At GAP 52, you come to the Pinkerton Neck (locally known as the “horn”), a narrow pinch of erosion-resistant land that created a peninsula in the Casselman River. Great Allegheny Passage, C & O Canal Itinerary Posted on January 22, 2016 To do this in five days, as I did, you’ll need to ride at a medium pace, but … from Point State Park near Commonwealth Pl. Spend the first day transporting to Cumberland and discovering why this town has been a hub for travelers for centuries. In this district alone there are more than 50 dining options, so you can easily make a whole day and night of it here. Here is another fun fact…. Just a few blocks from the trail is the Levi Deal Mansion B&B. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is a 150-mile trail that leads you beneath leafy green canopy and dazzling fall colors, past hidden waterfalls and glens, chasing glimpses of the river beside you. If fall foliage is in full swing during your visit, you could be in Confluence during the annual PumpkinFest, beginning the first Friday of October. Follow the river and spend 11 miles in Ohiopyle State Park (beginning at GAP 63) on the oldest and most popular section of the GAP. Another critical link in the industrialization of America, Homestead was the site of the massive Homestead Steel Works, which operated from 1881-1986. The Great Allegheny Passage connects riders with the hidden gems of Pennsylvania’s countryside, as well as its industrial past. The trailhead visitor center, a replica of the 1910 Pittsburgh & Lake Erie train station that once stood there, is the place to buy GAP merchandise, so have wallet in-hand if you stop in for a gander. The Alley Door at the Morguen Toole Company might be just the ticket for enjoying some regional cuisine and a flight of beer. GAP- 150 Miles of rail-to-trail, crushed limestone surface. About a mile before town, look for the remains of Old Overholt Distillery. The Cumberland Coast along the Great Allegheny Passage: Bicycling: Wright Ride Along the Great Allegheny Passage: Bicycling: Last updated: April 10, 2015. In 1754, George Washington visited this same confluence of rivers on his way to the forks of the Ohio River. Without a doubt, the Allegheny Passage/C & O Trail ranks as the crown jewel in our nation’s growing network of Rails-to-Trails. and Liberty Ave. (Pittsburgh, PA) to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Canal St. and Harrison St. (Cumberland, MD). Once a coal patch company town, the majority of Whitsett’s historic structures were built between 1890 and 1917 for the employees of The Pittsburgh Coal Company, and include former dwellings, a company store and water pump house. View amenities, descriptions, reviews, photos, itineraries, and directions on … The trail, also named for a local conservationist,... Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more! By the time you reach McKeesport (GAP 132), you are halfway to Pittsburgh. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) was the first long distance railroad in the U.S., breaking ground in 1828. You are in good hands. Be on the look-out for the restaurant that is calling your name— there are plenty to choose from. The area was first occupied by the Monongahela Indians who tapped maple trees to make syrup. Towns along the way have grocery stores and restaurants but definitely allow room in your panniers for extra water and snacks. Now the longest rail-trail east of the Mississippi River, the GAP showcases tunnels and viaducts, courses along rivers and across mountain passes, and generally astounds with the impressive engineering and back-breaking labor that went into taming the rugged Allegheny Mountains. If you are in Frostburg during the September days of the Appalachian Festival, there is a good chance you will be tempted to immerse yourself in the traditional arts, dance, music and food of this region, so plan accordingly. Meet riders in Pittsburgh for our introductory meeting and dinner. There is no shortage of ways to celebrate your impressive achievement of cycling the Great Allegheny Passage. Our proposed itinerary takes you on a six-day adventure, traveling east (Cumberland) to west (Pittsburgh) along the entire length of the Great Allegheny Passage. The word “Passage” was used to equate the experience of the rider to that of a ship “passing” through various ports. If you need to do any last minute bike maintenance, purchase maps or rent a bike,Cumberland Trail Connection is one of several places that will help you get ready for tomorrow’s cycling adventure. C&O National Historical Park Visitors Museum, ArtWorks Connellsville Gallery & Learning Center, Check or FAQs for more common login questions. Once back on the trail, the