First off, locals refer to this as the "Newburgh-Beacon Bridge"! Nobody I know, including the New York State Bridge Authority and Department of Transportation, calls it the "Hamilton Fish Bridge". If you are from out of town and ask, "how do I get to the Hamilton Fish Bridge?” more likely than not that person will have no idea what you are talking about. Okay, now that we are past that.....
- The bridge spans over one of the most scenic parts of the Hudson River. In my opinion it is a BETTER view than "Walkway Over the Hudson" in Poughkeepsie. You can view a glimpse of West Point Military Academy at the southern most part. The sight of the river gently fading in between the majestic mountains is inspiring. If you look south towards the center left, you can see Pollepel Island (also known as Bannerman's Island) and the ruins of Bannerman's Castle on it. To your left (or if you are walking east) you will see the spires and steeples of the City of Beacon. Along the shore you will see the Metro North Beacon Station and the MTA/AMTRACK Hudson line tracks. If you look right (or walk west), then you will see the City of Newburgh. Along the shore you can see a mixture of high income condos and the remnants of heavy industry and ports. You will also notice the CSX freight tracks. If you decide to walk round trip along the entire span, I guarantee that you will see trains and vessels travelling north and south along the Hudson (unless the river is frozen over, of course....and even then you might see a Coast Guard cutter!). It is not uncommon to see both military and civilian aircraft making their approach to Stewart Airport and you will get more than your share of automobile blasting by. If you decide to travel weekdays during the day, you might spy the Newburgh-Beacon ferry.
- The walk, itself, is long, but it's straight, flat, and even. I find duration is my only obstacle.
- Plenty of attention is paid to the maintenance of the walkway and bridge. I've never felt unsafe on it.
- Wind: The Hudson River valley is a huge wind tunnel that keeps your body temperature down and feels great on a hot day.
- Price: Free to walkers, runners, joggers, and bicyclists!
- Visibility limited: The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge is actually two bridges (twin bridges). . You only have a 180 degree visibility. The northern (westbound bridge) completely blocks the view north from the walkway of the eastbound span. This contrast drastically from the "Walkway Over the Hudson" which enjoys a 360 degree view.
- Noise: Bring your mp3 player and headphones! Constant traffic and construction are so loud that you might have to turn the volume up higher than usual.
- No food.
- No Bathrooms.
- Parking out of the way.
- Shakiness: When heavy traffic or a tractor trailer blasts by, you can feel the walkway shake or slightly rise then fall.
- Wind: What helps you in the summer can be defeating in the winter.
- Price: If you are driving, there is a one-way toll of $1.50 for noncommuters.
I highly recommend to anybody visiting or living in the Hudson Valley to take a walk over the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge at least once. Be sure to go on a comfortable, clear, and sunny day and bring your camera and/or smart phone!
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