News Article

The Albany Skyway: Not Your Ordinary Pedestrian Walkway

February 6, 2024

On the hunt for the best city views in Albany? Look no further than the Albany Skyway, the Capital Region’s first elevated park! This distinctive destination boasts lush greenery, public art, beautiful color-changing lights, and plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities along the way.

In May 2022, the Albany Skyway opened to the public, providing a brand-new link between the Hudson Riverfront and Downtown Albany. This unique linear park was brought to fruition by converting an underutilized section of an exit ramp from nearby I-787 and creating a walkable multi-use route to connect the scenic waterfront with a growing downtown neighborhood. This link allows those enjoying the waterfront with safe, direct access to the heart of Downtown Albany and further encourages walkability and exploration. Today, the Albany Skyway stands as one of the most unique and creative sites for outdoor recreation in the City of Albany.

Skyway visitors traveling by car can find convenient parking at ParkAlbany’s Quackenbush Garage. Once parked, simply exit through the front of the garage and turning right towards a colorful, wall-spanning mural titled “Geraldine’s Reverie” by local artist Elizabeth Zunon. This vibrant mural was created in 2018 as part of the Capital Walls program, a public art initiative between the Albany Center Gallery, the Albany Barn, and ParkAlbany. As you reach the mural, snap some pictures, and continue towards Broadway on the sidewalk and bear right as you reach the street. From here, carefully cross the street and you’ll find yourself at the entrance to the incredible Albany Skyway!

As you enter the awe-inspiring elevated park from Broadway, visitors are met with a welcome sign, striking modern overhead lighting, and a peek towards Michael Conlin’s 2016 mural “Bluebirds” on the side of the Quackenbush Garage, the first installment of the Capital Walls program. This outstanding mural paying homage to New York’s official bird is one of the first things welcoming visitors as they enter downtown by car from the north. Thanks to the skyway, visitors can see this vibrant mural up-close, and it serves as another fantastic place to snap a photo before heading east towards the river!

Continuing eastward, you are greeted with views of lush garden beds, featuring a rotating collection of local flowers and views of the city’s skyline that was previously only viewable while speeding by in your car! Now, thanks to the conversion of this old highway exit into a pedestrian park, you can take your time and soak up the beautiful views of one of America’s oldest cities. Also take note of Common Roots Brewing (the perfect place to grab a pint and a bite after your walk) and the adjacent Hyatt Hotel (for your next trip to Albany).

Continuing onwards past more greenery, you’ll find more sweeping Downtown Albany views and several benches to sit and relax. As you reach the middle of the skyway, relax in your surroundings, and snap another picture of the city’s dramatic skyline, which is dotted with amazing examples of Modernist, Brutalist, Neo-Classical, and Beaux Arts architecture (bonus points if you capture some blooming flowers). After you’ve taken your glamour shots, continue downhill and around the next curve for your first view of the waterfront!

As the iconic Hudson River comes into sight, you’ll walk under a section of highway that becomes yet another vibrant, photo-worthy section of the skyway once the sun sets! A cluster of bright color-changing LEDs come to life, providing an incredible vibe that has been a hotbed for DJ dance parties, local markets, and colorful nighttime photoshoots. After you enjoy this electric section of your walk, continue downhill and you’ll find yourself at the end of the skyway!

Now that you’ve reached the end, enjoy the amazing scenery of the skyway’s eastern entryway and the nearby Hudson River! From here, continue your journey with a stroll along Albany’s relaxing waterfront. Keep going down to Jennings Landing and cross over the pedestrian bridge back into Albany’s vibrant downtown for a well-deserved meal and drink at one of the city’s many amazing restaurants and bars!

The entrance to the Albany Skyway is located at the intersection of Clinton Avenue and Broadway, just around the corner from the nearby shops and restaurants in historic Quackenbush Square and across from the future Clinton Market Collective. Convenient parking for anyone visiting the Albany Skyway or Downtown Albany can be found at the Quackenbush Garagelocated adjacent to the skyway at 25 Orange Street (It’s the building with the Bluebirds mural on it). The Quackenbush Garage is a 24-hour public parking facility located in the heart of Albany’s Downtown and offers daily and monthly parking options along with event parking for nearby venues like the Palace Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre and Empire Live/Underground.