distinctive Salisbury Viaduct (GAP 33.5) – a steel trestle that is 101-foot- high and 1,908-foot-long - dominates the Casselman River Valley within a quick 1.5 miles. Buena Vista (GAP 120) is one such town. Ten individuals were killed and dozens wounded. In less than two miles from the state line, the Big Savage Tunnel (closed during the winter months) awaits you. The Cedar Creek Gorge walking trail is a 1.5 mile loop that follows the stream up the gorge and across two suspension bridges. We offer suggestions for those wanting a self-contained trip where planning and reserving your lodging in advance is necessary, especially during the high-season of summer and early fall. By now you will either have had your full of crossing bridges or be totally hooked on it and eager for more. Our Great Allegheny Passage itineraries are designed to give you ample time to take in the sights along the way and experience the region’s natural beauty. Leaving Cumberland, after a hearty B&B breakfast, you begin a gradual climb to the Eastern Continental Divide (GAP 23.9), a 1,765-foot-elevation gain at a less than 2-percent grade. This 150-mile trail, running from Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, traces the paths of railroads that helped build the America we know today. If you are biking, follow the switchback at the Frostburg trailhead to the railroad terminus at Depot Street. It is close to the rail, however, so be prepared for the occasional rail noise. Both of these magnificent trails are steeped in history with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) trail offering a more “back in time” experience. If it happens to be a Sunday summer night, set yourself down on the grass and enjoy the free weekly concert that is held at the square between 7-9 p.m. There are two railroad tunnels that pass through this neck. This new tour was a natural progression for us since we have been running bike tours along the Erie Canal for the last 18 years. The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA. A short climb beyond the tunnel, at 2,392 feet above sea level, you cross the Eastern Continental Divide and the boundary between the watersheds of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Just ahead in another four miles is Homestead. But venturing off into one of Pittsburgh’s 89 other neighborhoods is very tempting as each one offers its unique take on dining, entertainment and shopping. To visit this restored site, take Layton Road toward Perryopolis and look for George Washington’s Gristmill Park (Saturdays only, May 27-Sept. 2). Itinerary. Before leaving town this morning, go to Martin’s Supermarket and Deli (800 Vanderbilt Rd.) SPRING RIDE … The final stretch of the day is mostly wooded and the sounds of the mad-churning river will accompany you along the way. In the springtime, wildflowers and tree blossoms display their beauty in abundant aplomb—of note are the mountain laurel, generally blooming in June, and rhododendrons, often in full-glory by early-mid July. Day 1. If you would rather avoid part of this ascent, climb aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (May to November) and ride the train instead for the 16 miles to Frostburg, an appealing college town and a good place to stop for lunch. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is indeed magnificent. In mid-October on the Great Allegheny Passage, the leaves have just started to turn. Some of the town’s buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are still indicative of this prosperous past. We love all that this destination has to offer,like traffic free routes and a visit to Fallingwater, and we think you will too! Cyclists can now celebrate and enjoy an incredible 335-mile off-road, traffic-free adventure from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, D.C. Beautiful wildflowers pattern the trailside in the spring. National Tube Works was the major employer and also the world’s largest pipe producer at its peak of production. Outfitters Wilderness Voyageurs will take you to and fro and will even store your gear while you are enjoying the tour. Connellsville – West Newton (26 miles; MM 88-114). From there, you can park your bike (or ride to the top) and take the set of stairs from the depot into town. Beginning where the “three rivers” meet in downtown Pittsburgh, the trail meanders alongside the Monongahela and out into the city’s industrial suburbs, once the nation’s top destination for coal and coke barons of the early 1900s. Choose your starting town and … The state line is named after an English team (Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon) who were commissioned to survey the boundaries between the Maryland and