Walkway Over the Hudson Events: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Ones!
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever visited a place and immediately fell in love & felt its magic? That’s how I felt when I was able to walk over the Hudson River at ‘The Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park’.
In addition to this being the perfect FREE Hudson Valley outing for you and your family/friends, Walkway over the Hudson Events are just as special and magical.
Don’t get me wrong. I am deathly afraid of heights, but I felt unusually at ease during my visits to the Walkway over the Hudson.
The vision that it took to create something that once was a train track into a pedestrian walkway is amazing.
It’s astonishing to know that we have access to the ‘World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge’. This is absolutely impressive.
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Visiting the Walkway over the Hudson
Open 365 days a year, including holidays.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
How the Walkway Came About: The Walkway Story
The bridge that’s now known as the ‘Walkway Over the Hudson’ opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge to transport western raw materials to eastern industrial centers. In addition to transporting material, the bridge was also used to transport passengers from west to east.
A fire destroyed the tracks in 1974. Although all thought the fate of the bridge was doomed, this railroad bridge was later rebuilt into the longest pedestrian walkway in the world and re-opened in October 2009.
Where is The Walkway Over The Hudson Located?
The Walkway Over the Hudson is part of the ‘Hudson Valley Rail Trail’ and runs over the Hudson River connecting Ulster County (in Highland, NY) to Dutchess County (in Poughkeepsie, NY). This makes it the ideal location for a day trip from New York City.
When first arriving at the Walkway, it is fascinating and makes you wonder how they built this space.
The size of it is incredible, the views are spectacular and I always get giddy, during each visit, at the thought that I am actually walking over the Hudson River!
The space is impressive. Even if you come for an afternoon or to attend one of the many Walkway over the Hudson events, you won’t be disappointed.
“Since opening in October 2009, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park has improved the quality of life in the Hudson Valley and is making significant, positive contributions to the local and regional economy. It is open year-round, offering programs, events, and tours made possible through membership and donations to the Walkway organization.”Walkway.org
Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Site
87 Haviland Road, Highland, NY
61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY
How to Prepare for your visit to the Walkway over the Hudson
Click below to see some items you should always have during your Hudson Valley Outings:
- Because ‘you never know’ when an accident happens, you need a small, portable First Aid Kit, like this product in your life. This is a great buy for under $15
- If you’re going to be out all day exploring, you never REALLY know what the weather will be like. Even if you think you do know, it can start raining at any time, so this small life-saver is an essential item. This is another great buy on Amazon for under $15.
- My favorite walking shoes, by far, are these because they are soft and the memory foam feels great on my feet. See the color and size choices here.
- Looking great during your Hudson Valley outings is essential and this Hudson Valley Merchandise is perfect for any outing!
How do I get to the Walkway over the Hudson?
If you’re in Dutchess County, NY:
By Train: the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is located just 4 blocks north of the Metro North and Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie.
By Car: Take Route 9 to Route 9G north (Marist Drive). Bear right onto Washington Street. Proceed on Washington Street for 0.5 miles. Turn left on Route 9G/Parker Avenue. Walkway’s parking lot is on the left side.
If you’re in Ulster County, NY:
By Car: Located just north of the Mid-Hudson Bridge Take Route 9W to Haviland Road. Accessible parking (permit only) is provided in a small parking lot (on left, approx. 0.5 miles). All other parking is along the north side of Haviland Road.
How is it possible to walk across the Hudson?
To be fair, you are actually walking ‘over’ the Hudson and not ‘across’, but who is really going to get uptight about the wording?
All-in-all, the experience is like no other.
Like I said before, The Walkway is the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge. The combination of being so high up and the view of the surrounding scenery are only a few things that make this place so special.
Think about it… Where else can you go and walk across the HUDSON RIVER?!?! It’s truly amazing.
Is the Walkway Free?
Yes, it is absolutely free and, best of all, open every day of the year. The only exception is during Walkway over the Hudson Events, such as:
- The Walkway Marathon
- 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
- Starr Night Gala
Walkway over the Hudson Parking Info:
There is parking on either side of the Walkway over the Hudson.
There is a parking lot on the Ulster County Side (in Highland, NY). Parking there is Free.
There is also a parking lot on the Dutchess County, NY Side (in Poughkeepsie, NY). Metered parking is available.
Keep in mind that the parking lots get full rather quickly during Walkway over the Hudson Events.
So plan accordingly.
How to best experience the feeling of a walk over the Hudson River
When visiting, we typically start our walks on the Ulster County side in Highland, NY.
We park the car and begin our walk, partially on the Rail Trail until we get to the gated entrance of the Walkway itself.
We love being able to get outdoors, take a nice walk and look at the spectacular views along the way.
The Walkway Over the Hudson evokes a sense of calm, but yet, it energizes you. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, the views, or the sense that you are walking along a historic and unparalleled structure that was originally a railroad, but the who experience is extraordinary.
How long does it take to walk the Walkway over the Hudson?
There are several answers to this question:
Since the Walkway spans a little more than 1 1/4 miles each way and approximately 3 miles round trip, it all depends if you want to walk, jog, run, bike, etc.
Also, there are several stops along the Walkway with information about the area and animals native to the area, about the construction of the Walkway, donation plaques, binocular-type viewfinders, and benches, that can slow your walk or run.
Are dogs allowed on the Walkway over the Hudson?
Yes! The Walkway is a wonderful place to take a stroll, walk or run with your dog.
Although the Walkway welcomes leashed dogs, please keep in mind that the majority of the Walkway is not shaded and the pavement can get brutally hot for your pet.
