Getting started in Pittsburg -
Breakaway from Glen Gardner NJ on 08/09/2012 08:36 PM
I'm taking Amtrak from DC to Pitt in September, which arrives at midnight. Suggestions about where to go/stay at midnight? Female traveling alone most likely. Also, trail actually starts in Homestead, yeah? Have some confusion about that. Is there somewhere to stay there?
lenny on 08/10/2012 04:35 AM
You can ride from down town Pgh. Take Eliza Furnace Trail to Hot Metal Bridge, cross to Southside Trail, at intersection cross Hot Metal St.left and continue on trail to the end (1 or 2 miles ). Get on to rail bed and walk bike 1/4 mile to Sand Castle and continue threw to Homestead. I've done this several times this summer and is not dangerous or difficult. Also you wont be alone all of the time. As to hotels I sure you will find a place to stay if you make reservations now. I'm curious, what is your departure date? Wife and I leave Point Park 7am 9/9/12.You'd be welcome to join us for some direction if you like.
Breakaway on 08/10/2012 02:33 PM
Thanks for the explanation... but none of that is reasonable when arriving by Amtrak at midnight!! My trip does not begin till a week after yours...maybe I'll catch up to you, ha, ha.
lenny on 08/10/2012 05:12 PM
Why?? Hotels will hold a room til you get here, as long as it is paid for. Don't understand.
Breakaway on 08/10/2012 07:01 PM
It was the hotel/place to stay that I was looking for. Don't know anything about the area around the train station in Pitt, but train stations are not notorious for being in good areas.
Slot utter from Ohio on 08/10/2012 09:45 PM
3 guys from Oh starting the 10th. Be nice and clear the trail for us :)
Slot urge on 08/10/2012 09:47 PM
Correct trail name Sloturtle.. Sorry
lenny on 08/11/2012 02:58 AM
Station is on the Southside. A very nice area and many hotels. By the way right on the trail!
speedster on 08/13/2012 10:39 AM
If it were me, I wouldn't want to have to pay for a nights stay when I may not arrive at my room until after 1am (counting transit time from train station). Seems like paying for a full night and only getting minimal rest value out of it. I would sleep while aboard the train (should be a good 5-6 hr rest) to have myself rested and find something to do for 4-5 hrs until sun-up once into Pittsburgh. Call family or whatever let them know you're into town. Maybe find a 24 hr grocery store and pick up some snacks and water for your ride..then maybe head to an early breakfast place at say 5-6am.
Seems out there a bit to some I'm sure, but, I just wouldn't sleep properly and get much value for my money out of a hotel stay given the timing of your arrival and all the hustle and bustle and being keyed up that late at night.
To keep things reasonable, call an end to your ride day earlier than normal since you will be up and going so early that day..that's one option anyway.
lenny on 08/13/2012 04:02 PM
Train leaves DC about 4pm daily, arrives Pgh. a little after midnight. And is late at times.Not to many stores on the Southside only restaurants bars and hotels.The area is called Station Square, and the trail runs right by, only feet away. Pittsburgh is unique in that a major bike and ped. only trail runs on both sides of the Monongahala River.
lenny on 08/14/2012 04:32 AM
I spoke wrongly. The station at Station Square has been closed,all Pgh trains from DC are diverted to the PA. mainline and thus arrive at Union Station Downtown on Liberty Ave.Still lots of hotels and close to Point Park and the trail.
bill from greensburg pa on 08/06/2012 09:53 AM
try the town hill b&b in little orleans web site www.townhillbnb.com
BA from OKC on 08/07/2012 04:59 PM
thank you, tried them but they are booked! looks like a great place though!
lenny on 08/06/2012 04:52 AM
Rode Connellsville to Cofluence yesterday, started out great but rain began @ 10am. Track got puddled and sloppy especially in the afternoon. Still got a good 56 mile ride. The weather made it a sluggish ride
MrPurplePaul from Allentown on 08/06/2012 07:37 AM
Lenny was that an out and back trip?
