Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

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Attention cyclists and pedestrians of the Walkway! Please be aware that lanes are compressed due to the construction of the new Dutchess Welcome Center. Cyclists are REQUIRED to dismount and adhere to the posted regulations in the construction zone to ensure the safety of all. Thank you for your cooperation!

Address
Highland Entrance:
87 Haviland Road
Highland, NY 12528

Poughkeepsie Entrance:
61 Parker Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Latitude 41.711
Longitude -73.949

In October 2009, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened as a legacy project of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial. The park provides access to the Hudson River's breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river's surface and is 6,768 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. 

The Poughkeepsie-Highland  Railroad Bridge was built in the late 19th century to link New York and New England to an extensive, nationwide railway network.  For decades, it was a major rail corridor for both freight and passengers.

After a fire in 1974, the bridge was abandoned and sat for decades as an orphaned relic.  The park was made possible due to the unwavering commitment of the community, who, through a non-profit organization called Walkway Over the Hudson, forged a public-private partnership involving the State of New York, the federal government, neighboring municipalities, private corporations and other not for profit groups.  The amazing result of this partnership is Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, one of the Hudson Valley's top attractions.  

Ride the glass elevator up to the park or down to the Poughkeepsie waterfront and be treated to great views of the surrounding scenery and the structure of the bridge. The elevator is located at Upper Landing Park (83 N. Water Street, Poughkeepsie, NY), a short walk from the Poughkeepsie Train Station. While there is no vehicular parking at Upper Landing, parking can be found in the surrounding area. Visit http://upperlanding.org/parking/ for details. Although leashed pets are allowed on the Walkway, only service animals are permitted on the elevator. Bicycles can be brought on the elevator.
Please Note: The Walkway's waterfront elevator is currently undergoing maintenance to address technology upgrades and to improve reliability. Construction is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2019.

The park offers interpretive signs and a Talkway Over the Walkway cell phone tour. There is also an audio tour available online in English, Spanish and Mandarin at https://walkway.org/walkway-audio-tours.

 
Reminders:

  • Check the Hours of Operation tab to find opening and closing times.
  • The Golden Park Pass does not apply at this park.

There are access points to the park on both sides of the Hudson River: 

East side of the River (Dutchess County) 61 Parker Avenue Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Directions:
By train: Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is located just 4 blocks north of the Metro North and Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie. If the elevator is open, exit the station via the Water Street exit and walk north for five minutes to Upper Landing Park, on the left. Otherwise, take a 15-minute walk to Washington Street to climb the staircase up to the bridge.

By car: take Route 9 to Route 9G north (Marist Drive). Bear right onto Washington Street. Proceed on Washington Street for 0.5 miles. Turn left on Route 9G/Parker Avenue. Walkway's parking lot is on the left side.

West side of the River (Ulster County) 87 Haviland Rd. Highland, NY 12528

Directions:
Located just north of the Mid-Hudson Bridge Take Route 9W to Haviland Road. Accessible parking (permit only) is provided in a small parking lot (on left, approx. 0.5 miles). All other parking is along the north side of Haviland Road.

Don't miss these popular destinations and attractions within or near this historic park!

  • Dutchess County Rail Trail-continuing on from the Walkway and through the parking lot, it is located on the east side of the Hudson River
  • Hudson Valley Rail Trail-continuing on from the Walkway and past the Park Office, it is located on the west side of the Hudson River
  • Mid-Hudson Children's Museum-located in Poughkeepsie, the museum boasts hands-on exhibits and interesting programs for the whole family. The museum is located at 75 N. Water Street in Poughkeepsie, next to Upper Landing Park and the Walkway elevator. 

Household pets only on the Walkway; must be on a leash not more than 6 feet long. Only service animals are permitted on the elevator.

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 889Poughkeepsie, NY 12602

Hours of Operation

  • Park is open year-round, conditions permitting, from 7 am - sunset.

    Current hours of operation
    *Normal operational hours can change in accordance with the weather.

    Office is open 8:00 - 4:30 pm, daily.

  • Day use activities available year-round include:
    Picnicking, walking, jogging, bike riding, roller skating, in-line skating, dog walking, bird watching, train watching, river traffic observation, self-guided tours (posted factoids), and Talkway-Over-Walkway (Cell phone tours).
  • Assorted Tours: By appointment
    Walkway Overview
    Guided bird walk
    Hudson River Ecology Tour
    Bridge/Walkway Engineering Tour
    Regional History Tour

    Educational Programs: Year-round by appointment.

    Public Programs: Call for schedule.

    Special Events: Many throughout the year, call for current schedule.

    Special Activities by Permit: Weddings, private parties, sporting events, fund-raising events. Fees vary according to date/time and scope of event. Call 845-834-2867 for schedule and information.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Bus
  • Suggested Donation: $100
  • Educational Programs
  • On site - Adults: $5 / Students: $2
    Off site - $30/hour
  • Parking Fee
  • $5/four hours. Automated parking system that accepts cash, credit and debit cards at Poughkeepsie parking lot; pay box that accepts cash only in the Highland parking lot.

