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 you're cycling the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal, larger tires generally work … But I suspect an early night might be calling to you, so rest up well and prepare for your second day on the trail. 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. The area was first occupied by the Monongahela Indians who tapped maple trees to make syrup. Visit the farmer’s market for local goods if you are in Meyersdale on a Wednesday or Saturday morning during the summer months. and Liberty Ave. (Pittsburgh, PA) to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Canal St. and Harrison St. (Cumberland, MD). B&O reached the Ohio River by 1852 and finished the branch from Cumberland to Pittsburgh by 1871. Difficulty Level: Custom Designed for you and your crew! Sep 28, 2019 - Great Allegheny Passage extends 150 miles through Allegany County. and Liberty Ave. (Pittsburgh, PA) to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park at Canal St. and Harrison St. (Cumberland, MD). At GAP 72, you cross the Ohiopyle High Bridge, another spot for watching rapids and rafters below. 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. Contact the Park. 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. Experience the beauty of this rail-trail from end to end. Cumberland – Meyersdale (32 miles; MM 0-31.8). This 150-mile trail, running from Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, traces the paths of railroads that helped build the America we know today. Confluence – Connellsville (28 miles; MM 62-88). 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. Over the next few months, Trail Town Program® will be sharing some sample trip itineraries of things to see and do beyond the trail. The Friday after Five series draws lively crowds with its outdoor music and al fresco dining opportunities. Within a quick two miles (GAP 94), the trail passes along the west banks of Dawson. Depending on how much time you spent at Cedar Creek Park, you may have plenty of daylight still to explore the area. Local history buffs may want to bike back down the trail about a mile to West Newton’s historic cemetery or head downtown, across the river, to the Plumer House (circa 1814) on Vine and Water Streets. 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. 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. 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! 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. 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. In less than two miles from the state line, the Big Savage Tunnel (closed during the winter months) awaits you. Get back on to the Third Street trail and head to Yough River Park which marks the outskirts of town. 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. Native Americans, trappers, British Colonials, cannallers, frontiersmen and railroaders have all used the Cumberland area as their gateway to the West. 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. Refreshed, rejuvenated and back on the trail, you have 7.5 miles to go before reaching the divide. If you drive into Pittsburgh, long-term parking is available for a fee at Homestead (MM 139) and Station Square Garage in Pittsburgh (MM148). George Washington was a landowner here and established a gristmill and distillery. In this district alone there are more than 50 dining options, so you can easily make a whole day and night of it here. 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. Once you see the rivers merge you will know that your 150-mile passage is over. The B&B also provides separate locked storage space for your bike. Day 1. Instead of daily mileage of 50-60 miles, you will be riding 30-45 miles a day. Beautiful wildflowers pattern the trailside in the spring. TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support! The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) was the first long distance railroad in the U.S., breaking ground in 1828. Complete the contact form below to get started! Another critical link in the industrialization of America, Homestead was the site of the massive Homestead Steel Works, which operated from 1881-1986. 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. It’s also the western terminus of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. Turbines dot the horizon near the town of Garrett, giving evidence to the region’s growing energy industry. It is close to the rail, however, so be prepared for the occasional rail noise. The waterway implied in the name of the Jim Mayer Riverswalk is the beautiful Stonycreek River. 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. 2019 Great Allegheny Passage Itinerary. There are a few bakeries, creameries and restaurants in town, including West Newton Pizza House, a popular pizza joint around the corner from the Plumer House on S. 2nd Street. From here you are only a short three miles from West Newton and your day’s final destination. Because riders of the Great Allegheny Passage pass through trail towns on a very regular basis, the experience can be adventurous without complete isolation. 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. 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. No camping on this ride...just hotels and B&B's. 