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Fall in Ohiopyle
Fall in Ohiopyle, PA on the GAP
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Other trails..
speedster on 05/12/2012 03:22 PM
Just wanted to ask folks on here what other trails you've travelled (besides C&O and GAP).

Any experiences good and bad about trails you've trekked, either in part or in full. How was the weather, was the trail surface an impediment, was it more of an urban or rural trail, was there scenic photo opportunites, any interesting side-trips in the vicinity of its location that are worth seeing, etc.

Hoping to get a few suggestions of other trails worth doing. Primarily focused on ones in the Northeast.

lenny on 05/12/2012 07:55 PM
West Penn Trail Westmoreland-Indiana Pa. 16 miles very challenging buty extremly scenic. Ghost Town Trail Indiana-Cambria Pa. 60+miles. Hoddlebug Trail Indiana Pa. 12miles.Pine Creek Gorge 60+miles Jersy Shore to Wellsboro, Pa. These trails are all beautiful but unique in there own right. google tyhem they are on the net.

speedster on 05/12/2012 10:39 PM
OK, thanks Lenny.

I did the Pine Creek Trail last year and enjoyed it, except for the rain I encountered that day. Started up at the Wellsboro end and made it all the way down to Jersey Shore. Will be looking into the other suggestions.

Anyone else have anything not already mentioned?

Paulie from Knoxville on 05/14/2012 06:09 AM
Here are some of my favorites-

The Katy- Across the state of MO. Over 200 miles long.

The Creeper- Only 60 miles long in southwest VA. Beutitful !

New River- Another VA trail, 75ish miles with little traffic.

The Comet/Cheif Ladiga- Atlanta GA to Aniston AL. 100 miles paved.

A few more I've never done but maybe someday-The Cowboy in Nebraska, the Greenbriar in WVA,and the Little Miami in OH.

Good Luck Paulie

Randy on 05/14/2012 09:26 AM
Western Maryland Rail Trail
It actually parallels the C&O Canal for much of the way. 23 Miles Long starting at Big Pool, MD to Pierre. The trail is completely paved. My favorite section is after Hancock, MD where it gets more mountainous.
Pine Creek Gorge in Wellsboro, PA is great
Lehigh Gorge Trail in Jim Thorpe, PA is awesome

If you're looking for the ultimate hiking experience check out Rickett's Glen, PA. The waterfalls trail is incredible.
Always take your camera!

lenny on 05/14/2012 07:10 PM
Randy, good call on the Western Md.I missed that one. Also there is talk of extending the WMT to Cumberland.

speedster on 05/14/2012 10:03 PM
Yes, forgot to mention that I covered half of the WMRT on my tour of the C&O.

It was a nice change of pace going from the loose gravel of the C&O onto the paved surface of the WMRT. Almost felt like the bike drove itself, the level of resistance was such a contrast.

I almost missed the crossover point at Pearre to get to the WMRT though, signage was either non-existent or I must have missed it.

I would welcome an extension of the WMRT to Cumberland. Seems like a no-brainer, though I imagine it would take a few yrs to bring things to fruition.

lenny on 05/15/2012 08:01 AM
I think I use Lock 56 or 57 as my jumping off point from the C7O to WMRT. I think they were surveying last July when I went through.

speedster on 05/15/2012 06:30 PM
Here's a question..

Has anyone done the Decker's Creek and/or Mon (Monongahela)River Trail in WV?? It's located in/around the Morgantown area. Would like to hear from anybody that's trekked thru there with any thoughts/opinions about the basic aspects of the trail like scenery, trail surface, etc.

Mr Purple Paul from Allentown on 05/18/2012 06:50 PM
I've done short day trip on several trail... I've been lucky that all of them have been good rides...

Pine Creek Gorge Trail (Wellsboro, PA) ... did 40 miles in 2010 (my first long trip in nearly 15 years) this is a great trail and very scenic...

York County Heritage/Northern Central Railroad (York, PA to Monkton, MD) trails are good as well... I did the NCR when I was younger and recently started riding sections of the YCH ... some nice business have sprouted up along the trail

Lehigh Vally Gorge (Jim Thorpe)... this is my current favorite trail... I usually take the shuttle and ride down to Jim Thorpe... it's got some sandy areas which can be challenging but the ride is nice and relaxed...

