'd like to send a big thank you to the people of the non-profit walkway.org for making the Hudson Valley a better place.
Think about it... this once abandoned and burned-out railroad bridge now attracts over half a million visitors from around the world each year!
If you haven't already, I strongly encourage you to come and experience Walkway Over the Hudson for yourself.
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