I stopped in confluence on way down to Cumberland on Thursday ... Had lunch at Sists Cafe... Great chicken BLT ... Stopped at the hardware store too ...
lenny on 08/06/2012 07:16 PM
C&O Bike shop in Hancock -
Frk from Frederick, MD on 08/06/2012 09:59 AM
My 14 year old son and his friend completed the C&O Canal trip this past weekend. Overnight at the C&O Bike Hostel Friday night in Hancock and then overnight Saturday in a tent at MP 50 Bald Eagle Island. I just wanted to give a shout out for the inexpensive hospitality at the Hostel. Fenced in area to lock their bikes up, hot showers with towels and soap provided, screen in area to bunk down and not get eaten alive by bugs and a friendly cat providing security. Plus peace of mind for mom & dad knowing they stayed in a somewhat secure area.
Any place to stay near Paw Paw? -
BA from OKC on 08/04/2012 04:07 PM
Riding next week GAP and C&O starting at Pittsburgh. Are there any recommendations on lodging near Paw Paw? Would like decent hotel.
JJB from Fairmont, WV on 08/05/2012 09:28 AM
We just finished that trip last week. To the best of my knowledge there is nothing in the Paw Paw area. We ended up doing a 60+ mile day from Hancock to Cumberland.
solo bike trip one way options -
Mr Purpkle Paul from Allentown PA on 02/29/2012 12:21 PM
I'm planning a solo bike trip in early August on at least some of the GAP trail . . I am trying to figure out options for getting me and my bike to one end of my ride and have my car waiting for me at the other end...
I know that Amtrak travels to a couple of the towns and I was thinking I could park in town B and take the train to town A and bike back stopping along the way for one or two nights . . has anyone done this? is it possible/advisable?
Also I saw someone posted about shipping their bike on ahead to a local bike shop .. this would work to as I know I can take Amtrak to the town solo . . . has anyone done that before .. do you know of any bike shops on the G.A.P. that are likely to offer this service?
as soon as I know my trip details I'd be happy to share them and if anyone else is on the trail at the same time I'd love the company . .
lenny on 03/01/2012 05:28 AM
amtrak does not have roll on service yet.freight can only load and unload at washington and pittsburgh
Mr Purpkle Paul from Allentown PA on 03/01/2012 10:04 AM
so .. on to "plan B" .. anyone got a plan B?
Mr pedals from Cleveland, Oh on 03/04/2012 01:04 PM
I'm planning a one way trip from Pittsburg to D.C.After checking around.I'm going with A one way car rental.The airport in Pittsburg Just finished a path to get to the gap...That's my plan...Looking to go around First week of july is anyone planning a trip at that time..?
Paul A on 04/01/2012 05:25 PM
Some of the bicycle shops along the way will be able to shuttle you and your gear to where you want to start from.
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown PA on 04/01/2012 09:17 PM
actually as it turns out the bed and breakfast I am staying at the night BEFORE my actual ride is letting me store my bike and gear earlier in the day so I have time to drive to Cumberland and then take the train back up . . .they even offered to pick me up at the train station when I get into town that night . .
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown on 08/03/2012 08:49 PM
I just got back from my two day 90+ mile trip ... I posted some pics along with a trip report of sorts on a blog . .
update of attractions in Cumberland, md -
cumberland guy from Cumberland on 08/02/2012 07:36 PM
Several of the 'attractions' are no longer here or have changed
WMRT trail heads -
JJB from Fairmont, WV on 07/15/2012 03:45 PM
In one week from today my wife and I will be heading out to ride the C&O and GAP. We thought we would ride the WMRT this year. Does anyone know if the WMRT trail heads on both ends are well marked on the C&O trail? It looks like there are links between the trails, I'm just not sure how well they are marked. Thanks!
lenny on 07/15/2012 08:16 PM
Have used the WMRT every year. It is easy on the west end. I believe at Paree Station you would turn left at the Lock 56 or 57 access road. And I know for sure the east end is a tougher connection, as you can't see the access from the tow path. I would suggest using milage as a guide and when you are 10 miles from Hancock, start looking for the access.
lenny on 07/16/2012 04:29 AM
Neglected to say that WMRT is at the west end of Fort Frederick State Park, and Big Pool on the river. There is a parking lot on the road off of I70 that is the trail head for WMRT, a road map may help coordinate.
lenny on 07/16/2012 04:45 AM
Check out bikewashington.org Lots of maps and good info.
