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Fall in Ohiopyle
Fall in Ohiopyle, PA on the GAP
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Gap to Cumberland 2012
 -  + Planning to do first half of the GAP & C&O towpath. Plan is to ride from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD. Any recommendations on best time of year. Thought about late May 2012. Planning 3 days to ride a...
Discussion started 12/31/2011 03:39 PM by Joni - 10 replies (last reply by Linda at 04/08/2012 09:52 PM)
Joni from Springfield, VA on 12/31/2011 03:39 PM
Planning to do first half of the GAP & C&O towpath. Plan is to ride from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD. Any recommendations on best time of year. Thought about late May 2012. Planning 3 days to ride and stay in hotels. Anyone interested in joining and helping plan are welcome to touch base.

 
lenny on 01/04/2012 09:11 PM
have done this ride many times. late may is good time . can be done in 2 days at about 70 mile/day

 
Anonymous on 01/20/2012 11:57 PM
Any recommendations on where to stay between Cumberland and Pittsburgh if you did it in two days as you suggest?

 
robkyle from rockville, md on 02/01/2012 10:42 PM
I going to be riding the GAP/C&O at the end of May as well. I'm going to be camping - never been on a self-supported bike tour, and I'm really looking forward to it.

 
Dan O from Jackson,Mi on 02/03/2012 04:58 PM
I did this ride from McKeesport to Cumberland in July 2010. First night in Connelsville (45 miles) stayed at Connelsville B&B Second night in Meyersdale at Gram Gram's place. (55 miles) that left 33 miles on day three, mostly down hill :) to Cumberland. Very happy with both B&B's

 
lenny on 02/19/2012 09:14 AM
Checkout lodging in Confluence and Ohiopyle on this site under towns and services

 
Anonymous on 02/22/2012 01:28 PM
So you would suggest early summer as opposed to late summer early fall?

 
lenny on 02/23/2012 05:48 AM
May through September ia all good, conditions are more predictable.

 
Mr Purpkle Paul from Allentown PA on 02/29/2012 04:04 PM
I'm planing at least a part of that trip in Early August (not sure I'll be ready for it in May) .. I'd be interested to hear how your tip turns out ... when are you going?..I'm doing lot's of "logistics thinking and figuring" right now . . .

 
lenny on 03/01/2012 07:10 PM
What are you riding? How old are you, what kind of shape are you in and how many miles per day do ou plan to ride. To start with.

 
Linda from Oakland on 04/08/2012 09:52 PM
We just got back frompittsburg to cumb. We loved connesville b &b and a must go to Levi deal mansion in meyersdale. It is worth every penny and both are a block from the trail.


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Gap to Cumberland 2012
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Frogs and Flowers
 -  + This is a great time of year to be riding the towpath. There are many wonderful manifestations of spring everywhere you look. The wood frogs mating in vernal pools, Woodcocks making nuptial flights ...
Discussion started 04/04/2012 01:32 PM by Sinclair Hamilton - 1 reply (last reply by Paul A at 04/07/2012 03:46 PM)
Sinclair Hamilton from Hancock on 04/04/2012 01:32 PM
This is a great time of year to be riding the towpath. There are many wonderful manifestations of spring everywhere you look. The wood frogs mating in vernal pools, Woodcocks making nuptial flights at dusk, Virginia Bluebells carpeting the forest's floor, otters cavorting along the banks of the river and lots more. Sinclair - riverrunbnb.com

 
Paul A on 04/07/2012 03:46 PM
Amen to that!
And as long as it doesn't rain too much and cause the river to flood out of it's banks.


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Current C&O conditions for bicycling?
 -  + We are considering starting from Pittsburgh on the GAP this Friday, April 6. If anyone has been on the C&O quite recently and would be so kind as to write what they found there, we'd much appreciate ...
Discussion started 04/02/2012 07:28 PM by John Zwinck - 3 replies (last reply by Paul A at 04/07/2012 03:39 PM)
John Zwinck from NYC on 04/02/2012 07:28 PM
We are considering starting from Pittsburgh on the GAP this Friday, April 6. If anyone has been on the C&O quite recently and would be so kind as to write what they found there, we'd much appreciate it.

