5am, I woke up at 5am to drive the 88 miles to Poughkeepsie New York on a sunny Sunday morning. In little less then two hours after driving thru some of the best driving roads I had been on in some time, I was at what was once a railroad bridge over the Hudson River. I love walking over bridges but often they are short or packed since the space has to be shared with cars, but this the world’s second longest footbridge is unlike any other crossing I’ve been on.
The railroad crossing was built in 1889 and was in service until 1974 when a fire damaged the bridge. It was opened as a walkway over the Hudson River in 2009. Popular in the spring and summer months, it can get pretty cold like when i went in late September. The wind coming off the Hudson made for some amazing if frozen views. I was sorta unprepared for the experience as i did not take any gloves with me and my poor fingers got pretty cold quickly. After an hour and the sun coming out it warmed up but after that experience i got some gloves to always keep in my car.
A drive up the Hudson from my home in Queens quickly reminded that there are not many bridges the cross the Hudson River. There had been talk about building a bridge at this point in the river going back as far as 1868. At 212 feet above the water, it was a gem of a bridge at the time of its opening. Until 1924 it was the only crossing of the river between New York City and Albany.
It roughly hosts half a million people each year since its opening as a walkway. Great views of the river and the Mid-Hudson Bridge near by. It was the longest footbridge in the world until recently when a bridge in Colorado over took it. With parking on both sides and a mostly flat surface, it make for a good easy walk.
There is not many things like this in the US, yes there are bridges you can walk but again, many you have to share with cars and not many as long. I went in the fall and it was a clear and beautiful day.