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Fall in Ohiopyle
Fall in Ohiopyle, PA on the GAP
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trail access
darreell from hunker pa. on 09/05/2022 03:06 PM
is there a trail access at camp carmel dunbar pa.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/05/2022 05:44 PM
If you were actually already in the camp legally you could physically access the the trail. However, the access road to the camp is restricted with gates across the access road to the camp.

Conversely, there are signs along the trail at the camp identifying it as private property with notice to stay off the campground property.

The Camp Carmel website discusses the access road and gates therein.

darreell from hunker pa. on 09/06/2022 10:51 AM
Thanks Rivnuts for the info. I wass just trying to find a shorter ride from connellsville area to ohiopyle. Figured it was about a ten mile bike ride from camp ground area to ohiopyle, any suggestions?

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/06/2022 05:51 PM
Unfortunately there aren’t any trailheads between Connellsville and Ohiopyle from which to embark. However, if you are just looking for a nice 20-mile ride (10 miles eac( way), I’d recommend starting in Ohiopyle and riding to Confluence and back. It’s a very nice ride with parking, food bike shops and beautiful views at both ends. Its a longer drive for you to get to Ohiopyle versus Connellsville but I think you’d enjoy that portion of the trail.

Of course you could start in Connellsville and ride the other direction to, say, Perryopolis/Layton and back but there’s no town or village on the trail there per se’.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/06/2022 05:56 PM
West Newton to Whittset is a nice 2x11 mile ride as well with trailheads at both ends.

darrell from hunker pa. on 09/06/2022 07:38 PM
Thanks rivnuts, Done all the rides you mentioned even Pgh. to DC. enjoy the ride from connellsville to Ohiopyle but sometimes enjoy taking a shorter ride.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 10/13/2022 09:59 PM
I’m sure this reply is too little too late but there is access to the GAP Trail between Connellsville and Ohiopyle at milepost 78 via Sugar Run Road. By parking there your round trip to Ohiopyle would be but 14 or 15 miles.

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Oct GAP to Harpers Ferry bike ride 2022
KristyK from Bloomington IN on 10/07/2022 01:56 PM
Two older women, one 70 and the other 62 are planning on doing the trail from McKeesport to Harpers Ferry in mid October. One of us is riding an E bike, the other a (much lighter) gravel bike. We have made reservations in BandB's and hotels. The longest day planned is 60 miles from Cumberland to Hancock. We are carrying our gear, etc. I am reading about detours, the stairs at Harpers Ferry, etc, the shuttle around Paw Paw. I keep going back to the nps.gov site for updates. We are experienced road bikers but I am concerned about the condition of the trails and the ability to hike the detours. Any tips, suggestions, updates on the trail would be appreciated.

Mickey from Winnabow. NC on 10/07/2022 07:57 PM
We did it In the opposite direction. It was raining. Didn’t see or know about the shuttle so the limb was brutal. I needed help to push my bike up. There was also another small detour around further along.

John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/07/2022 09:14 PM
FYI, during the Cumberland to Hancock leg of your adventure, if you should run out of steam say near Little Orleans, there's still the Town Hill B&B (301) 478-2794. When you get to Fifteen Mile Creek campground at Mile 141, follow the access road through what appears to be an old railroad overpass. On the other side will be Bill's Place. If there's no cell signal, ask Jack if he can call on land line the folks up at Town Hill to come and get you. FYI, it's a gruling 7-mile, up hill climb out of the Potomac River basin to the B&B.

Also, just be aware that there's literally no cellular service in the Paw Paw Narrows. We call it the cellular blackhole out here.

Mickey from Winnabow. NC on 10/08/2022 01:25 PM
We did it In the opposite direction. It was raining. Didn’t see or know about the shuttle so the limb was brutal. I needed help to push my bike up. There was also another small detour around further along.

Mickey from Winnabow. NC on 10/08/2022 04:40 PM
We did it In the opposite direction. It was raining. Didn’t see or know about the shuttle so the limb was brutal. I needed help to push my bike up. There was also another small detour around further along.

