Just north of Newburgh is the Walkway Over the Hudson. The longest pedestrian bridge in the world crosses over the Hudson River from Highland, New York over to Poughkeepsie. The bridge is only a short 27 minute drive from Newburgh and the Stockbridge Ramsdell House. It’s one of the main attractions in the Hudson Valley area and really a must see for anyone looking to visit the area. The bridge has a remarkable 100 year history and has been resurrected back to life after not being in service for nearly 25 years. It was opened to the public on October 3, 2009 as a pedestrian and cyclist bridge and New York State Park.
Originally built in 1888, the first trains crossed the Hudson on December 29th. It remained the only bridge crossing the river south of Albany for 36 years until the Bear Mountain Bridge was built in 1924. In the mid-20th century however, the bridge saw a rapid decline in use from train systems due to the decline in manufacturing in the Northeast, the development of interstate highways and an increase in cost to maintain the bridge. After a fire damaged a major portion of the bridge in 1974, the bridge would remain inactive for the remaining part of the 20th century. In 1998 the bridge was sold to Walkway Over the Hudson. They took ownership through its nonprofit New York Corporation, The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge Company, Inc., hoping to turn it into a pedestrian and cyclist walkway.
Finally in 2009 the bridge reopened with the hopes of becoming a tourist destination from all over the country. The volunteer head of “Walkway”, as it is known locally, said in 2008, “We think people will come from all over. It’s the equivalent of the Eiffel Tower, or the Golden Gate Bridge.”
The walkway is a truly unique experience to see the Hudson River and be a part of something exclusive. If you’re looking to visit the Hudson Valley area and travel to Poughkeepsie or Newburgh, then the WOTH has to be on the list of places to visit.
Here’s a few of the uses from the official website for the walkway.
The Park offers a wide variety of day-use activities:
- Audio-Visual programs – Talkway Over the Walkway
- Bike riding
- Bird watching
- Dog walking
- Roller skating, in-line skating
- River traffic observation
- Scenic Views
- Self-guided tours
- Train spotting