L is for the Longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world

The new trail…provides public access to the Hudson River’s scenic landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge also provides important connections to an extensive network of rail-trails, parks and communities on both sides of the river.

The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, located approximately halfway between Albany, NY and New York, was built in the 1880s, crossing the Hudson River. The bridge opened in December 1888 “and was considered a technological wonder.” When trains started crossing it the next year, “it was the longest bridge in the world.” It linked “New York and New England to an extensive, nationwide railway network. For decades, it was a major rail corridor for both freight and passengers. At its height, 3,500 train cars crossed the bridge on a daily basis.” During World War II, “the bridge carried troops to be shipped overseas.”

However, after a devastating fire in 1974, possibly caused by spark from a train’s brakes, allowed the bridge to be abandoned, sitting “for decades as an orphaned relic.”

Then, in 1992, a nonprofit organization called Walkway Over the Hudson started its campaign “to provide public access to the bridge and link rail trails on both sides of the Hudson.” It “assumed ownership of the bridge” in 1998, then partnered with a foundation “to access public and private funding in order to transform the bridge into the world’s largest pedestrian park.” Construction work began in May 2008, and on October 3, 2009, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened to the public.

The new trail…provides public access to the Hudson River’s scenic landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge also provides important connections to an extensive network of rail-trails, parks and communities on both sides of the river.

When the family was down in the Mid-Hudson area on vacation in early August, we crossed the bridge round trip, It was lovely, though the Daughter expressed “seasickness” when we were over the water, about half the sojourn each way. Recommended.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

32 thoughts on “L is for the Longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world”

  1. Fascinating. We have linear walking routes created from former railway lines, but nothing like this. Is the 1.28 mile walk all over water or does that include the run-off areas either side of the river?

  2. I’m so glad people rallied together to make a new crossing for the river.
    I had never heard of this walkway before. Thanks for sharring the info.

  3. You should send this to the Sunday bridge meme on City Daily Pages group. They’d LOVE to see this bridge! Kate, ABC Team

  4. Oh this place sounds like an AWESOME place to visit (especially this time of year with the magnificent colors).

  5. wow that is a long bridge….would love to see the view from there…had no idea there was such a major bridge there. Would like to walk over it. cheers.

  6. Ye!!!!!! for the group. I shall love to walk across it, Wonder if I can walk across without saying, I have to stop.

  7. Tell the daughter it might help if she does not look at the water. I get seasick in the bathtub.

  8. Great restoration for use project. Glad it was saved.I will have to see it someday when I am back there again,thanks!

  9. Such amazing history with the bridge. It is nice to see that it getting used and maintained instead of just getting abandoned.

  10. It’s very cool that such a fascinating piece of history could be rescued, but 212 feet above the water? Oh. My. Gosh. I’ve got this thing about heights, and it is magnified when it’s on a bridge. Really, bridges are very nice to look at, and they have a lot of personality, but they mostly just terrify me. There’s probably a word for that. Yeah, had to go look it up: gephyrophobiac, that’s me.

    Still and all, this is a beautiful bridge and I’d love to see it–from the shore.

  11. That’s amazing. I think my Lumberjack, could make it a lot faster than me, HaHa…Would love to give it a try.

  12. That is a superb bridge and what views there must be on the way across, with the added bonus of admiring 19th Century engineering close up.

  13. I have never been to New York and this is something I would look forward on seeing if I chanced to visit.

    Catching up with ABC. Got busy the past couple of days and just now have the time to visit entries.

    Leaping Chipmunk
    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  14. The amazing thing about this post is all the comments from people who have never heard of the Walkway Over The Hudson and want to see it. Politicians, take note.

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