We're two somewhat experienced light touring cyclists who have also ridden part of the D&R canal towpath before (25 miles from New Brunswick to Princeton). Back then we had 23mm tires; we now have 28mm. The biggest question mark is what conditions we might find on the C&O next week.

 
lenny on 04/03/2012 07:31 PM
28 tires are a little small for the C&O. It is a bit rough and may be muddy this time of year. also it is at least 25-30 miles between major trailheads.Tires will be ok on thr GAP

 
ams from Brooklyn on 04/04/2012 04:35 PM
Ha, I guess I'm not the only NYC person heading out there this month. I'll be a little over a week behind you, leaving the 17th.

I plan to run 32mm tires.

 
Paul A on 04/07/2012 03:39 PM
Another New Yorker here, sort of, from Long Island. I'll be starting my end to end hike of the GAP on April 10th.

This time of year I'd expect rain and a wet trail, with all that brings.


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Parking in Whites Ferry
 -  + I see that parking is listed in Whites Ferry, but does anyone know how to figure out where to actually park? Thanks!
Discussion started 04/04/2012 07:48 PM by DC Kristi - 2 replies (last reply by Paul A at 04/07/2012 03:29 PM)
DC Kristi from DC on 04/04/2012 07:48 PM
I see that parking is listed in Whites Ferry, but does anyone know how to figure out where to actually park? Thanks!

 
lenny on 04/05/2012 04:21 AM
I may be wrong but I believe parking is to the right just before the little store, as you approach the ramp

 
Paul A on 04/07/2012 03:29 PM
Yep, parking is right there by the store.
And there were potra-pottis there too when I went by last year.


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What book/map to bring with you?
 -  + Hi all. I'm planning on riding the full GAP/C&O from Pitts to DC next month.

To those who've done it before, what maps or trail guide did you bring with you while riding (or wish you had)?
<...
Discussion started 03/22/2012 04:39 PM by ams - 6 replies (last reply by ams at 04/04/2012 04:31 PM)
ams from Brooklyn, NY on 03/22/2012 04:39 PM
Hi all. I'm planning on riding the full GAP/C&O from Pitts to DC next month.

To those who've done it before, what maps or trail guide did you bring with you while riding (or wish you had)?

I know there's an official GAP/CO trail book from ATA. Is that something to bring in my handlebar bag, or more of planning reference to be used before hand?

I want to be sure I bring the right map(s) so I'm not stuck relying on my phone/google maps if by chance I get lost or have to make a detour. Thanks for any advice!

 
lenny on 03/23/2012 05:31 AM
this site contains everything you need

 
ams from Brooklyn, NY on 03/23/2012 10:34 AM
Yes, but 'this site' is not something one can conveniently take on your bike with you...

 
Randy on 03/23/2012 12:22 PM
There is a one page map of the C&O Canal you can download and print out which can be found on the Park Service website. But it's not a real detailed map. The best guide is to print out the Mileage Chart found on this page, which gives you a mile-by-mile description of what's there. Be advised the C&O is very remote in spots, especially west of Hancock, MD. I have not done the GAP Trail yet. Take a couple of spare inner tubes for your trip. Mountain Bike or Hybrid Tires work best.

 
lenny on 03/23/2012 04:02 PM
i printed what i needed, and laminated it. IT DOES HAVE EVERYTHING. just stay on the trail. it is easy to follow. i have done it many times.the first time was easy

 
starvingmusician from Ligonier, PA on 03/30/2012 01:25 PM
I buy a current TrailBook once a year. I don't really need it, but the $10 goes toward the Allegheny Trail Alliance. It does contain a nice, nearly indestructable map of both the Passage and the C&O, useful trail info and a ton of advertisements for trail services, hotels, restaurants and such. Originally geared toward the GAP, C&O info and advertisers were added in the past couple of years.

A favorite of mine for the C&O is "184 Mile of Adventure - Hikers Guide to the C&O Canal". It is a 50 pg. paperback booklet format. General to very detailed historic information about the canal structures, pinpointed to tenth miles. Some suggestions for off-trail sightseeing, too, and geared toward those without cars.

Mike High wrote an exceptional book entitled "The C&O Canal Companion". I love re-reading it. If you are into history, it's a must, but it is also a great guide book.