Rivnuts from Homestead PA on 10/10/2022 08:42 PM
Just took the shuttle. Note that it only transports you on the downriver side of the bypass trail. You’ll still have to make your on way up/down the upriver side of the detour. They shuttle up to three people/bikes in each trip. Make sure everything is attached firmly to you bikes such as water bottles, bags, phones, etc as it is a bumpy ride.
Is a

Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 10/11/2022 02:21 PM
At Harpers Ferry, you will need help carrying your bikes - especially that ebike - up the stairs to the pedestrian bridge. When I arrived at the bridge last July there were plenty of people there. Just ask a friendly face for some assistance.

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Many places closed in Hancock, MD
John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/07/2022 09:30 PM
I was in Hancock today and was surprised to see how many local businesses are closed or are closing. Shives Pizza is gone along with the Park-n-Dine, Town Tavern, and Little Sandy's at the Truck Stop.

Also, the Fractured Banana is closed along with a long-standing staple of Hancock, Weaver's Restaurant.

There are still many places to get a meal, Sheetz, Triangle Lounge, Buddy-Lou's, Hardee's, Subway, Pizza Hut, Smokey Joes BBQ, Potomac Grill, AC&T, and the Blue Goose.

C&O bicycle has lost Johnathan, it's hotshot bicycle mechanic who enlisted in the Marines and I'm not sure if the bunkhouse is still in operation out the back of the shop.

AC&T still has the best fried chicken on the trail in my book.

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Places to Eat and Drink Along the C&O Towpath
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 08/06/2022 10:26 AM
Below is a link to an article that highlights various eateries in the various Maryland towns along the C&O Towpath. There are more on the other side of the Potomac River which are accessible but not described in this article. I’ve eaten in a number of these but look forward to checking out some of the others mentioned….especially the ice cream shops!


John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 08/06/2022 04:30 PM
I’ve eaten at The Crabby Pig, Buddy Lou’s, Beans in the Belfry, and the Whites Ferry Grill. So many more to try!

That Fractured Banana ice cream place will be on my radar for sure!


John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/07/2022 09:21 PM
FYI, the Fractured Banana in Hancock is closed. I'm not aware of any plans in the making to reopen in another location at this time.

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Bill's Place in Little Orleans is For Sale
John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/06/2022 10:24 AM
Jack Schoenadel, the current proprietor of Bill's in Little Orleans has officially listed the property for sale as of Wednesday. Jack's health is failing and it's becoming extremely difficult to hire any reliable help so I figure that 2022 may be the last season Bill's will be serving hiker/bikers on the C&O/GAP Trail. We lost Little Orleans Lodge back in 2021 with the passing of Steve Hubner so the possibility of Bill's closing its doors permanently will leave the campground next to Saint Patrick's Catholic Church as the only "civilization" left in the peaceful hamlet of Little Orleans. FYI, it's been almost ten years since the passing of Bill Schoenadel, the original owner of the old store on the banks of the C&O Canal.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 10/07/2022 03:32 AM
Mr. Walker:

Are people allowed to camp at that church? Are there any facilities there?

John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/07/2022 09:03 PM
There's no camping allowed at Saint Patrick's. There are no facilities there and most of the church property is a historic cemetery so I don't think it would be a good idea to try to camp there.

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Tagged: Bill's Place

Ridge Rider Campground in Little Orleans
Anonymous on 09/06/2022 03:28 PM
Don’t understand the rules at the campsite GM says they has rules but we see it only applies to certain people I would like to have a phone number of the owner of the campsite so I can contact the owner Ridge Rider Camping they will not supply that information to the guest at the park This information needs to be posted at the park so we can file a complaint with someone other than the general manager his answer is if you don’t like it leave please help us in this matter.

John Walker from Little Orleans on 10/06/2022 10:29 AM

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pawpaw bypass
Anonymous from Henrietta, NY on 09/15/2022 12:15 PM
are there any updates on the PawPaw tunnel shuttle? as in, is it actually running, or will we have to take the bypass trail with 25 pounds of gear?!

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/15/2022 08:57 PM
I spoke with riders today riding from DC as they approached Pittsburgh. They stated that the shuttle had not yet begun and they pushed their bikes along the detour trail up and over the tunnel. The NPS C&O website now says the shuttle service is anticipated to begin in late September. I’d monitor the NPS website for further updates.

