5 Things to Know Before You Go
If you ever find yourself in Poughkeepsie, NY, this is the thing to do. Seriously, there isn’t really that much in Poughkeepsie (where I grew up), although it does give you easy access to things like:
- FDR Library
- Vanderbilt Mansion
- Minnewaska State Park
- Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Woodstock (all cute towns)
I’m linking up with My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 things to know before you go to the Walkway over the Hudson.
1: There’s no shade
Zip, zero, nada. Plus it’s high up, which means it gets hotter up there. I happened to visit it on a perfect day — but we’d been with Lola & Chester a couple of times, I believe — we didn’t get very far.
2: It’s windy up there, too
There wasn’t a whole lot of wind the day I visited, but up there? Yes, there was. I had to hold onto my hat the entire walk — and take it off so it wouldn’t sail away when I took photos. Take #1 & #2 into consideration if you want to run across it.
3: It’s concrete
Initially when I thought about visiting it, I thought I’d run across it. Concrete is just about the hardest surface to run on. I decided to pass on the run and just walk over, although if you choose to run you’ll have plenty of company.
4: The walkway is about 1 1/4 mile long but . . .
. . . there are small areas on either side with restrooms, water fountains, and some food trucks. According to my watch it was about 1.5 mile one way. It does connect directly to the Hudson Rail Trail on the Highland side, so you might use those 1.5 miles as a long warmup and cool down before running on the more shaded, paved rail trail.
5: You can take your dog, but . . .
. . . as I said, it’s concrete. That concrete can get very hot on warm days. Too hot for most dog’s paws. Which is part of why I’d never walked the entire walkway before. There was one self-watering dog bowl on one end, which is nice (no idea if it’s always there).
Bonus Tip: Where to Park
If you park on the Highland side, you have immediate access to the Rail Trail, too. The address to park there is 87 Haviland Road, Highland NY 12528 — it’s in the town of Lloyd (no, you can’t make that stuff up!).
If you park on the Poughkeepsie side, I recommend 61 Parker Avenue. There’s a dirt lot right there that’s free, and there’s a paved lot just a little bit up that you pay for ($5 for 4 hours in 2021). We have actually parked on both side on different trips. I recommend going earlier, because on nice days those parking lots fill up quickly!
I’m really happy that I finally got to walk the whole Walkway. I grew up here, but of course the Walkway wasn’t built until 2009 (although it was previously a railroad bridge, built in 1889, which burnt down in 1974 — I have no memory of that, but I was only 12 at the time).
It’s a great view of the Mid Hudson Bridge, which always says home to me when I drive over it. It reminds me a lot of the James D. Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge in Austin (which was built in 2001).
The big difference is the size of the water bodies the two bridges span. The Austin bridge spans Ladybird “Lake” (which will always be Town Lake to me), while the Walkway goes over the Hudson River — to me Ladybird Lake reminds me of a creek, not a lake, because the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie is the river I grew up with. I’ve also been to it closer to the source of the Hudson River, where it’s much smaller.
There’s a FAQ here to visit if you ever decide to walk across the Walkway
Have you ever heard of the Walkway over the Hudson?
Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to visit/run? Quite frankly there isn’t much else going on in Poughkeepsie.