Our hikes on the Appalachian Trail and the Long Path have taken us over several major bridges, including the Delaware Water Gap Bridge between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the Bear Mountain Bridge and the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River. On other occasions, we’ve walked on the Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge across New York’s East River, and the Walkway Over the Hudson (a former railway bridge) and Mid-Hudson Bridge next to it. Bridges appeal to us.

In 2018, New York’s new Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge (GMCB) opened to automobile traffic, replacing the aging Tappan Zee Bridge which was later demolished and removed. The GMCB is actually a pair of bridges, one for eastbound and one for westbound traffic. The westbound bridge (facing north on the Hudson River) now has a special lane reserved for bicyclists and pedestrians, which opened in June 2020.

A lovely, modern space

We parked on the eastern (Westchester) side of the bridge. Parking is currently free. We got there pretty early, but the lot was nearly full. Since COVID-19 has made indoor spaces less attractive, we’ve found public parks and trails to be much more busy. There were numerous signs encouraging mask wearing, and most people did.

The new lane is supposedly 12 feet wide (it feels less), with a dividing line down the middle separating the cyclist and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians get the river side, which is nice because they are better able to enjoy the views. There are six small viewing decks where people can stop for rest or photography. There are sculptures at several spots, as well as interesting signs about the history of Hudson River crossings.

One of the sculptures

We drive over this bridge frequently, but the structure is more intricate and ponderable at low speeds with the ability to really look around.

Everything is new and shiny. Good isolation from traffic.

The walk is 3.6 miles one way, or 7.2 round trip. (We walked both ways, of course.) There is a free shuttle bus on weekends, if you only want to walk one way. Both ends have nice facilities and a few snack trucks. The walk is very sunny, and not recommended on hot summer days.

We now need to complete the “Hamilton Fish” Newburgh-Beacon Bridge in order to have walked all of the Hudson crossings between Manhattan and Poughkeepsie. Maybe in the Fall.