Photograph by Karen Melanson
Who’da thunk it? A mere six years ago, the Walkway Over the Hudson — the world’s longest elevated park and the Valley’s newest tourist attraction — was just a dilapidated railroad bridge that many local folks considered an eyesore. Today, that “eyesore” draws more visitors (an estimated 237,000 this summer alone) than even its biggest proponents imagined. Sightseers and athletic types from every state in the Union and 42 foreign countries have marveled at the expansive views of the river from the span, which is more than 200 feet above the water.
The nonprofit organization that oversees the one-and-a-quarter mile park could easily rest on its laurels, but that’s not been the case. As we go to press, construction is just about complete on a 21-story elevator in Poughkeepsie that will provide access to the Walkway for those with limited mobility. A smartphone-accessible Mobile Web Tour of the park, available in both English and Spanish, was introduced in October. But most exciting of all, the final link between the Walkway and the Dutchess Rail Trail was formally opened last month. You can now walk, run, bike, or skate from Hopewell Junction to the Ulster County town of Lloyd — a distance of about 18 miles as the crow flies — without encountering a single motor vehicle.
» Walkway Over the Hudson history and renovation
» Visit Walkway Over the Hudson
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