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One reason to take the metro train from New York City to Poughkeepsie is that the 90-mile ride along the Hudson River is so beautiful. You can take a bike on the train if you get a pass from Metro North in New York City (it costs $5).

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This picture is from the pedestrian bridge in Poughkeepsie. It may still be the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. There is a children’s museum, skating park, and lots of restaurants.

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This picture of Beacon is from Mount Beacon. A cable car once took tourist to the top, but it was destroyed in a fire. The trailhead to the Mount Beacon Fire Tower is four miles from the train station. It’s rocky and pretty steep but, walkable. Beacon is a great town with lots of little shops and places to eat.  You could spend the whole day there.

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Poughkeepsie is the last stop on Metro North. From the railroad station, you can take an elevator up ten stories to the platform of the pedestrian bridge. You might see the Clearwater Sloop sailing below.  Or a crew team leaving the Marist boathouse.  There’s always a dog party going on.

The pedestrian bridge connects two paved bicycle trails. Bring lots of water! We bring one quart for each person and two for the dog (the white and tan Pit Bull). Dogs don’t have sweat glands, so, one is to drink and the other is for a sponge bath in case he gets hot.

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Poughkeepsie was a Dutch settlement in the 1700’s and once the capital of New York. Most of the housing in the historic district, next to the river, was built after 1850. I avoid residential sections and stay in commercial areas. The trail goes through everyone’s backyard, making it easy to invade someone’s privacy.

The connection to Ulster County was wonderful for Dutchess County bike riders.  It’s easy to bike to Mohawk Mountain or Minnewaska, to see the mountain laurel bloom. We also bike to Kingston and Esopus. We hope the Wallkill Valley Trail will be paved soon because it will make the Rosendale Connector easily accessible.IMG_0153

One of the hidden treasures of Poughkeepsie is Vassar College. The gothic architecture alone is worth the trip. The is also the Loeb Art Gallary and Sculpture Garden. There is a greenhouse that keeps visitor hours, too. Along Raymond Avenue, there are lots of nice places to eat. The community is ethnically diverse, –you can get anything. The North Gate is easily accessible from the OverRocker Trailhead. There are bike trails throughout the college.

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When I first moved to Poughkeepsie the pedestrian bridge looked like this. Water Street still had a cobblestone surface. I had a friend who flew his airplane under this bride.  It’s been exciting to see all the changes.

On the Ulster County side, some folks are taking their dogs swimming.  They had a great time!

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