Sunday, July 9, 2017

Walkway over the Hudson and Hyde Park, NY

It got chilly last night! I broke out the hoodie this morning! I was up early and on the road by 7! I only had 70 miles to drive to get to Poughkeepsie, NY where the Walkway over the Hudson is but I had a lot to do today so getting started early was smart! 

The Walkway over the Hudson is part of the Rail Trail Hall of Fame Hudson Valley Rail Trail, it also connects to the Duchess County Rail Trail.  The Walkway is an old railroad trestle that they turned into a pedestrian and bike bridge. It's the world's longest elevated pedestrian walkway! It's 1.28 miles long and very high! It connects Highland, NY to Poughkeepsie, NY.  

I decided to park in Poughkeepsie and ride back to Highland since my plans after the ride were to explore Hyde Park with is just a few miles North of Poughkeepsie.  Next time however, I'd recommend parking in Highland. There are numerous parking spots along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail that can accommodate all vehicles! 

Once I got over the Mid-Hudson Bridge I had to navigate my way through Poughkeepsie and find parking. This was not easy and was made more difficult by the fact that my phone was on its last battery! Apparently it didn't charge while I was listening to my audio book, despite being plugged in. Ugh.  Luckily the bridge is very high and can be seen from everywhere making it easy to keep a visual on and drive closer to it.  I got detoured once by construction and then I *think* I may have gone down a 1 way street the wrong way, I'm not entirely sure, it wasn't marked well, but I did eventually find a park just about a block from a staircase that went up to the walkway.  

The park didn't look like the safest place ever to park, but it wasn't obviously dangerous so I got my stuff, left the phone plugged in so it would charge and headed up to the bridge! Hauling my bike up the stairs wasn't easy, but it was doable.  The ride across was really cool! The bridge is very high and you can see everything! No pictures, my phone was back in the van! Once I got to the other side I decided to ride the 3.5 miles to the end of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. It was a nice trail too - paved, shady, a good ride! After I crossed the Walkway again I continued past the staircase hoping to find a map of the Duchess County Trail to see if I wanted to go a bit further.  I didn't find a map, but I did find a way back to the van that didn't involved the stairs! I went through the "main" parking lot which was a sea of big sharp rocks! Made the park look good! Seriously, next time, park in Highland! 

After I got the bike back on and saw that my phone had finally started charging I headed up RT 9 to Hyde Park, which is the location of 3 National Historic Sites! I started at Eleanor Roosevelt's house - Val-Kil which had a lovely 1 mile loop hike. I then went over to FDR's house, Museum and Presidential Library. I found a nice picnic table and had lunch before going to to check out the exhibits and movie. I didn't do the tour, it was expensive and was about an hour long.  Finally I went up to the Vanderbilt Mansion, here I pretty much just got my passport stamped and kept moving. It was really hot and there wasn't much to do besides the tour. 

Rather than double back to the NY State Thruway I drove North on RT 9, 9G and 9J. This was a beautiful scenic drive! I had a few views of the Hudson and great views of some huge mountains over there - Catskills? Adirondacks? Not sure.  Camping tonigh at Schodack Island, SP - it's a great place right on the Hudson and very close to I90! Lots of wildlife at Shodack Island - a frog hopped across my site, a bird tried to eat my dinner and while I was eating a turtle was crawling around in the grass! 

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