Anonymous from Henrietta, NY on 09/17/2022 07:45 PM
Bummer that the trail is closed and there's no shuttle. That's going to make a long day A LOT longer.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/17/2022 09:02 PM
Other riders have availed themselves of a shuttle service provided by Dan, the proprietor of Bike Path Bed and Bath in Paw Paw. Via prior request and with a nominal fee, he’ll shuttle you around the tunnel detour. You can contact him at (304) 671-5153 if you would like to pursue this option.

D Northup from Homer. AL on 10/05/2022 11:19 PM
For those not in the know - how far is the bypass of a shuttle is t utilized?

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 10/06/2022 02:10 AM
The tunnel bypass trail is about 1-1/2 miles long with an ascent of 375 feet. You can find more info including a map and profile of the bypass trail at the National Park Service C&O Canal website.

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Update trail conditions?
Jake L from Chesapeake, VA on 10/04/2022 01:09 PM
Good Afternoon! Looking for any updates the trail conditions. Yes, I've regularly check the NPS site, but was curious if anyone has recently been out on trail after Ian made its way through the area. curious of any dead fall across the route, or any significant flooding is prone areas. Ill be on trail this weekend. any info if much appreciated! thanks in advance!

Gwen from Gainesville FL on 10/04/2022 06:10 PM
We rode Cumberland to Paw Paw yesterday, 10/3/22. It was muddy intermittently, but no trees down. We had a great time. Today we rode from Paw Paw to Hancock, still muddy with light rain this morning. We got on the WMRT at the western end and rode that into Hancock. 1 tree down that they removed while we were out there. So another great day! I realize you might be inquiring about other sections of the trail. Hope this is helpful

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Harper’s Ferry
Wayne67 from Penetanguishene Canada on 09/27/2022 10:26 AM
My wife and I are planning a cycling trip on the C&O and GAP in June 2023. We will be carrying all our gear on the bikes. We want to go into Harper’s Ferry but don’t want to have to carry bikes and gear up the stairs, we’re 68 and 65. Is there another way into town? Thanks for any info.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/27/2022 04:56 PM
Unfortunately there is no other direct alternative to get to Harper’s Ferry from the Towpath. I suppose you could try to get an Uber, Lyft or other to take you, your bikes and gear across the river via one of the upriver or downriver bridges.

Perhaps, other forum readers know of another possibility unknown to me.

Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 10/03/2022 08:49 AM
I rode the GAP/C&O last year and arrived at the Harper's Ferry pedestrian bridge on July 3rd. I took the heavier rear trunk bag/panniers off and carried the bike up and over. It was a chore. There were plenty of people coming and going, so next time I will ask some kind soul for assistance with the bike. I am 70.

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Bike trailers
Wayne L from Penetanguishene Canada on 09/29/2022 08:58 AM
Is it feasible to pull a single wheel bob trailer for gear or are paneers the better option. I’ve seen videos of people doing the C&O and Gap and have not seen any trailers.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/29/2022 04:22 PM
Both the GAP and C&O are amenable to a single-wheel bob trailer. The only instances where panniers might be better is if/when you might have to push your bike over any detour terrain or lift it over any downed trees. A single-wheel bob is better than a two-wheel bob in those few instances of effectively single track on the C&O. All that said, there isn’t truly any significant difference in using one versus the other in my opinion.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 09/30/2022 03:23 PM
Of course, Rivnuts is correct. Just wanted to add that you can't take a trailer on the train. Unless you can get it into a duffle bag that they don't mind moving.

Wayne L from Penetanguishene Canada on 10/02/2022 08:48 AM
Thanks for the info Rivnuts and Bill.

dcswindler4 from Rixeyville on 10/02/2022 05:44 PM
I did the C&O with my fat bike and a bob ibex trailer, worked out great. only issue is since I had the bob, I packed much more than I actually needed, so keep that in mind.

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Harpers Ferry Hostel in Harpers Ferry
Kathy K from Edmond, OK on 09/16/2022 01:35 PM
Has anyone stayed here recently?

Pothilato from MidWest on 09/18/2022 09:13 PM
No idea on the hostel. I was also looking into that for mid October. Am hoping to see others chime in on this as I need to book a place too.

