Strolling High Above the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York
When the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge opened in 1889, it was considered an engineering marvel. The world’s longest bridge, it spanned even longer across, and higher above, the water than the more celebrated Brooklyn Bridge. For nearly a century it served as a crucial rail link between Pennsylvania coal country and New England’s factory towns before a 1974 structural fire rendered it useless. But last fall, after a quixotic 17-year-long fundraising and public information campaign, the 1.28-mile-long Walkway Over the Hudson was opened as the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. Hundreds of thousands of walkers have flocked to the unlikely span already. Looking down at the silver Hudson River waters from higher up than Niagara Falls, it’s easy to imagine that more will likely follow.