Perkiomen Trail ... I just rode this for the first time this week .. I only rode the southern half and back .. it's in good shape and well maintained .. I started at the halfway point because there is a serious 12% grade section just about 5 miles in on the Northern half...

JJB from Fairmont, WV on 05/31/2012 08:47 PM
This is for Speedster regarding Decker's Creek. I have rode that trail a number of times. It is a good climb for a trail. Reminds me of the trail at Cumberland towards Big Savage. Go to Montrails.org for good info. You come out of Morgantown and follow the creek for a ways. Overall, in my opinion, it is not the most scenic trail you'll ever be on. There is a good stretch that has a nice hard running water, big rocks thing going on. Not really rapids or waterfalls but cool none the less. The trail itself is in good condition. There are a several other trails that join the Decker's Creek trail and they are all in good condition.

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DB from ARIZONA on 05/22/2012 05:35 PM

Rod Bruckdorfer from Baltimore, MD on 05/22/2012 05:45 PM
August is one of our hot months in this area. In past years, we did not get a lot of rain during August but this season our normal weather pattern are anything but normal. If our "normal" weather pattern full in place, I believe you will be OK regarding rain. When I go on tour, I always try to build at least one day into the tour to wait for bad weather to pass.

speedster on 05/22/2012 06:23 PM
My thinking is to pack a raincoat and cover your gear/pannier with a piece of tarp and pretty much try continuing as planned.

Rain is tough to totally avoid on any multi-day tour, so best to be prepared. Even on many 2 day tours I've ridden, its been almost impossible to avoid the dreaded rain. On this particular tour I'm referring to, it included 3 previous weekends of packing and cancelling last minute due to unfavourable conditions.
The week I finally decided on when clear conditions were called for, it still rained most of the time!

Some people on here will tell you your best strategy is to camp longer and wait it out. Not me though. Typically, you've already gotten wet since rain doesn't time out as your reach your campsite for the night or when cover is near. Taking a rest day to dry out seems wasteful to my sensibilites, your gear will actually dry faster in the wind riding!

If its a total lightning storm, obviously use your good sense, but light showers and stuff of that nature, I've personally always opted to push onward (sometimes due to time restirctions on when I've needed to be back).

I'm sure many others will say to pack down for a while and wait, but I just find in some cases, with time the conditions may actual worsen or stay in a wet pattern for a week or more. Then what! At some point you have to brave the conditions..

lenny on 05/22/2012 07:47 PM
I have3 done the Ride a few times and it has rained at least 1 day out of the 5. I, nor any of my mates have stopped for a minute. But you must pack right, everything in plastic bags.I don't even use a rain fly, at 12 mph you get wet inside so way waste the space, and weight.

Mr Purple Paul on 05/25/2012 08:41 PM
I am doing the same trip (only a smaller portion of the trail) .. when are you going?

there are B&Bs or campgrounds or hostels all along the GAP section of the trail... it all depends on how long you want to ride each day and if you are the type that wants to go as far as you can and then look for a place to stay for the night . . .

I'm the other type I'll plan (and reserve) my lodging in advance and take my ride at a more leisurely pace . . stopping to enjoy the trail and take photos . .

DB Arizona from Arizona on 05/29/2012 12:55 PM
Planning on doing the ride--now looking at the last week of August. Planning on doing 45 miles a day--that looks like it is the spacing for hotels.

Mr Purple Paul on 05/30/2012 01:17 PM

I'm doing 44 miles a day for the same reason (lodging spacing) . . .I'm going the first week in August and only doing a two day 88 mile ride form Connelsville PA to Cumberland MD . . .so I'll try to check in after the ride and give you an update. . .

lenny on 05/30/2012 08:24 PM
Let me know where you guys will be, if it is a weekend day I'll do a trailhead or so with you.

lenny on 05/30/2012 08:30 PM
Mr. Purple Paul, Connellsville to Cumberland is 91 miles.

Mr Purple Paul on 05/31/2012 07:23 PM
lenny . . .

