Great Allegheny Passage
5 Day Inn Tour
We will ride the entire length of the Great Allegheny Passage, affectionately known as the GAP, from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD. We'll cover the 150 miles of vehicle-free rail trail in the fall when the days should be cool and the autumn colors bright. Be careful, as once you cycle the GAP, you may find yourself wanting to ride it again with us next year. Then we'll pair it with the C&O Towpath and cycle all the way to Washington, DC - a bucket list ride for many cyclists. Join us on both tours!
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
Mostly flat terrain on crushed stone. Moderate cycling level. More leisurely with an e-bike.
4 nights lodging, 4 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 4 dinners, snacks, van support, luggage transfer, cue sheets, maps and electronic GPS files, trained guides, and transportation at the end of the tour back to Pittsburgh.
$195 for a Specialized hybrid bicycle specifically designed for women. $295 for an electric-assist e-bike.
Fly, take the train or drive to Pittsburgh, PA. We will provide transportation back to the Pittsburgh airport by 3:00pm and our starting hotel by 3:30pm. Or you can take the train from the end of the tour back to Pittsburgh on your own.
DAY 1: We’ll meet in Pittsburgh at our starting hotel on the bike path along the Monongahela River. We’ll begin with a rental bike fitting at 2:00pm followed by an orientation and dinner. 0 miles.
DAY 2: After our first group breakfast, we’ll pedal our bicycles on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail to the Point State Park fountain for a group photo. The park marks the start of the mighty Ohio River formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. It is also the start of the Great Allegheny Passage and our epic adventure.
We’ll leave the city and start on the 150-mile rail trail through the former coal-mining and steel-making corridor. 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. Our destination for the night is the small community of Belle Vernon, PA. 45 miles, elevation +1409’/-1175’.
DAY 3: We’ll meander through history today as we cycle through the Laurel Highlands, the highest mountain range in the state. We’ll pass former coal mining towns, mines and beehive ovens. The distinctive ovens were used to turn coal into coke for the steel factories.
In the afternoon, we’ll reach Ohiopyle State Park, ranked among the top ten best state parks in the country. We’ll cross over the Youghiogheny River Gorge and marvel at the stunning views of the mountains all around us and the rapids below. Then we’ll overnight in Ohiopyle, PA. 41 miles, elevation +1410’/-1154’.
DAY 4 : After a big breakfast, we’ll make sure our bike lights are in good working order. We’ll ride through several tunnels today as we prepare to cross the Eastern Continental Divide – the highest point of our tour at 2392’. Then we’ll cross the Mason-Dixon Line, enter Maryland and finish the day with a gentle descent into Frostburg, MD. 58 miles, elevation +2678’/-1907’.
DAY 5: This is the one time we can really say that it’s all downhill. Today’s route is a gentle descent to the terminus of the Great Allegheny Passage in Cumberland, MD. We’ll celebrate the beautiful ride with a picnic lunch. Then we’ll provide a shuttle back to Pittsburgh arriving by 3:00pm. 17 miles, elevation +238’/-1613’.