POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Looking for a break from quarantine? Consider a trip to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park that includes a steel cantilever bridge 212 feet over the Hudson River. Those walking, running or biking the 1.28 miles — one way — can see the Catskills to the north, and the Hudson Highlands to the south. Those looking for a few more miles can continue on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.

According to its website, the bridge originally "opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge to transport western raw materials to eastern industrial centers. Rosendale cement was used in the original construction of the piers. At the time of its opening, it was the longest bridge in the world."

Fun facts: The bridge was painted black during World War II to reduce the chance of being seen in the event of an attack. A fire destroyed the tracks in 1974, and it was rebuilt and reopened in October 2009 as the Walkway Over the Hudson.

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Volunteers staff pavilions on each side of the bridge on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., weather permitting. Merchandise is available for purchase but cannot be tried on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Signs are posted at both entrances to the bridge noting that masks are required. A decent size parking lot is available on the Highland side of the bridge, with some overflow spots available, too.

Heading back to New Jersey, consider a stop at the Overlook Farm Market in Newburgh.  Do not pass up the cider donuts — you will not be disappointed!


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