The Great Allegheny Passage is a 155 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Confluence, PA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Primarily utilized as a 150 mile cycling route between Pittsburgh, PA and Cumberland, MD -the G.A.P. (as it is called) connects with the Historic C&O canal towpath which terminates in Washington D.C. A majority of the trail is located on abandoned rail beds on crushed limestone and asphalt surfaces.
This is a beautiful ride. I really recommend it. I have only completed Confluece to Meyersdale to date.
Great gradual climb.
Back in July my friend and I biked approximately 50 miles of this trail. It's beautiful, well maintained ( yes even with a tree that crashed across it, and it's well marked. There are towns located roughly 10 to 20 miles apart, a bit of a hike on foot, but on a bike they are perfect. If your looking for an adventure, this trail system stretches for almost 350 miles from Pittsburgh to to DC.
We completed the Rockwood to Cumberland section in 2011 and then just completed the Rockwood to Pittsburgh section this year. This trail varies so much from city to town to rural landscapes. Camping looked possible with a few adirondacks along the way - Cedar Creek Park even had one with a fireplace. I will recommend the following places to stay/ eat Confluence: We always stop at Lucky Dog Cafe - good, quality food. Ohiopyle: Falls City Pub - good pub food and craft beers. West Newton: Bright Morning B&B (bikes kept in the garage, breakfast is great, Trailside Tavern has good food and craft beers), Rockwood: Trailside B&B (owners are not residents, breakfast is great, bike shop adjacent, Rockwood Mill Shoppes just across bridge for pizza!) We stopped in Boston along this last trip and ate at an italian place called Generosas that had very friendly service and good food. Homestead: Rockbottom Brewery - obviously a great place to end our trip.
Great trail- crushed stone. Very scenic. Have ridden this trail twice and we are planning a trip from Pittsburgh to DC next year. In our group of 6 we had 3 mountain bikes, a hybrid, touring & recumbent bike. I have to admit, all bikes did well but we rode in a ton of rain- bikes were caked in wet stone/ sand. The mountain bikes we still able to shift. Some of the others weren't so lucky.
The surface is crushed limestone and makes for a nice easy ride. Kids really enjoyed the view. Just through the tunnel is a picnic table to sit, enjoy a quick snack, and take in the view.
Trail is now into Homestead. I've dreamed of taking this trail all the way to DC. I was staying the Homestead works and took a morning run and found the trail running right next to the shopping center. The 5k I ran of it looked well layed out with bridges and historical sites along the way.
This was only my second long bike trip and it was an awesome ride despite bringing along an ailment that led to being bed ridden for a week!
We started in Cumberland as a continuance of our recent trip on the C&O. It was a misty and cool morning and the forecast called for cool weather and rain in the morn. This would actually have been favorable weather to start the 25 mile ascent to the Continental Divide, but little did I know that I wasn't fully recovered from a week long Bronchitis. Needless to say, it did not fair well to my ailment as it eventually led to Walking Pneumonia. Fortunately, I did not feel it during the ride and was able to enjoy the serenity on our way up to the Divide.
The trail condition from Cumberland to Ohiopyle was a treat after enduring the C&O less than a month before. It is crushed lime stone but pretty hard packed which gave us a smoother and a more sure-footed ride. However, some few miles past Ohiopyle it was somewhat of a dejavu as the trail became softer, more uneven, and littered with debris from what must have been remnants of a recent storm. But it eventually improved as we neared Pitt.
Rewinding back a bit, we did not camp out this go-round, but instead opted to treat ourselves to a nice bed and hot shower in a rental house in Ohiopyle. This was a great reprieve from the great outdoors after riding over 75 miles in a day. In addition, I discovered a great outdoor vacation spot in one of Pennsylvania's hidden treasures. This town featured captivating waterfalls, serene river flows, natural water slide formations, and a ton of outdoor activities for the family like zip-lining, kayaking, and white-water rafting. There were plenty of food-spots including a huge tent that housed an equally huge grill filled with chicken, pork, burgers, and dogs.
One other thing to mention is to watch out for snakes! I almost ran over three of them on the trail and they were no less than 3 feet long. I came across a five footer slithering in the wide-open in a park. So keep your eyes peeled and bring your snake-bite kits (just in case).
Over all and despite the weather and my ailments, I gave this trip four stars for its fantastic sceneries and quaint towns. This was a great trip and I can't wait to do it again combining the C&O for the complete experience.
FYI...The total trip was 154 miles. I only mention this because you can only enter a number between 1 and 100 on the Trip Details.
155 miles from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD with a crushed limestone surface. Easy to ride with tons of beautiful scenery. Took two days to complete and has plenty of free campsites. Awesome experience that connects with the C&O Canal that continues another 185 miles into the heart of Washington DC.