Walkway Over the Hudson – The Most Accessible Route
This article shows you how everyone, especially mobility-challenged people, can best enjoy the views on the Walkway Over the Hudson without worrying about walking distance, the lack of shaded rest stops, or accessibility issues.
The Walkway Over the Hudson is the “longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world,” according to the New York State Parks Department. It provides stunning north and south Hudson River views that that were not available to pedestrians until 2008.
Today, its reach extends inland on either side of the Hudson River via the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, with the bridge itself in between for about 1.3 miles one way; 2.6 miles round-trip.
We recently visited on our kick scooters, which made it easy for us to cover all the ground mentioned in this article. We realized, however, that this distance might be daunting for people traveling on foot, especially during a very hot, sunny weather.
Rest assured that no matter where you are on the bridge, all views are spectacular, so do not worry about missing anything should you cut the distance traveled on your trip a bit short. The view below, for example, looks south over the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and . . .
. . . to the north, the Highland (below) and Poughkeepsie shorelines.
Alternative Route and Sightseeing
While walking back and forth over the bridge (from points 1 to 5 on the map) is exciting and its deck is excellent, there are no rest stops along a round-trip of approximately 2.6 miles. If you walk using assistance, push a stroller, or would like a few more choices on what to do in the area, plan your trip so that you see its sights from the:
- Bridge’s deck
- 21 story glass elevator that connects the bridge with the Hudson River shoreline
- Hudson River shoreline itself via the Waryas Park Promenade
To do this, enter the bridge from the Poughkeepsie-side (1 on the map).
At this time, feel free to walk on the bridge as far as suits your sightseeing needs.
Nearby the Poughkeepsie-side entrance is a 21 story glass elevator elevator (2 on the map) that will take you down to the shore and back.
The picture below shows my husband, Phil, and our kick scooters waiting for this glass-sided, elevator to arrive on the bridge. Bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs also fit inside.
This glass elevator alone is worth a trip to the area! It offers breath-taking views every inch of the way down and up. Best, the elevator’s operator also serves as a friendly tour guide!
At the foot of the bridge, continue heading south on a level, very accessible sidewalk.
Just past the bridge’s foot is a small park is a small park. Cross a short, pedestrian bridge to arrive at the nearby Hudson Children’s Museum (3 on the map).
At the far edge of the museum’s parking lot is the Waryas Park Promenade, a riverfront sidewalk next to Waryas Park public land that leads toward the very pleasant Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant (4 on the map).
Hungry? Thirsty? Need to get a load off your feet while enjoying river views? Stop at this large restaurant for light drinks, sandwiches and dinners. Indoors and patio seating is available.
Just past the restaurant’s building is the shady Waryas Park, complete with benches and a few tables. If you packed your own lunch, this is a nice place to eat it.
Continue walking south on the promenade to the Empire Cruise Lines dock where, perhaps, you can catch a Hudson River tour. (Note: It is best to plan your cruise by pre-booking tickets.)
The picture below shows the approach to the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant with the Mid-Hudson Bridge in the background.
The view below is the view from the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson Restaurant’s patio looking north toward the Walkway Over the Hudson.
After relaxing on this Bridge Over the Hudson side trip, whether at the restaurant, nearby public park, or river cruise, reverse your route to trek back to the glass elevator. Below is what that approach looks like.
Like any attraction along the Hudson River, avoid crowds by visiting during the week, or arrive very early on beautiful weekend days. The later you arrive, the further you’ll have to walk from wherever it is that you find parking.
- Walkway Over the Hudson – walkway.org
- Our last trip to the Walkway Over the Hudson was in fall 2008
- New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – nysparks.com/parks/178/details.aspx
- 21 Story Glass Walkway Elevator – upperlanding.org/walkway-elevator
- Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum – mhcm.org
- Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson – poughkeepsieicehouse.com
- Empire Cruise Lines – At this writing, their website does not work well. Reserve your cruise by phone:
(845) 345 8510 or (855) 266-4775 – www.empirecruiselines.com
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy – www.traillink.com/trail/walkway-over-the-hudson.aspx
- Hike the Hudson Valley – hikethehudsonvalley.com/walkway-over-the-hudson
This article was written by Karen Little for Littleviews.com and was published on July 30, 2016. Photos are by Karen and Philip Little. For permission to reproduce this article and/or photos, contact Karen Little at Karen@Littleviews.com. All rights to this article and photos are reserved by Littleviews.com and Karen Little.