Photo courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority
The southern Hudson Valley bridge connecting Rockland and Westchester Counties opens for cycling and walking on the westbound span.
Slip your sneakers on, Hudson Valley. There’s a new walkway in the region.
Officially open since June 15, the path on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is a much-anticipated addition to the lower Valley. Spanning 3.6 miles across the Hudson River, the walking area is a scenic, strollable connector between Rockland and Westchester Counties.
Construction of the bridge path is part of the New York State Thruway Authority’s $3.9 billion plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge with the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Like the Walkway Over the Hudson that connects Dutchess and Ulster Counties, the Cuomo Bridge path is open for both pedestrians and bikers. It is separated from traffic by a concrete barrier and extends 12 feet across on the northern side of the westbound span, meaning there’s enough space for visitors to enjoy a stroll while social distancing.
While the walkway is a valuable resource for locals who want to get moving, it’s also a must-visit destination for anyone who enjoys a good Hudson River view. With six scenic overlooks (Fish & Ships, Palisades, Painters Point, River Crossing, Half Moon, and Tides of Tarrytown) dotted along its length, the bright blue path provides ample opportunity for visitors to stop, snap a few photos, or simply enjoy the majesty of the Hudson Valley.
“The addition of this state-of-the-art bike and pedestrian path will provide New Yorkers and tourists alike with more ways to cross the river, as well as updated amenities and a unique, interactive experience to enjoy while taking in the scenic views of the Hudson River Valley,” Governor Andrew Cuomo observes.
As far as parking goes, prospective visitors can visit either the Rockland Landing in South Nyack or the Westchester Landing in Tarrytown for four-hour parking. There are 57 parking spots at the Rockland Landing and 30 spots at the Westchester Landing during the week, with 130 after 4 p.m. and on the weekends.
From there, it’s on to either the designated walking or biking lane, both of which are clearly marked. Along the way, Hudson Valleyites can stop by any of the six lookouts to admire the view or sit for a spell. There are seating options at each stopping point, along with interactive digital kiosks, artwork, and interpretive signage. One bike rack, which pays reference to the Palisades and the New York City skyline, already stands at the walkway, with three more to be installed in the coming weeks. The 10 pieces of artwork planned for the site are a partnership with the Thruway Authority, ArtsWestchester, and the Arts Council of Rockland.
The path at the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week. Before visiting, check the bridge’s Twitter page for updates on inclement weather and parking. For bikers, the speed limit is 15 mph and helmets are required. Dogs, drones, skateboarding, and smoking are not allowed. For Rockland and Westchester-area residents, Hudson Link bus service offers free shuttles to each landing, with a detailed schedule here.
Coming soon, three food trucks – Anthi’s Greek Specialties, Graziella’s Italian Kitchen, and Westchester Burger Company – will set up shop daily on each side of the walkway on a rotating basis. On the Westchester side, Double Barrel Roasters will pour hot and cold coffee and drinks while The Blue Pig scoops ice cream and Sleek E-Bikes offers bike rentals during summer. Over on the Rockland end, Teagevity will serve organic tea and cold brew from Thursdays through Sundays. Both entrances have restrooms available for public use.
For visitors interested in learning more about the bridge itself, a free mobile audio tour is available for both walkers and bikers. The tours, which are offered in collaboration by the New York State Thruway Authority, Historic Hudson River Towns, and TravelStorysGPS, are timed to match the minutes it takes to traverse the span. For walkers, the tour is about 80 minutes while, for bikers, it’s 20 minutes. The tours adjust to individual speeds and pause during breaks in progress.
“We know the path tours will be a major attraction, drawing residents and visitors out to enjoy the beauty of the bridge while they hear about the history and wonders of the river we all love so much,” observers Historic Hudson River Towns Chairman Phil Zegarelli.
Coming on June 24, Historic Hudson River Towns will also debut a driving tour that extends from the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Find it and the walking and biking tours on the organization’s website or via the TravelStorys app on the App Store or Google Play.