I'm just going from what the mileage chart on here states . . .I doubt the extra 3 miles will make a difference . . but it's good to know .. thanks

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Elevation change Harnedsville to Markleton
Bob from Mars PA on 05/28/2012 08:36 PM
We are five couples aged 60 to 70 years old riding the trail from Confluence to Rockwood. I have a concern of the elevation climb of the trail. Is it a challenging up hill climb? Should we consider reversing the direction of our trip?

lenny on 05/28/2012 09:09 PM
Just did it Saturday, it is 19 miles. Down hill is easy, wife and I did it in 1hr. 20 min. Back was a little longer 1:45. we are 58 and 57 years of age. Your question is hard to answer, what have you done lately? Do you ride 20 miles regularly? How about the heat?

speedster on 05/28/2012 10:15 PM
The grade in that section is nothing very oppressive from what I remember doing it last yr, though I do gather you folks are retirement aged (or thereabouts), so outright stamina probably isn't your strong suit, given age.

Cumberland to Frostburg I believe is the worst direction to be heading as far as grade climb is concerned. Going the other way though from Frostburg to Cumberland is an easy ride for someone with lower endurance as it is a total downhill coast, with little if any pedalling required.

lenny on 05/29/2012 04:12 AM
It is the 4th steepest on the GAP, and over 19 miles long ,but still only 1.5% grade.

Bob from Mars on 05/29/2012 11:31 AM
Thanks to all. We have been trying to get into shape, 14 miles so far has been the longest ride. We will be taking breaks, checking out the view, etc so it sounds like we will be ok, especially since they are calling for cooler weather. We are hoping the rain holds off.

Rod Bruckdorfer from Baltimore, MD on 05/29/2012 02:15 PM
You should be able to do that part of the trail, Just pace yourself, take a few snacks with you - Clif Bar, banana, apple, etc. I suggest you invest in a couple of tubes of electrolyte tablets, such as NUUN, etc. Drink plenty of fluids and enjoy your ride. Also ride a lot before you ride the GAP. Fives miles is better than no miles and before you go do a couple of rides that are at least 75% of the distance you plan to ride.

lenny on 05/29/2012 08:21 PM
Bob, be sure to stop on the Pinkerton Bridge and get a look at the Casselman River. One of my favorites

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Kentuck Campground in Ohiopyle
Tracy Taylor from Frostburg MD on 05/29/2012 08:11 PM
I camped here for the first time on 5/27/12. Not 10 minutes after arriving, DNR rangers ordered me to move my vehicle (which I had to pay EXTRA to bring onto the grounds)to a grass area where I sunk in 8 inches of mud. While setting up camp around 9pm, the same officer (Officer Brumagin)told us to be quiet because "people are sleeping." He left and came back after catching us having a short laugh and advised we whisper the remainder of the night, or pack up and go home. THE CAMPSITES ARE TINY and bath houses are dirty and full of bugs! DO NOT CAMP HERE IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FAMILY!!

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C&O Trail Conditions Williamsport to Cumberland
Rod Bruckdorfer from Baltimore, Md on 05/22/2012 09:21 AM
We are planning to ride from Williamsport to Cumberland starting Friday May 25th and returning to Williamsport Tuesday May 29th. Because of all the rain lately, I am concerned about trail conditions. Any information about trail conditions is appreciated. We are riding a touring tandem with 40 mm X 26" tires and plan to camp and cook along the way. This is my wife's first tour.

Anonymous on 05/23/2012 11:35 AM
Been tracking the condiditons, as well, I'll be on that stretch with my kids over the weekend. Reports are good, all H/B sites are open, no water pump closures. Towpath is fine. Since it's been really dry in the previous weeks, the recent rains have not had a negative effect. Some minor mud patches, but nothing that should require dismounting. Perhaps we'll cross paths along the way.

Rod Bruckdorfer from Baltimore, MD on 05/24/2012 04:08 PM
Thank you for the update on the trail conditions. Hancock's C&O Bicycles, and the Cumberland visitor's center concur with your report. The Williamsport visitors center reported muddy conditions. We plan to drive to Williamsport tomorrow and head toward Cumberland with a planned arrival in Cumberland, late Saturday. We are riding a cherry red/sunrise yellow Co-Motion tandem fitted with yellow Ortlieb panniers. Perhaps our paths will cross.

Anonymous on 05/29/2012 08:13 AM
Friday, 25 May, we rode our fully loaded tandem from Williamsport to 15 mile Creek Campground. The trail from Williamsport to Ft Frederick was muddy in spots. Periodically, we had to stop remove the mud "brake" stuck between the fender and front tire. At Fort Frederick we turned unto the road leading to the fort and continued through Fort Frederick State Park. At the T-intersection we turned left unto Rt 56. After about a mile, we turned onto the Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT). The C&O Trail from the western end of the WMRT to 15 mile creek was in good condition.