Last, but not least, is Bill Metzger's "The Great Allegheny Passage Companion". Written in 2003 - when the trail ended in Meyersdale, PA, it is now out of print and difficult to find. I understand Bill may be updating and reprinting this work. I hope so. I'll be first in line to buy a revised edition.

I don't drag my favorites out nearly as often as I did years ago. Perhaps I should. In thumbing through them for a few minutes, I've become reacquainted with a couple of old friends...

Judy

 
ams from Brooklyn, NY on 04/04/2012 04:31 PM
Great, thank you! Trip is fast approaching. I'll post a ride report when I'm done.


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August trail traffic
 -  + I'm planning a trail ride from Connelsville, PA to Cumberland MD in early August (8/1 - 8/4) .. how busy will the trail be during the weekdays in August? If something were to go wrong between towns it...
Discussion started 03/12/2012 03:53 PM by Mr Purpkle Paul - 2 replies (last reply by Mr Purple Paul at 04/01/2012 07:13 PM)
Mr Purpkle Paul from Allentown PA on 03/12/2012 03:53 PM
I'm planning a trail ride from Connelsville, PA to Cumberland MD in early August (8/1 - 8/4) .. how busy will the trail be during the weekdays in August? If something were to go wrong between towns it would be nice to know if I am alone that I'm not really alone .. or won't be for very long. . .

 
starvingmusician from Ligonier, PA on 03/30/2012 11:55 AM
Hi Paul -
Never fear - There are alway people on the trail in the summer -- even during the weekdays! Just remember that cell phone reception is non-existent in places on the trail. Plan on carrying a spare tube, patch kit, pump (or CO2), water and a snack. Take plenty of photos, and remember that wildlife is wild. There are areas where you don't want to stray off of the trail, especially in August in the mountain brush. Most important - have fun!

Judy

 
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown PA on 04/01/2012 07:13 PM
Judy ...
I'm looking forward to the big trip (just have to wait out the next few months). . I may sneak down for a day out and back trip early just to try out the trail before August . .
thanks for the advice .. got my spare tube and am going to refresh myself on how to patch a tire (it's been a while since I had a blow out- so I'm due) . .


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 -  + Megan, tell us about your ride when you get it done.
Discussion started 03/25/2012 04:18 PM by lenny - 0 replies
lenny on 03/25/2012 04:18 PM
Megan, tell us about your ride when you get it done.


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Prettiest section of C&O canal?
 -  + My friend and I have never biked the C&O canal but we want to this spring. We have mountain bikes and ride trails quite often. We were wondering what is the most scenic part of the C&O trail?
Discussion started 03/18/2012 04:18 PM by J.A. - 5 replies (last reply by anonymous at 03/23/2012 09:48 PM)
J.A. from Va on 03/18/2012 04:18 PM
My friend and I have never biked the C&O canal but we want to this spring. We have mountain bikes and ride trails quite often. We were wondering what is the most scenic part of the C&O trail?

 
lenny on 03/18/2012 07:03 PM
there is no one part, you will be amazed at least once per mile

 
JA from VA on 03/22/2012 10:31 AM
Thanks, Lenny! Our favorite trail so far has been the Greenbrier River Trail in WV. Looking forward to riding C&O.

 
Randy on 03/22/2012 03:19 PM
There are spectacular views all along the C&O Canal. I think the Potomac River is a river of beauty. The water is clear! Great Falls and Harpers Ferry have incredible views. North of Hancock, MD it gets more remote with almost no developed areas. Paw Paw Tunnel (and the approach to the Tunnel) is really cool. I agree with Lenny there are incredible views up and down the trail. It's a shame but, some folks just ride the trail and never experience these views.

 
Randy on 03/23/2012 12:29 PM
Just wanted to mention also that you should take spare inner tubes with you on your trip. This is not a rail trail per se. The trail can be very rough in certain sections. It is packed hard dirt with natural stone, some of which can be jagged and sharp.

 
Anonymous on 03/23/2012 09:48 PM
Randy, thanks so much for all the helpful info! Sounds wonderful! And I can't imagine how anyone can ride the trails and not notice all the incredible beauty all around them! But I know it happens.