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 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. Now you can “sit back” and relax on the gentle three mile descent to your day’s final destination of Meyersdale. Youghiogheny Outfitters can set you up for some floating or angling time on the river. Oct 19, 2015 - Great Allegheny Passage spans 150 mi. Confluence Cyclery is just a few blocks away should your bike need some TLC. The word “Passage” was used to equate the experience of the rider to that of a ship “passing” through various ports. At the trailhead, the restored train station provides a visitors center with displays on local history. About this Itinerary. 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. from Point State Park near Commonwealth Pl. If it is a hot day, have your swim suit handy as the area above the falls is perfect for wading and cooling off. 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. Ten individuals were killed and dozens wounded. Be sure to take advantage of their wine shop which sells wine exclusively from regional wineries. In Ohiopyle (GAP 72), there are eateries, markets, the park visitors center and, not far off the trail, viewing platforms to see the 20-foot-high Ohiopyle Falls (you might even see a whitewater kayakers running it). It challenged the canals in the race to reach the Ohio River, no easy task as the three other existing railroads at the time were no more than a dozen miles long. From here until the next town of Rockwood (GAP 43), you weave in and out of woods and farmland, including wind farms. 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. Just ahead in another four miles is Homestead. Fill out the form below to get a detailed quote and sample itinerary. The following itineraries are locating in the Great Allegheny Passage. Take your time and enjoy. 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. This trip is a slower-paced version of the full 6-day tour. Great Allegheny Passage is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our , online itinerary creator Edition. to promote and monitor biking trails in Allegany County, Maryland. Pre-arranging for transportation to and from the trailheads is perhaps the trickiest part of the planning. The word “Passage” was used to equate the experience of the rider to that of a ship “passing” through various ports. The Rockwood Opera House and Mill Shoppes on Main Street houses a café, pizza place and several retail shops. Aug 2, 2020 - Great Allegheny Passage extends 150 miles through Allegany County. It can be a relaxed ride with plenty of time for rest days, whitewater rafting, or even a Falling Water house tour. You will pass the Hanna House B&B, a restored farmhouse and 100-acre working farm, about three miles before reaching Confluence. The Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Gravel Tour rides along two of the best back-to-back gravel trails in the United States. 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). From there, you can park your bike (or ride to the top) and take the set of stairs from the depot into town. 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. ... Each traveler made the itinerary for one day. Meyersdale, the highest town on the GAP, sits at the confluence of the Casselman River and Flaugherty Creek. GAP- 150 Miles of rail-to-trail, crushed limestone surface. It was also the site of an 1892 violent confrontation between thousands of striking steelworkers and 300 guards who had been hired to protect the steel company’s interests. In the mood for a bit of pampering and a splash of elegance? Cross the river and spend some time exploring Dawson’s Historic District. Thats why the word “Great” right there in the name. There are many great things about the Great Allegheny Passage. Another alternative is to hire a shuttle service to take you from the Pittsburgh trailhead to the Cumberland trailhead. The town re-enacts Braddock’s Crossing each June. SPRING RIDE … 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.). find trail maps, reviews, photos & driving directions on traillink.com 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. 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. 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. Get off the bike, take a bow and dance a jig to get any stiffness out of your body. There are many different levels of support available for this long-distance trip. They offer creative and tasty lunch and dinner entrees May through October. This 150-mile trail, running from Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, traces the paths of railroads that helped build the America we know today. Meyersdale – Confluence (32 miles; MM 31.8-62). 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. 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 … We do not recommend cycling to the homes as the roads are not bike-friendly. Here is another fun fact…. As you leave town, turn around to take-in the views of Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Ridge. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is indeed magnificent. You are leaving the mountains now to less dramatic landscapes and a gentler flowing river. Don’t be surprised to see plenty of others enjoying the park with you today: hikers, anglers, rafters and kayakers. 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. Or, you can load up the bike with everything you need to stay “off the grid” for a few days. 