JJB from Fairmont, WV on 07/20/2012 07:31 PM
Thanks for the information Lenny. We take off on Sunday for Leesburg, VA. Will begin the ride on Monday morning. Will try to update the forum as we go.
JJB from Fairmont, WV on 07/31/2012 12:37 PM
The C&O is well marked on both ends of the WMRT. Easy access from the C&O to the WMRT. On the Big Pool, (East), side, the WRMT runs right beside the Interstate up to Hancock. From Hancock to the Western end is a beautiful trail. We really enjoyed it and it was a nice change of pace from the C&O.
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown on 07/15/2012 07:40 AM
with just a little more than two weeks away from my trip I'm starting to pack . . . what is the bug situation on the trail . . are mosquitoes and other biting/stinging bugs an issues .. should I pick up some Off for the trip?
how about sun screen .. how much of the trail is "canopied" and how much is in sunlight? Sunscreen a good idea too?
lenny on 07/15/2012 08:20 PM
Both products are a good idea to have on board. Walmart has a good selection of bug stuff in the camping dept. And neither is bulky or heavy.
Randy from E-Town on 07/17/2012 03:40 PM
Bug spray would be good, but I mainly had issues with horseflies and some hornets. The trail is under a tree canopy so the sun should not be an issue. Heat and Humidity is your biggest factor with this weather. Take some Gatorade and plenty of Water. You could see Black Bears around Little Orleans :)
vabiker from williamsburg, VA on 07/23/2012 11:51 AM
Wife and I did the GAP from Frostburg, MD to Boston PA last week 16-19 July and return (2 days up and 2 days back). Bugs were not an issue. There are some fairly open, sunny places from Frostburg to Meyersdale and west of Connellsville. Suntan lotion would be nice.
Sean S from Mckeesport on 07/23/2012 06:37 PM
You know it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring along clear glasses also because sometimes in the shady areas you run into them swarms of little knat flies and you get them in you eyes has happened to me a few times.
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown on 07/23/2012 11:05 PM
than ks for the advice everyone . . I'll pack some of each .. just to be safe .. and I already ear glasses .. so I'll throw in some glasses cleaner . . just in case . .
pretty stoked for the trip . . 8 days away . .
Trail conditions -
Sean S from Mckeesport on 07/23/2012 06:49 PM
There is a tree down across the GAP trail between the Boston and Buena Vista trail section it is still passable
Kerrigans Corner Deli in Point of Rocks -
Pepper Scotto from Point of Rocks, MD on 07/23/2012 03:00 PM
This store is permanently closed in 2011.
The property is for sale - and everyone hopes for the best for a new business to be available for travelers on foot, bike, or vehicle.
lenny on 07/23/2012 04:13 AM
Sean, no better why to spend time with a child. It should be fun.
Trip Planning -
Sean S from McKeesport on 07/21/2012 10:53 PM
Planning a trip with my son on the trail. We are going to start at Ohio pyle and ride to Green Oak besides Ohio pyle are there any other good attractions worth while checking out.
lenny on 07/22/2012 04:49 AM
Where is Green Oak? The overlook, about 7 miles west of Ohiopyle, is a beautiful view of the gorge and river. Also the Salsibury Viaduct is a unique feeling to cross. Big Savage Tunnel.I could go on for hours.
Sean S from McKeesport on 07/22/2012 10:20 PM
Lenny, Green oak is just right before Boston Pa heading towards Pittsburgh. There is a place called River City Junction right along the trail where I can park my truck and load up my gear and drive home it is real easy access to the trail for me. We are going to get a ride to either Confluence or Ohio pyle and ride to my truck (going towards Pittsburgh) I think it will be a good time for our first overnight bike trip.