We were invited back for the fifth year to participate in this event which is one of many being held across the state to support NY State's "First Day Hike" program. For our NYC members, this event is within walking distance of the Metro North Poughkeepsie station (however, to meet up with us, you'll need to first walk across the bridge to join us at the start (about 1 & 1/4 miles), or walk towards the middle and meet us mid-way).
This event will be different than most of our hiking events in that I am not setting an attendee limit because I'd love to see as many members participate in this good program and to show the strength of our group. Our group typically represents the largest contingency attending and I'd love to continue that tradition. That can go a long way to leaving a positive impression in the public's mind on the value of sharing the walkway and trails with donkeys. Our members and donkeys have always conducted themselves so well that the Walkway administrators always make a point of conveying to us their appreciation and highlight how many positive comments they've received from others attending the event.
Dress Warmly! I can not stress this enough. On the bridge, elevated, in the wind, and with no ground below to maintain heat, it can get much colder than you think. Heed my advice! Every year, several people turn back because they've underestimated the difference in temperature on the bridge vs off the bridge. After you've chosen the winter clothing you plan to wear, go back to your closet and add an extra sweater (or coat, etc) and gloves, scarves, and a hat if you are not already bringing one. And then repeat that process. :-) Unless it is unusually sunny and no wind, you will thank me.
Presuming a lot of members show up, this is not an event I can guarantee any time leading a donkey and please plan on that. The actual event begins at 2:00pm. I will be there with the donkeys approximately 1:30pm for those who want to spend some time with them. We will be parking along the shoulder of the road and will be down there for about 15-20 minutes getting the donkeys dressed before we walk up to the west entrance.