Caution signs are typically posted on either entrance of the Walkway with the approximate pavement temperature.
What is there to do at the Walkway over the Hudson?
- Exercise – this one seems to be one of the favorite reasons people visit the Walkway over the Hudson.
- Listen to the Mobile Audio Tour – Accessible from The Walkway website is their comprehensive audio tour highlighting the Walkway’s Past, Present and Future. This is a wonderful way to experience the walkway and learn all about its history.
- Enjoy the fresh air and nature
- People Watch – I must confess, I’m a people watcher. Always have been. It’s a great way to pass the time.
- Puppy/dog watch – When the weather gets nicer out, all the canines come out to enjoy the walkway.
- Please keep in mind, though, that the pavement gets really hot for their paws.
- Work on your picture-taking skills – I’m all about taking photos. Take a bunch during different times of the day. My favorite time to take photos is during sunset.
- Take the Walkway Elevator – With the Walkway elevator open seasonally, yo need to take advantage during the warmer months to take advantage of this unique experience. I haven’t done this one yet, but I’m sure it’s a lot of fun!
- See the Sojourner Truth Statue – located on the Walkway’s Ulster Welcome Center Plaza at the Highland Entrance, the statue honors the life and legacy of one of nation’s leading voices for abolition and universal suffrage in the nineteenth century.
- Gaze at the views from up and down the Hudson River – The Walkway’s spectacular views are the star of the show! Enjoy scenic views of the Hudson River Valley from one place!
- Attend one of the Walkway over the Hudson Events (see below) – Now that everything is opening up again, Walkway over the Hudson events are sure to start up very soon.
Walkway Over the Hudson Events
During 2020, we unfortunately saw all of the Walkway over the Hudson events ultimately cancelled. But the good news is, that this season in 2021 has seen the rebirth of these amazing Walkway over the Hudson events.
Not only do Walkway over the Hudson events bring together the surrounding communities, they are also an ideal time to see the Walkway if you had not previously visited. These community events sell out quickly, so be sure to get their email updates.
At the time of this posting, the following Walkway over the Hudson events were scheduled to take place: (Complete information can be found on the website)
- MayFest Farmers & Makers Market – The Mayfest Essential Farmers and Makers Market brings a curated selection of the Hudson Valley’s finest producers – farms, distilleries, breweries, wineries, restaurants, artists, artisans, and more – to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and west approach to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 from 12-5 p.m. Mayfest features vendors that will exhibit their wares for tasting or purchase, allowing participants to support several local agribusinesses in one location.
- Flag Changing Ceremony (Monthly) – The American Legion Post 739 organize and present monthly Flag Changing Ceremonies on the Walkway to honor our region’s veterans and their service to our country.
- Walkway at Night – The Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization is pleased to once again offer the opportunity to enjoy amazing Hudson Valley views after dark from 212 feet above the Hudson River at Walkway at Night. With the moon hanging high in the night sky and the Mid-Hudson Bridge twinkling in the distance, there is truly nothing like a moonlit evening on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge. This event takes place from 8:45-10:15 p.m. This is a ticketed event. Buy tickets here
Past Events Include:
- First Day Hike – Ringing in the New Year does not only have to be about late night and drinks, the First Day Hike is also a popular annual event.
- Walktoberfest Walkway – A curated selection of Hudson Valley food, drink, artisans, and producers will exhibit their wares for tasting and purchase at Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
- Starry Starry Night – An annual gala and benefit to raise money for the Walkway over the Hudson. This non-profit organization works tirelessly to maintain the historic park and provide safe enjoyment for thousands of people visiting.
- Walkway Talks all about Hudson Valley History – topics vary depending on lecturer.
Movies Under the Walkway Over the Hudson
(Summer Event only)
Upper Landing Park and the Walkway over the Hudson hosts “Movies Under the Walkway Over the Hudson” during the summer months.
The organization sets aside five evenings during the summer to screen family-friendly movies, free to the public. Bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy a great movie with a spectacular view.
It is a great way to spend a summer evening with your family. Free and Fun – that’s a Win-Win!
Watching a movie under the Walkway awakens a feeling of nostalgia.
It strengthens the feeling and sense of community and takes you back to a simpler time when children played outside and watched movies with their families.
Walkway Members get many perks, including FREE Complimentary Admission to popular Walkway over the Hudson Events like
Walkway at Night, Sunrise Stroll. Walkway Lectures and more.
Memberships start at $40. Click here for more information.
Places To See Near The Walkway Over The Hudson:
- 10+ Must-See Things to do in Dutchess County, NY
- Have Fun in Beacon, NY with these amazing activities
- Be the first of your friends to Listen to Bridge Music on the Mid-Hudson Bridge
- The only list you’ll need for FREE Things to do in Dutchess County
A Few Things to Know before visiting the Walkway over the Hudson:
- Cost: General Admission is always Free (there is a donation box on the Walkway and they are happy to accept any donations to help keep this great place running smoothly)
- Parking (Ulster County): Free on the Ulster County Side (Highland, NY)
- Parking (Dutchess County): NOT FREE on the Dutchess County side (Poughkeepsie, NY)
- This is a NON-SMOKING park.
- Portable bathrooms available for use
- There are vending machines offering drink options on either side of the Walkway
- There have been food/ice cream trucks during my visits (Mostly on weekends)
- Days Open/Hours: The Walkway over the Hudson is open from Dawn to Dusk, Year-Round
- The Walkway over the Hudson is dog-friendly, but keep in mind that the pavement gets very hot during the summer months and can be harmful to their paws
- For more specific information and the latest walkway news, make sure to visit walkway.org
Until The Next Adventure…