The Walkway Over the Hudson has been a major tourist and community staple to the Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County communities for over a decade. After the bridge was severely damaged by a fire and taken out of service on May 8th, 1974, the Walkway reopened on October 3rd, 2009 as the pedestrian walkway we have come to know and love. Today, the park connects the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Highland to the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, and forms part of the Empire State Trail.

The Walkway Over the Hudson's history goes back much farther than that. Before being taken out of service in the 1970's, it was an industrial marvel dating back to the 1880's.

Say Happy Birthday to The Walkway Over the Hudson!

This weekend is an important weekend for The Walkway Over the Hudson. On December 29th, 1888, the first train crossed over the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge (what the Walkway was first known as). The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge officially opened on New Year's Day, January 1st, 1889.

The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge was built to link New York and New England to an extensive, nationwide railway network. The bridge was used for both freight and passenger trains. The idea for the bridge originated from a Poughkeepsie Journal article dating back to 1868. The proposition was originally ridiculed for its absurdity, for nothing of its magnitude had been attempted yet. It wasn't until 1871 where the railroad bridge was chartered, and was completed in 1888. The first train to cross the bridge did so on December 29th, 1888.

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At the time, it was considered a "technological wonder." At the time of its constructed, it was the longest bridge in the world. Another marvel of the bridge was that it was a double-track railway bridge, allowing trains going in both directions to share the same track. At the height of its use, 3,500 train cars crossed the bridge on a daily basis.

Read More: Bet You Didn't Know This About the Walkway Over the Hudson

So, 49,311 days later, New Year's Day of 2024 will mark the Walkway's 135th Birthday! To paraphrase Yoda from Empire Strikes Back, "When [135] years old, you reach... Look as good, you will not!"

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Gallery Credit: Simon

Tips For Going To the Walkway Over the Hudson

Gallery Credit: Robyn Taylor