Above it all: the hawk’s-eye view
By Mary Anne Myers
Manhattan may tout its High Line, but the Hudson Valley boasts its own unique version of a breathtaking middle state between water and sky: the Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park. Reconstructed from a Highland-to-Poughkeepsie railway bridge built in 1889 and unused since a fire in 1974, the Walkway opened to the public in 2009 thanks to an initiative by Scenic Hudson.
The “pedestrian park,” also the longest footbridge in the world, offers a straight, smooth concrete path that is 1.28 miles long and 212 feet above the Hudson River. Open from 7 a.m. until dusk every day, the Walkway affords amazing views north and south for walkers, joggers, bikers, skaters, strollers, and wheelchairs.
Ample width and sturdy fencing combine with solid concrete panels underfoot to make the experience delightful even for an acrophobe. Pets are welcome, as long as they are on a leash no longer than six feet, but no skateboards or motorized vehicles other than scooters for the disabled are allowed. Admission from either side (67 Parker Ave., Poughkeepsie or 87 Havilland Road, Highland) is free and fully accessible, though parking fees may apply.
The Poughkeepsie entrance is a four-block walk from the Metro-North station. Vendors selling cold drinks and snacks are set up at both entrances, where you will also find a considerate number of well-maintained port-o-sans. On summer Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m., a Farmers’ Market brings additional sellers, live entertainment, and the added benefit of suspended parking fees.
Walkway Over the Hudson is part of a 3.6-mile Scenic Hudson Walkway Loop trail, which also includes a trip across the shorter Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson bridge further south and connections to trails in the Franny Reese State Park on the Hudson’s west side. When you go, don’t forget your hat and sunscreen; on the Walkway the only roof above you is the sky. For more information, visit Walkway Over The Hudson.
Photos by M.A. Myers