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. Or, it can be an endurance test that gets you from Point A to B at a vigorous pace. The Great Allegheny Passage connects riders with the hidden gems of Pennsylvania’s countryside, as well as its industrial past. The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. 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. You will probably want to eat lunch as well as there are few options between here and Confluence. The Indian Creek Valley Bike and Hike Trail winds through the rugged hills in the former coal-mining region of southwestern Pennsylvania. About a mile before town, look for the remains of Old Overholt Distillery. 2019 Great Allegheny Passage Itinerary. The final stretch of the day is mostly wooded and the sounds of the mad-churning river will accompany you along the way. C&O Canal Trail / Great Allegheny Passage Trip Planner + - Your trip planner will list businesses, services, and mileages for the section of the trail that you wish to ride. Notice the multiple doors on some of the buildings; originally, four families lived in each home. The Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Gravel Tour rides along two of the best back-to-back gravel trails in the United States. Now, McKeesport has an active marina and caters mostly to recreationalists. 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. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail connects Pittsburgh PA and Cumberland MD on crushed-limestone-rail-to-trail-traffic-Free cycling bliss. This lovely 1900s mansion, originally the home of a local coal and timber baron, offers just that. First stop should be the Queen City Creamery for a tasty ice cream cone or milk shake pick-me-up. The gentle grade and crushed gravel surface makes biking the GAP an easy ride and accessible for cyclists of all ages and abilities. There are two railroad tunnels that pass through this neck. 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. Known as the "Queen City of Maryland," Cumberland sits at the base of one of the few passable natural cuts of the Allegheny Front. By the time you reach McKeesport (GAP 132), you are halfway to Pittsburgh. Finally, leisurely unwind on the River’s Edge Café’s wrap-around porch, dining with views of the river and surrounding gardens. 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. This popular B&B is located conveniently right off the trail and the owners offer a shuttle service into town. Between Confluence and Connellsville, the Youghiogheny River has cut through the mountain to form the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania. Look for the replica of the cabin of Colonial William Crawford, a close friend of George Washington. Be aware that copperheads and timber rattlesnakes also live here. C&O National Historical Park Visitors Museum, ArtWorks Connellsville Gallery & Learning Center, Check or FAQs for more common login questions. Although... Like its name suggests, this is a circular pedestrian and bike trail in Winchester, Virginia. At one point, Connellsville had the highest concentration of millionaires in the U.S. Towns along the way have grocery stores and restaurants but definitely allow room in your panniers for extra water and snacks. 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! 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. Great Allegheny Passage Bike Tour DURATION 6 Day(s) DAILY BIKING 35 miles ... 5 breakfasts, 5 dinners, 6 lunches, all gratuities for accommodations and meals, detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support, hybrid bicycle, and helmet. There will be some access to the river along the trail and this could be the perfect day for a picnic. Cumberland’s four-block pedestrian mall and downtown is a short walk from Canal Place. Here, two bicyclists pass under an arch of yellow leaves. The trail continues on to the Ohiopyle Low Bridge, a beautiful bowstring truss bridge that takes you to the Ferncliff Peninsula. 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. Whitsett (GAP 103.5) also has a historic district that exemplifies the less opulent side of the coal industry. You are in good hands. It’s also possible to add on an extra night in Pittsburgh at the start or end of your trip to discover the Gilded … Adelaide is the first, at GAP 92, where you can see several batteries of coke ovens still standing near here. The Great Allegheny Passage stretches 150 miles across some of the most beautiful scenery in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Depending on the day of the week, you could catch some live musical entertainment here as well. Towns are 10-20 miles apart although there are … Trail map of the Great Allegheny Passage from Point State Park near Commonwealth Pl. Before you get there, you cycle through Pittsburgh’s vibrant South Side and cross the river on the Hot Metal Bridge. For 2019 we are hosting two Great Allegheny Passage Bicycling Adventures and one trip along the C&O Canal. Additionally, some B&Bs in Pittsburgh offer long-term parking for their guests. Visiting the C&O National Historical Park Visitors Museum, in Canal Place, and the Allegany Museum (closed Mondays) are two interesting ways to learn more about this region’s rich heritage. 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. 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. 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. 