Want a stroll by the water but Lake George is too far of a commitment? Have you been to the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge in Amsterdam?
The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge was dedicated in 2016 by Gov. Hochul and Congressman Paul Tonko, who was a big proponent of the bridge. Open from spring to the first snowfall of the winter, the bridge is beautiful but also represents a lot of the amazing things in Amsterdam. According to Wikipedia, the bridge is 30 feet wide and spans 511 feet (156 m) over the river.
The original idea was to build a bridge to connect the north and south parts of the city of Amsterdam. As the city website states, “the structure uniquely combines a park-over-the-water setting with an introduction to the history of the Mohawk Valley and its peoples, told through nearby examples from the City of Amsterdam. The structure is curved – not straight – to harmonize with the natural shapes of the river and valley.”
“Twelve stopping points along the north and south ends are marked with icons representing major topics in the history of the valley with an explanatory text.” Subjects included in the stopping points include “Native Americans, early settlers, and immigrants; canal, railroad, and roads; farming, water power, and factories; nature, community, and vision.” Along the edges of the regional sections, you can see the names of people, places and objects associated with those areas.
The Wheel of Life is a 12-foot-diameter glass mosaic inspired by something similar at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “In the years right before World War II, Mohawk Carpet Mills, based in Amsterdam, was commissioned to create a carpet replicating this Wheel of Life that would be placed over the mosaic in the Waldorf Astoria’s lobby.” The replica of that is what sits on the bridge.
It’s a quick walk but at sunrise, sunset or even in the fall, it’s a beautiful view out onto the Mohawk River and worth the experience if you’re looking to get out of the house and learn a little about the Amsterdam area.