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lenny on 05/28/2012 06:27 AM
Rode Rockwood to Confluence on Saturday.Met a lot of first time riders to DC. Trail was in great shape, very hard and fast (38 miles/3hr 10min). Last year noticed forest clearing on top of Pinkerton Mt., this year it is excavated and leveled. Does any one know what is happening on top of that mountain? Also could see threw Pinkerton tunnel, only about 150 yds.,the shufly is almost 2 miles.

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lenny on 05/24/2012 08:51 PM
Just got an answer from Amtrak that they are working on and making progress on roll on service for the Capitol Limited. Should have a trail train service in place by this Fall

Mr Purple Paul on 05/24/2012 09:22 PM
any indication if it will include all stops on the line .. or just the major ones?

speedster on 05/24/2012 10:59 PM
I have absolutely no clue on included stops, but one would have to assume that if the service is being put in place to accommodate cyclists and the trains route 'shadowing' the GAP/C&O, it would only make good sense that bikes be allowed at all stops along the way to attract customers from any and all locations along the trail..

Still a bit of a shame though that roll-on service is still the exception rather than the rule in a lot of service areas/routes. The change should be system wide and I'm guessing cyclists, in good numbers, would pony up with ticket sales.

lenny on 05/25/2012 04:09 AM
Speedster, I agree, but these people are slow to respond to change. Just look at the U.S. rail system vs any other country, we have squandered this vital piece of infrastructure.

Anonymous on 05/25/2012 07:35 AM
Tough to survive financially as a company when you're slow to respond to change, especially in a down economy. Seems like an easy profit improver, why not devote the proper amt of staff/resources to expedite implementation of this policy change..

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lenny on 05/25/2012 04:14 AM
I have scheduled my annual Pgh. to D.C. ride for early Sept just to let as much time as possible for the final Pgh. mile to connect and the roll on service. Don't know how many more of these rides I' be able to do so I' like to actually like at least one true city to city ride. Maybe this year.

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Bike transport from Cumberland to Pittsburg?
musicguy from SILVER SPRING on 05/20/2012 03:52 PM
I'd like to ride from Pittsburg to Cumberland.
Is there a way to leave my car in Cumberland and get transportation for me & my bike to Pittsburg?

speedster on 05/21/2012 02:23 PM
Amtrak has the 'Capitol Limited' route running between DC & Chicago with stops in the cities you are needing (Cumberland & Pittsburgh).

I am not positive, but believe its possible to bring your bike aboard with you. Maybe someone who has used the service will come in here with an answer. Otherwise, call up Amtrak and inquire about it..

lenny on 05/21/2012 08:23 PM
Can only load bike in Pittsburgh and Washington as freight.There is no roll on service anywhere along the route...Yet

speedster on 05/21/2012 09:49 PM
It could maybe still be done, although with compromises.

If you purchased a foldable bike and could fit it into your carry-on luggage, well..,maybe its possible to go about it like this. Although by doing this you lose the option of using a regular-sized bike ( which is likely far more comfortable and would allow for a quicker travelling pace) and loading up your carry-on with a bike probably wouldn't leave room to carry all your necessaries..

Aside from this, maybe Greyhound or another regional bus service is available that would accommodate your situation..at least worth it to call around and find out.

JW from Bowling Green, Ohio on 05/22/2012 07:33 PM
Check Yough River Transport

They offer a shuttle service and emergency pick up.

Mr Purple Paul on 05/24/2012 09:29 PM
You might check with the place you plan to stay overnight at in Pittsburgh. .. they may let you store your bike there earlier in the day ... and then all you have to do is drive to Cumberland and get on the train. . . okay not all .. you have to get off in Pittsburgh and find your way to the B&B or hotel to get your bike. . .

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Georgetown Canal Boat
Ray (webmaster) on 04/22/2011 10:24 AM
From Natl Parks Svc: As of April 21, 2011 The Georgetown Canal boat is not running due to flood damage. Please call the Georgetown Visitor Center at 202-653-5190 or Park Headquarters at 301-739-4200 to inquire when the canal boat is expected to run again.

Joann from Alex va on 05/24/2012 07:02 PM
When will canal barge be running

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