How to Walk Across the Hudson River with Your Family

Where can you get this spectacular view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie, New York? You’ve got to hoof it to the middle of the Hudson River. Here’s how…

Yesterday, my family and I jumped in the car for a fun day trip. We went to Poughkeepsie, New York to walk across the Hudson River (and back).

We drove to the ‘Walkway Over the Hudson,’ the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, which was originally built in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge.

After a 1974 fire destroyed the tracks, the steel cantilever bridge was eventually transformed into a pedestrian walkway and re-opened in 2009 as the
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

Walking Across the Walkway Over the Hudson
We drove to the bridge’s parking entrance at 61 Parker Avenue in Poughkeepsie. We found an unpaved lot, and it was free to park.
(There’s a sister parking lot across the river at 87 Haviland Road in Highland, New York.)

My wife, nine-year-old son and I jumped out of the car, and we began our trek. It was a 1.28 mile walk across the bridge each way. (You can also bike or jog across.)

There was barely a cloud in the sky, and it was quite simply an exhilarating experience. The views up and down the Hudson River were spectacular.


The Value of No Destination
I should admit my better half put this inspiring family activity together.

At first, I didn’t quite connect to the attraction of driving for an hour and twenty minutes to walk across a repurposed train bridge on a frigid February day. And then… walk back again.

Throughout my life, I’ve sometimes had to be reminded that the journey is often more important than the destination.

When I was a kid growing up in New York City, my parents would occasionally rent a car from the Hertz garage down the street to go for a drive for the day. I would ask them where we were going, and my dad would say, “nowhere.” And I absolutely couldn’t understand the value of driving around without a destination in mind.

Sure, I was just a kid, and I didn’t comprehend getting out of Dodge for the day and simply driving in the countryside. It seemed pointless. And of course, I was missing the whole point.

Fast forward to adulthood.

Walk across a bridge. Walk back.
Why?

Well, I still needed to actually do it. But this time, I got it.
It’s all about the experience.

Never Forget Your Journey
Walking across The Walkway Over the Hudson is a must-do activity for kids of all ages. It’s certainly invigorating in the cold, and I look forward to the opportunity to also experience it in warmer weather.

The exercise is also a valuable reminder that destinations can often be fleeting. Instead, it’s the experience of the journey that we should always hold onto.