Pennsylvania colonies in the mid-1700s, ultimately resolving the border conflicts that resulted in the Cresap’s War. Sep 28, 2019 - Great Allegheny Passage extends 150 miles through Allegany County. Finally, make sure to pack your bike repair and patch kit, a flashlight or headlight (you will need it for some of the tunnels) and a camera to capture the gorgeous views awaiting you (not to mention the new friends you are sure to make along the way). There are many great things about the Great Allegheny Passage. Surrounded by mountains of the Laurel Highlands (some of the highest in Pennsylvania) and next to the Youghiogheny River Lake, Confluence is certainly a draw for the outdoor enthusiast. Now, Meyersdale hosts the annual spring Maple Festival in honor of this tradition and the city is fondly known as the “Maple City,” the sweetest of all the trail towns. Of course, there is much to do and see off the bike as well and we recommend extending your trip long enough to take advantage of some of Pittsburgh’s cultural offerings. Another alternative is to hire a shuttle service to take you from the Pittsburgh trailhead to the Cumberland trailhead. It is also the start of the Great Allegheny Passage and our epic adventure. View our itinerary on TrailLink to experience the best the trail has to offer. Grab a quick lunch with indoor or outdoor seating available at McKees Point Marina Café (April to October). If you are flying into the Pittsburgh International Airport with your own bike, you can now bike from the airport using the Montour Trail Airport Connector, which connects in 21.5 miles to the GAP at Point of View Park. For 2019 we are hosting two Great Allegheny Passage Bicycling Adventures and one trip along the C&O Canal. You can ride the 150 miles between Pittsburgh and Cumberland…or, dip your toes in the bike-touring waters with an overnight between Ohiopyle and West Newton. Duquesne (GAP 135) was also an important steel town, with more than 10,000 people working at U.S. Steel’s Duquesne Works at its height. The Laurel Highland Visitors Bureau offers tours of both homes (advance reservations required). 1. February 11, 2019 November 5, 2019 thebicycleescape 2 Comments. The trail uses the shoofly, adding a scenic 1.5 miles around the Pinkerton horn. West Newton is our day’s destination. Finally, at GAP 62, you reach Confluence, the attractive town “where mountains touch rivers,” named for its location at the junction of the Youghiogheny and Casselman rivers and Laurel Hill Creek. Depending on the day of the week, you could catch some live musical entertainment here as well. Be aware that copperheads and timber rattlesnakes also live here. Terrain: At GAP 72, you cross the Ohiopyle High Bridge, another spot for watching rapids and rafters below. Join us for a biking adventure along this famed route as you cross the Mason-Dixon line with local experts who share their knowledge of the rich history and natural resources of the Laurel Highlands. Complete the contact form below to get started! The Great Allegheny Passage stretches 150 miles across some of the most beautiful scenery in Maryland and Pennsylvania. West Newton – Homestead (35 miles; MM 114-149). Now you are set to amble through the historic streets of Cumberland, still full of mid-19th and early 20th century architectural style-buildings, ranging from Victorian to Greek and Colonial Revival. Native Americans, trappers, British Colonials, cannallers, frontiersmen and railroaders have all used the Cumberland area as their gateway to the West. Then get ready to bike the Great Allegheny Passage! Get off the bike, take a bow and dance a jig to get any stiffness out of your body. Now, McKeesport has an active marina and caters mostly to recreationalists. If you are staying in Cumberland on a Friday summer’s night, be prepared for town center to become an open-air concert hall. A mile before town, you cross the Riverton Bridge which originally provided the rail connection to haul molten iron between the two communities of McKeesport and Duquesne. But before you explore the numerous boutiques, galleries and eateries that it has to offer, check-in for the night at The Bruce House Inn, a beautiful 1840 home perched on a hill overlooking the city’s cobbled streets. Less than two miles beyond the Buena Vista trailhead is the Dravo Cemetery (GAP 122); search for the gravestones that bear the names of nine Civil War veterans and one veteran of the War of 1812. There, the Great Allegheny Passage connects with the C&O Canal towpath, extending all the way to the Georgetown district of … It’s also the western terminus of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. Whitsett (GAP 103.5) also has a historic district that