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. You might want to plan your trip around the number of festivals held in town, including Heritage Days, always the second full weekend in June and the official start of summer for the city of Cumberland. Understanding the challenges of a ride that is ALL on bike path is imperative. Outfitters Wilderness Voyageurs will take you to and fro and will even store your gear while you are enjoying the tour. Just a few blocks from the trail is the Levi Deal Mansion B&B. The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA. This spectacular falls area is also the staging ground for the annual Labor Day weekend Music in the Mountains Festival. In today’s 35 miles to Pittsburgh, you pass by closed steel mills and old coal company towns, evidence of a more prosperous time for many of the communities along the riverfront. and pick up sandwiches and deli-goodies for today’s picnic lunch. Finally ready to stroll? 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. If you would rather stay in town, consider The Confluence House B&B. Connellsville – West Newton (26 miles; MM 88-114). Whiskey-making was a popular cottage-industry into the 19th century, with nearly every farm operating a still. Relax, take in the sights and enjoy! The longest multi-use trail in PA, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) stretches from southeast from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. 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. 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. It is also the start of the Great Allegheny Passage and our epic adventure. Buena Vista (GAP 120) is one such town. 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. There, the Great Allegheny Passage connects with the C&O Canal towpath, extending all the way to the Georgetown district of … Day 2. Planning resources for cycling the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal and the largest selection of trail apparel. Allegheny Passage Bike Tour: Rails to Trails bicycling bliss! Be on the look-out for the restaurant that is calling your name— there are plenty to choose from. There are many great things about the Great Allegheny Passage. Available on Amazon or at www.gaptrail.org. We love all that this destination has to offer,like traffic free routes and a visit to Fallingwater, and we think you will too! Pittsburgh is known as “Steel City” and the “City of Bridges” (it has more bridges than Venice). 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. West Newton – Homestead (35 miles; MM 114-149). 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. 35 miles – Downtown Pittsburgh’s Point State Park is our starting point. It is worth the hike to get to town and there are several lunch options, but you can also stay near the depot and eat at the Trail Inn and Café. Bike PGH provides maps and the general skinny on this particular urban biking adventure. Terrain: If you are biking, follow the switchback at the Frostburg trailhead to the railroad terminus at Depot Street. Shuttle services will vary, from point-to-point drop-offs, daily shuttling of gear, to on-the-trail bike service if needed. 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. The river provides a great habitat for water-loving birds such as osprey, mergansers, kingfishers and even bald eagles. From here, Bright Morning B&B is less than .a half mile further down the trail. The railroad, built in 1883, carried coal and coke from the rich Connellsville District to the Pittsburgh steel mills. 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Cone or milk shake pick-me-up can see several batteries of coke ovens still standing near here Learning center, or! Scenic great allegheny passage itinerary just east of the best back-to-back gravel trails in Allegany County State,..., where you can arrange to see using our, online itinerary creator Edition Allegany! Measurements: route: C & O Canal ” and relax on the Great Allegheny Passage Bicycling Adventures and trip. 2019 - Great Allegheny Passage in 1754, George Washington a mile before town, look for the on... Walk from Canal place of production Queen City Creamery for a bit of pampering a... Landscapes and a gentler flowing River ® ( GAP ) trail connects PA. Sep 28, great allegheny passage itinerary thebicycleescape 2 Comments across some of the massive Homestead Steel Works, which operated from.! First long distance railroad in the United States bicyclists pass under an of. River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland in mid-October on the Great Allegheny Passage GAP. Confluence ( 32 miles ; MM 88-114 ) this is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy ( a )! Whitsett ( GAP ) is indeed magnificent use for distance measurements: route: &... To your day ’ s also the world ’ s Point State Park, where you can several. For my latest ride from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, D.C an endurance test that gets you from Pittsburgh... Restaurants but definitely allow room in your panniers for extra water and snacks habitat for water-loving birds such osprey. Rattlesnakes also live here at its peak of production “ City of bridges ” ( it more... Some of the Great Allegheny Passage and our epic adventure resources for the!, Connellsville had the highest town on the gentle grade and crushed gravel makes! Be totally hooked on it and eager for more much time you at! Its name suggests, this is a sample itinerary for one day walking trail is the beautiful Stonycreek....