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Where to Spot the Hudson Valley’s Bridges on TV and in the Movies

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Production of indie thriller Super Dark Times in Kingston | Photos courtesy of  Hudson Valley Film Commission

Look for these recognizable spots throughout the Valley in top-tier films and television shows like HBO’s The Undoing and John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place.

The Hudson Valley is quite the Hollywood favorite.

Diverse shooting settings like dilapidated industrial plants, scenic mountain overlooks, and, of course, the majestic Hudson River make this region a destination for productions. Sweetening the deal, the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television recently set up a tax incentive program worth $420 million. Since then, major studios filmed huge projects in the area with the help of the Hudson Valley Film Commission. Numerous series from HBO, as well as a horror favorite from 2018, used local bridges for on-location sets. Here are the Hudson Valley’s most famous bridges from the silver screen (that you can visit!).

The production of HBO’s The Undoing starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant filming at Kingston’s “Wurts Street Bridge.” 

Kingston-Port Ewen Suspension Bridge

Kingston

Better known as the Wurts Bridge, the Hudson Valley’s first suspension bridge has made more appearances in productions than perhaps any other in the region. Built in 1921, the bridge served residents of Ulster County who wished to cross the Roundout Creek. Traffic does not currently cross the historic landmark, but its restoration will soon be underway.

Behind the scenes of The Undoing‘s helicopter stunt

The Wurts Bridge’s most recent feature was in the series finale of HBO’s The Undoing. The high-octane shoot included superstar actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, as well as special effects utilizing a helicopter — one of the most notable moments from the entire season.

Production on the 2017 indie thriller Super Dark Times

Several feature films also shot scenes at the Wurts Bridge. The independent thriller Super Dark Times, mystery film The Sisterhood of Night, and Growing Up Smith all had scenes at the Kingston spot, the latter two holding premier screenings at the Woodstock Film Festival. In 2018, A24’s acclaimed Skin utilized Ulster County locations, including the Wurts Bridge, to tell the story of Bryon Widner’s reform.

 

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Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Bridge

New Paltz

Twenty-two beautiful miles of scenic walkways comprise the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, whose “rails” have stayed dormant since the ’70s. The path winds through Gardiner, Rosendale, and New Paltz, where a gorgeous old bridge resides. The Springtown Truss Bridge hosted John Krasinski and Emily Blunt for both A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place: Part II. That production filmed extensively in Pawling and boosted the hospitality industries in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill.

The vintage bridge also set the scene for HBO’s I Know This Much Is True, which garnered Mark Ruffalo an Emmy win. The popular miniseries filmed throughout the Hudson Valley for almost an entire year in Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls, and Red Hook. For a flashback scene telling the story of Ruffalo’s character’s Italian immigrant ancestor, the production team tossed a robotic monkey over the side of the New Paltz bridge.

Breakneck Ridge Tunnel

Cold Spring

Pumkinhole isn’t a household name — at least not yet. The debut film of three American Film Institute members started production in May 2020 and recently wrapped. The unique and bizarre world of this indie thriller uses much of the Hudson Valley as its backdrop. In the trailer, a very cool sequence runs through the Breakneck Ridge Tunnel.

 

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Any avid Hudson Valley hiker has walked through this pathway dozens of times after conquering Breakneck Ridge trail and before heading back into Cold Spring for well-earned refreshments. It’s a part of the Catskill aqueduct and was constructed between 1908 and 1924. This aqueduct transfers water from the Ashokan Reservoir.

Walkway Over the Hudson / Mid-Hudson Bridge

Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie certainly tells a tale of two bridges along the Hudson River. The aforementioned production of I Know This Much Is True showcases glorious views of both the Walkway Over the Hudson and the Mid-Hudson Bridge throughout the series, as Vassar College doubles for UCONN in the 1980s. However, another HBO series also used the “Great Connector.”

High Maintenance’s season three premiere took place in Poughkeepsie and centered around a visit upstate from “The Guy.” The episode’s protagonist grabbed a slice from Emiliano’s Pizza on Main Street and was seen inside Mill House Brewing Company. After that, HBO’s production crews once again turned their cameras toward the Walkway.

Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Catskill

Fewer stories are more legendary in the Hudson Valley than Rip Van Winkle, and the folklore character has a bridge named after him to prove it. In what could have been an early preview of the New Deal,  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suggested a new state entity to issue bonds to fund the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Those bonds were repaid by tolls collected by the Catskill-Hudson bridge.

 

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Before The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Studios produced another period-accurate series, this time taking on the Roaring Twenties. Z: The Beginning of Everything details the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Full of glitz and glamour, the story utilizes the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in multiple shots. The Christina Ricci-led series ran for just one season.

Moodna Viaduct

Cornwall / Salisbury Mills

The great George Clooney-led Michael Clayton has a spectacular scene at the Moodna Viaduct involving a massive explosion. This mid-2000s legal thriller swept the 2008 Academy Award nominations, nabbing noms for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, and a win for Supporting Actress by Tilda Swinton. A 2020 coming-of-age Netflix original, The Half of It, also filmed at the Orange County location.

The bridge carries Metro-North’s Port Jervis commuter line, and was constructed between 1906 and 1909 by the Erie Railroad Company. This historic landmark attracts tourists for its title of highest and longest railroad trestle on this side of the Mississippi River.

 

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Wilbur Bridge

Kingston

Like many other spots on this list, the Wilbur Bridge stands over the Roundout Creek in Ulster County. HBO liked this spot for its 2020 adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Plot Against America. The critical darling, led by Winona Ryder, is an alternative-history story and a poignant piece of political commentary. Watch out for the Hudson Valley cameo, doubling for a location in Newark, New Jersey.

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