exemplifies the less opulent side of the coal industry. and Liberty Ave. (Pittsburgh, PA) to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Canal St. and Harrison St. (Cumberland, MD). Now renovated into a shopping and residential district, the historic pump house still remains and can be explored by appointment or by going to the Sunday Heritage Market (first and third Sunday of the month, April-Sept.). February 11, 2019 November 5, 2019 thebicycleescape 2 Comments. As you leave town, turn around to take-in the views of Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Ridge. If it is a hot day, have your swim suit handy as the area above the falls is perfect for wading and cooling off. At the trailhead, the restored train station provides a visitors center with displays on local history. Look for the replica of the cabin of Colonial William Crawford, a close friend of George Washington. Depending on how much time you spent at Cedar Creek Park, you may have plenty of daylight still to explore the area. McKeesport, settled in 1795, was home to more than 55,000 people during the booming steel-making years. Notice the multiple doors on some of the buildings; originally, four families lived in each home. Cross the river and spend some time exploring Dawson’s Historic District. Understanding the challenges of a ride that is ALL on bike path is imperative. The trail continues on to the Ohiopyle Low Bridge, a beautiful bowstring truss bridge that takes you to the Ferncliff Peninsula. 35 miles – Downtown Pittsburgh’s Point State Park is our starting point. Also look for “tree tunnels” between Confluence and Ohiopyle, whose interlocking branches provide shade and needed respite from summer heat. By the time the B&O Railroad was completed, the town of Confluence was bustling at high-speed to keep up with the demands of industrialization, as is true for many of the GAP towns. This trip is a slower-paced version of the full 6-day tour. Below is a sample itinerary for my latest ride from Pittsburgh to DC. Once you see the rivers merge you will know that your 150-mile passage is over. Explore the Strip District, less than a mile from downtown, the artful South Side, the historic Station Square and the scenic Waterfront to name only a few. Because riders of the Great Allegheny Passage pass through trail towns on a very regular basis, the experience can be adventurous without complete isolation. They offer creative and tasty lunch and dinner entrees May through October. Near the depot is the Thrasher Carriage Museum which showcases a collection of horse-drawn vehicles. The longest multi-use trail in PA, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) stretches from southeast from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. Finally, leisurely unwind on the River’s Edge Café’s wrap-around porch, dining with views of the river and surrounding gardens. Stop for a scenic vista just east of the tunnel. Pre-arranging for transportation to and from the trailheads is perhaps the trickiest part of the planning. The surrounding forests provided plenty of material for flatboats, barges and rafts and West Newton soon became a jumping off point for travelers heading west. George Washington first travelled to the region in 1748 in search of the origin of the Potomac River, and the Cumberland Road, authorized by President Thomas Jefferson in 1806, was the first highway built by the Federal Government. It can be a relaxed ride with plenty of time for rest days, whitewater rafting, or even a Falling Water house tour. TrailGuide is the official, authorized guidebook for traveling the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath, covering two scenic trails -- and one amazing journey between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.It's packed with mile-by-mile trail descriptions, town maps and directories, and itineraries for day trips, weekends, and thru-rides. Twenty itineraries, places to stay, things to see, and how to get back -- it's all in the 248-page official guide to the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage. The Friday after Five series draws lively crowds with its outdoor music and al fresco dining opportunities. There is literally something for everyone. As it is built mainly on abandoned rail beds, the trail follows the Youghiogheny River, crosses the Eastern Continental Divide and traverses the ridgelines and valleys of the Appalachian range with an average grade of less than 1 percent. For 2019 we are hosting two Great Allegheny Passage Bicycling Adventures and one trip along the C&O Canal. As you enter town, look for the mural on Main Street that pays homage to Meyersdale’s past as a transportation hub. Mailing Address: Potomac Heritage NST Office Now you can “sit back” and relax on the gentle three mile descent to your day’s final destination of Meyersdale. find trail maps, reviews, photos & driving directions on traillink.com There will be some access to the river along the trail and this could be the perfect day for a picnic. Select the route to use for distance measurements: Route: C&O and GAP Trails . You will probably want to eat lunch as well as there are few options between here and Confluence. Two stunning homes designed by the great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, are within minutes by car and really shouldn’t be missed, if at all possible: Fallingwater, six miles from town, is his most famous work and Kentuk Knob, a mountain home named after the crest upon which it sits, is nearby. (From the divide, it is a downhill climb all the way to Pittsburgh). Shuttle services will vary, from point-to-point drop-offs, daily shuttling of gear, to on-the-trail bike service if needed. If not, carry-on less than a mile to the Italian Oven for your choice of salads, pastas and pizzas. Although... Like its name suggests, this is a circular pedestrian and bike trail in Winchester, Virginia. Golden Triangle Bike Rental Terms and Conditions. This spectacular falls area is also the staging ground for the annual Labor Day weekend Music in the Mountains Festival. The next and final town of the day, Connellsville (GAP 88), once fueled the region’s economy with its coal mines and coke (non-smoke producing coal) factories. Or, you can load up the bike with everything you need to stay “off the grid” for a few days. From here you are only a short three miles from West Newton and your day’s final destination. Here, two bicyclists pass under an arch of yellow leaves. It's about 0.25% uphill to the Eastern Continental Divide, and then about 2% downhill into Cumberland, if you're traveling west to east. Great Allegheny Passage is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our , online itinerary creator Edition. Take your time and enjoy. Originally built in 1911 to ship locally-mined coal, the longest tunnel of the trip cuts a lighted 3,300-foot-pathway through the mountain. From here, Bright Morning B&B is less than .a half mile further down the trail. The GAP, combined with the C&O Canal Towpath, creates a 334.5 miles of Traffic-Free trail riding bliss between Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. And, Golden Triangle Bike can set you up with EVERYTHING you need to make it happen. The 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage soars over valleys, snakes around mountains, and skirts alongside three rivers (the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongaleha) on its nearly level path. On the way are the Borden Tunnel at GAP 17.5— have your headlights ready as the tunnel is not lighted— and the Mason-Dixon Line at GAP 20.5. Available on Amazon or at www.gaptrail.org. First stop should be the Queen City Creamery for a tasty ice cream cone or milk shake pick-me-up. Before leaving town, stock up on water and snacks. But not before traversing two more impressive railroad structures that have been converted for trail use— the Keystone Viaduct (GAP 30) and the Bollman Bridge (GAP 30.5)— and leisurely reveling in the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding hills and valleys. Cumberland – Meyersdale (32 miles; MM 0-31.8). Amtrak’s passenger train parallels the trail and can transport you and your bike from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. Additionally, some B&Bs in Pittsburgh offer long-term parking for their guests. You are leaving the mountains now to less dramatic landscapes and a gentler flowing river. Meyersdale, the highest town on the GAP, sits at the confluence of the Casselman River and Flaugherty Creek. Leisurely unpack for your last night on this journey and ponder how to enjoy the rest of your day. This popular B&B is located conveniently right off the trail and the owners offer a shuttle service into town. On the peaceful stretch to West Newton, also the shortest day of the entire trip, you pass through several towns that once flourished with the mining, steel and glass industries. The river provides a great habitat for water-loving birds such as osprey, mergansers, kingfishers and even bald eagles. Pittsburgh is known as “Steel City” and the “City of Bridges” (it has more bridges than Venice). The Great Allegheny Passage runs 150 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland and is nearly all rail-trail. Great Allegheny Passage: One of America’s Most Beautiful Rail Trails. Within a quick two miles (GAP 94), the trail passes along the west banks of Dawson. The gentle grade