No matter where you live in the Valley, there’s one commonality that unites us all: the Hudson River. And while you can perhaps drive from, say Dobbs Ferry to Irvington in the blink of an eye, a stroll from town-to-town hasn’t always been so straightforward.
In recent years, the Westchester RiverWalk initiative has renewed the by-foot experience, building a connecting walkway that will ultimately parallel 46 miles of Westchester’s Hudson River shoreline and link it’s multiple rivertown municipalities.
Patrick Natarelli, a member of the Westchester County Planning Department, describes it as an initiative that not only “hugs the entire Hudson River shoreline, but [is also] a multi-faceted trail that weaves through the Historic River Towns’ main streets and provides access and linkages to recreational, cultural, and historic resources and to inland trail systems.”
Westchester County proposed and completed planning 2003. Today, 33.4 miles of the 51.5 mile project have been finished, connecting village centers and historic destinations. Eight of the 14 Westchester municipalities have completed their sections of the walkway, including Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Ossining, Croton, and Peekskill. Further development is contingent upon the individual municipalities, so a project completion date is currently undetermined.
Not only does it offer a paved walkway and lights, but it will also have access to family-friendly parks, benches, and picnic tables. And if you’re curious about the history of the Hudson River or a specific town, spaced throughout the walkway are informative posts about the municipality’s history, geographic landscape, architecture, and environment.
Worried about getting lost? RiverWalk maps and trail blazes will guide you, making exploration safe and manageable. Wherever access to the waterfront is infeasible, the walkway will lead to sections of the Old Croton Aqueduct State Trail or local streets instead. All sections of the walkway are either walking distance or a short drive to each municipalities’ main town, so access to local stores and restaurants is simple.
The estimated cost of the Riverwalk is $1 million per mile. While the project is meant to be bring the different village sections together, in some cases, portions of RiverWalk are constructed as part of private or municipal waterfront developments. In these instances, these portions of the trailway are financed by private or other non-county sources.
There are plans for other New York State counties to contribute to their own sections of the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail, of which RiverWalk is Westchester County’s portion. But until then, a walk along the Westchester-bound Hudson is a beautiful way to sample what the area has to offer.
Click here to find your nearest RiverWalk pathway.