A lot of people ask me how I keep my slim figure BMI from breaching 30. Well, considering that some days I down 4,000 calories in food and drink, keeping my weight in check is a balancing act and exercise sure does help. My whole family is pretty active and when we get together we like to do outdoorsy stuff. Since the winter has been insanely warm, we were able to do lots of fun outings like our recent trip to the Walkway Over the Hudson.

The Walkway is now a Historic Park and mile-long pedestrian bridge, but it started life out as a railroad bridge linking Poughkeepsie, NY to the opposite side of the Hudson. The bridge stands 212 feet above the river and is 6,678 feet (1.3 miles) long, making it the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The 19th century structure once served as an important trade link between New York and New England but it was completely abandoned after a fire in 1974. It was refurbished, pedestrianized, and inaugurated as a public park in 2009.

Mamma Parla, Lauren Parla, and I walked the bridge before our epic dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an hour’s journey from Poughkeepsie. But if you want to work up an appetite and eat locally, the Culinary Institute of America is just a few miles upriver, visible from the Walkway’s towering span.