and crushed gravel surface makes biking the GAP an easy ride and accessible for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Pittsburgh’s Cultural District is a 14-block arts scene filled with theaters, galleries and museums. Today, be prepared for another spectacular passage. Over the next few months, Trail Town Program® will be sharing some sample trip itineraries of things to see and do beyond the trail. No camping on this ride...just hotels and B&B's. The Rockwood Opera House and Mill Shoppes on Main Street houses a café, pizza place and several retail shops. While there, why not visit the Block House and the Fort Pitt Museum and learn about Pittsburgh’s role during the French and Indian War. Trail map of the Great Allegheny Passage from Point State Park near Commonwealth Pl. If you're cycling the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal, larger tires generally work … Check Amtrak’s website to learn more about their rules for traveling with bicycles. The Indian Creek Valley Bike and Hike Trail winds through the rugged hills in the former coal-mining region of southwestern Pennsylvania. The trail follows streets in Connellsville’s west side, where you can stay the night at Connellsville B&B and gingerly mosey through La Boheme, a Czech glass and jewelry shop owned by the same proprietors. Visit the farmer’s market for local goods if you are in Meyersdale on a Wednesday or Saturday morning during the summer months. We’ll quickly cross the Monongahela River on the Hot Metal Bridge once used by freight trains to carry molten iron from the furnaces to the steel mills. Difficulty Level: Custom Designed for you and your crew! By the time you get to Cedar Creek Park, GAP 110, you will be ready for your picnic lunch and perhaps some time off of the bike. This 150-mile trail, running from Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, traces the paths of railroads that helped build the America we know today. B&O reached the Ohio River by 1852 and finished the branch from Cumberland to Pittsburgh by 1871. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is indeed magnificent. Plan to stop often to take-in the scenic views of the gorge and its waterfalls; perhaps take a short hike and enjoy the park’s diverse flora and fauna. Towns are 10-20 miles apart although there are … If you would rather stay in town, consider The Confluence House B&B. Also, General Edward Braddock and his army crossed here in 1755, on their way to defeat at the hands of the French and their Native American allies. You will pass the Hanna House B&B, a restored farmhouse and 100-acre working farm, about three miles before reaching Confluence. Thats why the word “Great” right there in the name. Bike PGH provides maps and the general skinny on this particular urban biking adventure. The next company town you pass, Van Meter (GAP 106), is associated with one of the worst coal-mining disasters in the U.S.: a 1907 explosion in the Darr Mine that killed 239 workers. Youghiogheny Outfitters can set you up for some floating or angling time on the river. At that time, however, this valley was called “Turkeyfoot” by natives and settlers due to the three-pronged formation that the rivers create. Relax, take in the sights and enjoy! The following itineraries are locating in the Great Allegheny Passage. A National Natural Landmark, the peninsula is noted for rare plant species that are able to survive here as the rapids and falls moderate temperature extremes. Congratulations! 2019 Great Allegheny Passage Itinerary. Don’t be surprised to see plenty of others enjoying the park with you today: hikers, anglers, rafters and kayakers. Oct 19, 2015 - Great Allegheny Passage spans 150 mi. Confluence Cyclery is just a few blocks away should your bike need some TLC. 340 miles of dedicated car-free bike trails between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, makes the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Towpath the most desirable multi-day bike tour in the United States! With spring in the air and cyclists preparing to hit the trail, our first itinerary will take us to the Great Allegheny Passage with stops to Boston and McKeesport. One could spend days in the area simply exploring the miles of hiking trails and going to nearby attractions, such as the Fort Necessity National Battlefield (10 miles from Ohiopyle). Planning resources for cycling the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal and the largest selection of trail apparel. Whiskey-making was a popular cottage-industry into the 19th century, with nearly every farm operating a still. The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. 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