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. 2. Refreshed, rejuvenated and back on the trail, you have 7.5 miles to go before reaching the divide. If it is a hot day, have your swim suit handy as the area above the falls is perfect for wading and cooling off. to promote and monitor biking trails in Allegany County, Maryland. Get off the bike, take a bow and dance a jig to get any stiffness out of your body. After the rail line was abandoned in 1975, the tunnel continued to experience damage from the freeze/thaw conditions that had plagued it in the past and had required constant repairs. The Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Gravel Tour rides along two of the best back-to-back gravel trails in the United States. Leisurely unpack for your last night on this journey and ponder how to enjoy the rest of your day. In mid-October on the Great Allegheny Passage, the leaves have just started to turn. 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.). Cumberland – Meyersdale (32 miles; MM 0-31.8). Once you see the rivers merge you will know that your 150-mile passage is over. Native Americans, trappers, British Colonials, cannallers, frontiersmen and railroaders have all used the Cumberland area as their gateway to the West. 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. Terrain: 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. Meyersdale – Confluence (32 miles; MM 31.8-62). 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. If you drive into Pittsburgh, long-term parking is available for a fee at Homestead (MM 139) and Station Square Garage in Pittsburgh (MM148). There are more than 100 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the majority of which are lavish former residences of coal barons, including that of “Little Jim Cochran.” At GAP 102, the trail stays alongside the river with Perryopolis to your west and Layton across the water to the east. The Laurel Highland Visitors Bureau offers tours of both homes (advance reservations required). The gentle grade and crushed gravel surface makes biking the GAP an easy ride and accessible for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Pre-arranging for transportation to and from the trailheads is perhaps the trickiest part of the planning. 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. You will probably want to eat lunch as well as there are few options between here and Confluence. 35 miles – Downtown Pittsburgh’s Point State Park is our starting point. Cross the river and spend some time exploring Dawson’s Historic District. Your final destination is Pittsburgh's Point State Park, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to create the Ohio River. It can be a relaxed ride with plenty of time for rest days, whitewater rafting, or even a Falling Water house tour. 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. Ten individuals were killed and dozens wounded. In this district alone there are more than 50 dining options, so you can easily make a whole day and night of it here. Rockwood is a good place to refill your water bottles and stretch your legs. Amtrak’s passenger train parallels the trail and can transport you and your bike from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. Before leaving town, stock up on water and snacks. 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 Indian Creek Valley Bike and Hike Trail winds through the rugged hills in the former coal-mining region of southwestern Pennsylvania. As you enter town, look for the mural on Main Street that pays homage to Meyersdale’s past as a transportation hub. 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. We love all that this destination has to offer,like traffic free routes and a visit to Fallingwater, and we think you will too! You are leaving the mountains now to less dramatic landscapes and a gentler flowing river. But I suspect an early night might be calling to you, so rest up well and prepare for your second day on the trail. 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. The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA. 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. Mailing Address: Potomac Heritage NST Office By the time you reach McKeesport (GAP 132), you are halfway to Pittsburgh. Grab a quick lunch with indoor or outdoor seating available at McKees Point Marina Café (April to October). 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. Cycling around the city and exploring its diverse “burghs” is a do-able option if you choose to stay here for another day or so. Just ahead in another four miles is Homestead. We do not recommend cycling to the homes as the roads are not bike-friendly. 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. This trip is a slower-paced version of the full 6-day tour. There will be some access to the river along the trail and this could be the perfect day for a picnic. from Point State Park near Commonwealth Pl. 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! It is also the start of the Great Allegheny Passage and our epic adventure. If you are biking, follow the switchback at the Frostburg trailhead to the railroad terminus at Depot Street. 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. View our itinerary on TrailLink to experience the best the trail has to offer. The trail continues on to the Ohiopyle Low Bridge, a beautiful bowstring truss bridge that takes you to the Ferncliff Peninsula. 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. 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. 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. Fill out the form below to get a detailed quote and sample itinerary. Whitsett (GAP 103.5) also has a historic district that exemplifies the less opulent side of the coal industry. 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. National Tube Works was the major employer and also the world’s largest pipe producer at its peak of production. No camping on this ride...just hotels and B&B's. GAP- 150 Miles of rail-to-trail, crushed limestone surface. 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. 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. 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 trail uses the shoofly, adding a scenic 1.5 miles around the Pinkerton horn. 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. In less than two miles from the state line, the Big Savage Tunnel (closed during the winter months) awaits you. To visit this restored site, take Layton Road toward Perryopolis and look for George Washington’s Gristmill Park (Saturdays only, May 27-Sept. 2). 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. Another alternative is to hire a shuttle service to take you from the Pittsburgh trailhead to the Cumberland trailhead. Great Allegheny Passage: One of America’s Most Beautiful Rail Trails. Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Cycling Tour Detailed Itinerary Back to Tour Page On our Great Allegheny Passage & C&O Canal (Pittsburgh to Washington) Cycling Tour, we’ll assemble near McKeesport, and join the Allegheny Trail in the morning, just past the congested, paved links of the greater Pittsburgh area. About this Itinerary. The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. George Washington was a landowner here and established a gristmill and distillery. 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. 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. 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