A Brief History

  • 1868 - An article in the Poughkeepsie Journal introduced the idea of building a railroad bridge across the Hudson.
  • 1871 - The Poughkeepsie railroad bridge was chartered.
  • 1873 - The first cornerstone of the bridge was laid.
  • 1888 - The bridge opened in December and was considered a technological wonder. 1889 - Trains started crossing and at that time it was the longest bridge in the world.World War II - through the war, the bridge carried troops to be shipped overseas. At it's height, 3,500 train cars crossed the bridge on a daily basis.
  • 1974 - Fire severely damaged the tracks, ending almost a century of continuous use.
  • 1992 - Walkway Over the Hudson began its efforts to provide public access to the bridge and link rail trails on both sides of the Hudson.
  • 1998 - Walkway Over the Hudson assumed ownership of the bridge.
  • 2007 - Walkway Over the Hudson partnered with the Dyson Foundation to access public and private funding in order to transform the bridge into the world's largest pedestrian park.
  • 2008 - After a groundbreaking held in May, construction work began to transform the bridge into a pedestrian park.
  • October 3, 2009 - Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened to the public.
  • August 14, 2014 - A grand opening is held for an elevator connecting the Walkway to the Poughkeepsie waterfront. The new glass elevator is located at Upper Landing Park and is just a short walk from Waryas Park, fine dining and the Poughkeepsie Train Station.
Sat 04 May
I Love My Park Day
Saturday, May 4, 2019 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
(845) 834-2867

Register
Start time: 9am
End time: 1pm

Parking Instructions: Parking for event programing on the Ulster entrance will be street parking along Haviland Rd. Ages: All ages welcome

Volunteer Project #1: Park beautification/ spring clean up, planting flowers. Please bring: Garden gloves, water, snack.
Meeting Location: Ulster Visitors center

Volunteer Project #2: Park beautification/ spring clean up, planting flowers. Please bring: Garden gloves, water and snack
Meeting Location: Top of washington stairs, Dutchess gate.

Volunteer Project #3: Children specific activities, coloring project, more. Please bring: Garden gloves, water and snack
Meeting Location: Upperlanding Park 83 North Water street

We can accommodate: Large groups, small groups, college student groups, Boy or Girl Scouts. Questions? Call: 845-834-2867 Email: Eric.hoppe@parks.ny.gov

Registration: Required
Fri 17 May
Walkway At Night
Friday, May 17, 2019 08:15 PM - 10:15 PM
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
(845) 834-2867

Have you ever dreamt about spending a moonlit evening on the Walkway while enjoying the scenic vistas of the Hudson River? Here’s your chance! Enjoy breathtaking twilight views, see the night sky with telescopes provided by the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association (weather permitting), and more! For the safety of all: bicycles, rollerblades, and skateboards are not permitted for this event. If you bring your furry friends along for the fun, all pets must be on a four-foot non-retractable leash with a light up collar (glow sticks will be available while supplies last).

Location: Walkway East (Poughkeepsie) and West (Highland) Entrances will be open.

 Cost: FREE to Walkway members. Donation encouraged for non-members – or become a member at join.walkway.org and help us continue to present fun and exciting events on the Walkway throughout the year!

 

Sun 19 May
Lecture Series: Hike The Hudson Valley
Sunday, May 19, 2019 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
(845) 834-2867

Join Mike Todd, creator of Hike the Hudson Valley, as he talks about some of his personal experiences with hiking in the Hudson Valley and share his favorite places to hike in the area. This lecture will discuss some of the area’s most beautiful mountains, waterfalls, fire towers, lakes, and trails, from friendly strolls to crazy climbs. Mike will also review online resources that can help you discover new hiking destinations and choose the right hike for your next Hudson Valley adventure! About the lecturer: When Mike Todd first moved to Poughkeepsie for a new job in 2000, he’d never been to the Hudson Valley before. After exploring the area with a trusty trail book during his first summer here, he was amazed to discover the beauty and variety of trails and natural destinations in the area. He’d never lived in a place where you could take a vacation after work on a Tuesday and be home before dark. He spent the next five years leading a weekly hiking group and seeking out local adventures. In 2010, after noticing that it could be difficult to find information online about some of our hiking destinations, Mike created Hike the Hudson Valley, an ever-growing collection of online trail guides and resources for local nature lovers. The site currently features 78 trail guides to hikes in and around the Hudson Valley, and receives 1.5 million visits annually.

This lecture will be held at the Walkway’s Ulster Welcome Center. It is complimentary to attend.

Sun 26 May
Illuminate The Walkway: Memorial Day Flag Changing Ceremony + Walkway at Night
Sunday, May 26, 2019 07:30 PM - 10:15 PM
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
(845) 834-2867

The Walkway is joining with Dutchess County, Ulster County, and local American Legion and VFW posts to illuminate the Walkway with luminaries and hold a moving flag changing ceremony as we remember, honor, and celebrate the lives lost in defense of our nation. Luminaries will line the Walkway as veterans, honor guards, elected officials, and the public make their way to the Center Overlook for a flag changing ceremony at dusk. After the flag is changed, the retired colors will be presented to a local family who lost a loved one in service to America. Immediately following the ceremony, the public is invited to remain on the Walkway for Walkway at Night. For additional information about purchasing luminaries and registration for Walkway at Night, visit walkway.org/illuminatethewalkway.

The American Legion Post 739 and VFW Post 6534 Highland organize and present monthly Flag Changing Ceremonies on the Walkway to honor our region’s veterans and their service to our country.

 

Get Directions

Additional Documents

Did You Know? The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge is listed on the National Historic Registrar.

Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Interpretive Signs (Accessible)
  • Nature Trails (Accessible)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Scenic Views (Accessible)
  • Self Guided Tours (Accessible)
  • Activities
  • Audio-Visual Programs (Accessible)
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Recreation Programs (Accessible)