Saturday, September 10, 2011

Biking - Walkway Over the Hudson

Yesterday, I joined a Schenectady ADK/Taconic Hiking Club bike trip to the Walkway Over the Hudson, in Poughkeepsie, NY. It's an old railroad bridge that's been converted to pedestrian and bicycle use, spanning the Hudson River which is about a half-mile wide at this point.

There's a loop route we planned to use that crossed both the Walkway and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to the south. We also planned to ride the 3.5-mile Hudson Valley Rail Trail, which extends westward from the west end of the Walkway.

We started on the Poughkeepsie side, and rode westward across the Walkway. From the Walkway, we had a fine view of the FDR Bridge to the south.

Leaving the Walkway, we headed west on the HVRT. This section was newly paved, and had some interesting bike racks at stops along the way.

The Black Creek Water Trail, a canoe access point off the HVRT, was indeed a water trail today, with the creek overflowing from recent rains and flooding.

At our westernmost point, we stopped for lunch at Tony Williams Park. There was a nice gazebo here near the tennis courts, and rest rooms in a building near the ballfields.

After lunch, we turned around and headed back toward the Walkway. Before getting there, we turned south off the HVRT to pick up a local road leading to the FDR Bridge.

This bridge had a narrow separated walkway on each side, with traffic roaring by up the center.

We had a great view from here of the new Walkway Over the Hudson to the north.

Leaving the FDR Bridge, the signed loop route followed local streets in Poughkeepsie back to the parking area where we'd left the cars. This route seems to be designed for walking and not biking, as it led us on busy one-way streets, the WRONG way, through the Amtrak station and back to the cars. This needs to be reexamined if it's being encouraged for bicycling use.

Before leaving town, we decided to bike a few blocks north to a local farmers' market in a town park nearby. We arrived before it actually opened, but could see that it was very small-scale, so decided not to wait around for its opening. Instead, we took one last spin across the Walkway and back, and then headed for home.

It was an interesting outing to do once, just to see and experience the new Walkway, but a long drive for only 15 miles of biking. Still, it was a pleasant day with a very friendly group of riders.

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