The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend. Interested in more local love? Head here.
Our latest adventure took us to Poughkeepsie and the incredible Walkway Over the Hudson. If you live in the Hudson Valley and have never checked it out, you absolutely have to put it on your adventure list.
The Walkway Over the Hudson is a 1.28 mile linear park that stands 212 feet above the Hudson River. It’s the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. It’s pretty awesome and with entrances in Poughkeepsie and Highland, it’s convenient no matter which side of the river you live on.
Tackling the Walkway Over the Hudson with Kids
We decided to pack some food and water and bring the girls to the Walkway on Samantha’s birthday. We knew from experience that a snack break is the perfect distraction when we’re doing something with a lot of walking involved. Luckily, the Walkway has plenty of benches to collapse on if anyone gets so tired they can’t possibly take another step (that would be Ellie).
Depending on your kids’ ages, the length of the bridge might be totally fine or it might be a bit much. The Walkway is more or less flat and stays relatively cool even on hot days thanks to the breeze. Just remember that you have to turn around and walk back to your car. Ellie made it across the river but not quite to the end of the Walkway when she decided she was done. She and my husband sat and relaxed on a bench while Samantha and I walked to the end.
Also, for any history buffs, there is an audio tour that you can do while you walk. My 10-year old (who normally loves soaking up facts) wasn’t into it. It’s an option to keep in mind for older kids though—or curious adults!
Pro Tip: Bring Binoculars for the Kids
I am so glad we remembered the binoculars. The girls were obsessed with looking more closely at each and every thing they noticed. From trying to read numbers on buoys to spying on passing boats and getting a better look at tiny specks in the distance, the binoculars made the experience so much cooler. They also made the walk take longer, but that kind of comes with the territory with kids. 😉
Making a Day of It
You can also turn your trip into a day-long adventure. Try taking the new 21-story glass elevator down to the Poughkeepsie waterfront and Upper Landing Park. From there, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is a short walk away. If the kids are beat (or if you are) you could also drive there.
Another option? Keep your eye on the calendar for special events. This summer there is the 4th of July fireworks show, movie nights under the Walkway, dragon boat races and more.
Parking is $5 and there are concession stands on either side of the bridge.