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Road bike on the C&O
 -  + I'll be biking the c&o early april. I've done most of the GAP on my road bike with 700x25 tires with no problems. Is this suitable for the C&O, or should i step up to a hybrid or mountain bike?
Discussion started 03/08/2012 11:17 PM by Garett - 5 replies (last reply by anonymous at 03/19/2012 12:21 PM)
Garett from Pittsburgh on 03/08/2012 11:17 PM
I'll be biking the c&o early april. I've done most of the GAP on my road bike with 700x25 tires with no problems. Is this suitable for the C&O, or should i step up to a hybrid or mountain bike?

 
wayne from Williamsburg, VA on 03/09/2012 10:57 AM
Thats cutting it close. I have 500X35 and I wouldn't ride anything skinnier...just me. C&O can be pretty rough!

 
wayne from Williamsburg, VA on 03/09/2012 10:58 AM
Sorry, fat fingers....700X35

 
lenny on 03/09/2012 06:04 PM
I agree, your a litte thin. I'd go to a 32 minimum

 
Randy on 03/14/2012 09:42 AM
Hybrid or Mountain Bike Tires are best. I recently switched to Kenda's Kevlar Tires (26 x 1.95) and get a really nice ride. I'm hoping it will help deter flats. Lots of sharp rocks on the C&O. Take a couple of spare inner tubes for the trip.

 
Anonymous on 03/19/2012 12:21 PM
I think your bike is fine as long as you can put some larger tires on it. I am 170lbs and I ride my SOMA Smootie with 700x28c and before that I rode a Redline 9.2.5 with 700x32c tires. That should be fine if you don't cary more than tools, clothes some cliff bars and a bivy sack. anything more than that and you should consider 32c the lower limit for tires.


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Riding the last week of March
 -  + Hi-
a group of us are planning on riding from Pittsburgh to DC the last week of March but there is concern on the conditions. Any input on weather, path condition, etc would be MUCH appreciatedDiscussion started 02/22/2012 11:18 AM by Megan - 4 replies (last reply by anonymous at 03/19/2012 11:43 AM)
Megan from Cambridge, England on 02/22/2012 11:18 AM
Hi-
a group of us are planning on riding from Pittsburgh to DC the last week of March but there is concern on the conditions. Any input on weather, path condition, etc would be MUCH appreciated
Thanks in advance

 
lenny on 02/23/2012 05:41 AM
Allegheny Passage should be ok ezcept for a little debris. the tow path may be alittle puddled and muddy depending on precipatation. also a possibility of flooding.

 
wayne from Williamsburg, VA on 03/09/2012 10:59 AM
Remember that the Big Savage tunnel is closed until mid April. There is a detour but I've heard it's not easy.

 
Anonymous on 03/18/2012 07:24 AM
Bumping this to the top. Will be very interested to hear any reports you have of your trip. Especially interested in trail conditions, tire choices, etc.
Thanks so much.
Have a fabulous trip!

 
Anonymous on 03/19/2012 11:43 AM
Big Savage tunnel opened on March 15/16th this year. Last time I was on the C&O there was a detour just below the Great Falls Parking area that directs you up some stairs and over a foot bridge. This may be fixed now as people were going around the barriers on foot.


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Long term parking in Cumberland MD
 -  + does anyone know if there is a safe place to park my car in Cumberland MD while I am biking the trail . . It would be parked for 3 days . . .
Discussion started 03/13/2012 02:05 PM by Mr Purple Paul - 2 replies (last reply by Randy at 03/16/2012 03:04 PM)
Mr Purple Paul from Allentown PA on 03/13/2012 02:05 PM
does anyone know if there is a safe place to park my car in Cumberland MD while I am biking the trail . . It would be parked for 3 days . . .

 
lenny on 03/14/2012 04:29 AM
I parked at the Holiday Inn on George St in 2010, after asking permission

 
Randy on 03/16/2012 03:04 PM
There is a public parking garage located two blocks north of the visitor center, at the corner of N Mechanic and Frederick Streets. The fee is approx. $4 per day. It should be fairly secure. There is also C&O Parking under I-68, but this is isolated. It may be fairly secure. I have not heard of any issues. Don't leave any valuables out in the open, including coins.


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