Barry from Hershey, PA on 10/01/2022 09:11 AM
Let me tell you about my Harper's Ferry Hostel experience. I called them about a week ago and reserved two campsites for this past Wednesday, September 28th. The location says "on the trail." We rode into the Harpers Ferry area of the C&O, but there was no Hostel or anything else at that mile marker. I called the Hostel and the person I spoke with said they were booked solid for that night. I explained that I paid for two tent sites and he repeated that they were booked solid with a large group. He said he would refund my money. Nothing in the way of an apology. In other words, they were not going to honor the agreement. So, we transported our heavy E-bikes, with equipment, up the winding stairs to the bridge going to Harpers Ferry. Then, we rode our bikes up some very steep hills to the KOA. The Harpers Ferry KOA is fantastic! It's just not very convenient. As we left town the next day, we saw a large youth group on top of one of the mountain overlooks. My understanding is that we were looking at the Hostel location. I don't like to give anyone a bad review, but that was our experience with the Harper's Ferry Hostel. It is not on the trail and advise riders not to stay there. If you're going to climb a mountain to stay at the Hostel, then do yourself a favor and go to the KOA.
UPDATE-Despite sending the Harper's Ferry Hostel 3 emails, I still do not have a refund posted to my credit card.

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Paw Paw Tunnel Bypass Trail Shuttle Initiated
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/26/2022 10:29 PM
Tne NPS C&O website is now reporting that the contractor-supplied shuttle around the Paw Paw Tunnel Bypass Trail has now been initiated. That website had previously been reporting that that shuttle would be initiated by late September.

More information about the Paw Paw Tunnel bypass can be found at that website.

Wayne67 from Penetanguishene Canada on 09/27/2022 10:11 AM
Just wondering how long the tunnel will be closed. Planning a trip next June 2023

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/27/2022 05:02 PM
The NPS C&O website states that construction is anticipated to be complete by the end of the 2022/2023 winter. If so, your trip next June should find the Tunnel and it’s downriver exit open to ride through. Just keep an eye on that website and/or this forum for updates.

JDH from DC on 09/28/2022 11:06 AM
Just a heads up that the shuttle, which is a supped-up golf cart, has front and rear 'arm' bike racks (the type that go under your bike's top tube). I took it on 9/26 and my bike had a bag going under the top tube, so I had to throw it in the truck bed of the shuttle... luckily I was the only biker taking it up (towards Cumberland). I would imagine heavy ebikes might not be supported either. Hopefully they learn quickly and switch out the racks for 'support' styles that go under the bike's wheels (like on buses). Otherwise, it seemed to be a well-run operation.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/28/2022 12:41 PM

Thanks for that information as I am leaving to ride back to Pgh from DC next week with a full frame bag.among others. I may have to pack differently unless we hear they have indeed changed their rack style. What route did they take?

JDH from DC on 09/28/2022 12:52 PM

With a full frame bag, I think worse case scenario is that you just take it off when you get there. The shuttle supposedly only runs Mon-Friday 9-5 while operations are ongoing, and you aren't allowed to go on your own, as there is no shoulder to get past the dump trucks. So if you plan on getting there on the weekend or outside those hours, you can just lug your bike like others have done for months. I also wouldn't be surprised if they have come up with a work around, as many bikes would have been stymied by those racks. There is also a private shuttle that I am sure was mentioned on some other post you can coordinate with. Hope that helps.

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Pittsburgh airport...taking Montour to Clairton and wondering...
Pothilato from MidWest on 09/18/2022 09:15 PM
Am wondering if instead of taking the connector north through Glassport to get on the trail, we can go south via Elizabeth? Has anyone on this forum done that? Pros/cons?

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/19/2022 11:19 AM
It is an interesting question you raise. I assume you are simply looking to not “backtrack” to the north to get to the GAP and save a few miles. Although I ride the Montour Trail and Steel Valley Connector through Glassport regularly as well as the GAP Trail from Pittsburgh to DC and many of the other roads in this area, I’ve not attempted to directly ride “cross country” from the end of the Montour Trail in Clairton to the GAP.

I have ridden from the end of the Montour Trail in Clairton to the GAP in West Newton via Route 837 and Route 136 through Monongahela PA. These are 2-lane highways/roads that generally have 3-ft shoulders and a modest amount of traffic at 45 to 50 mph speeds. This route is about 23.5 miles long with a couple of decent hills, especially on Route 136 where it goes up and over Route 51.

There are other routes that I have plotted out of curiosity from the end of the Montour Trail in Clairton to Sutersville on the GAP via Elizabeth. They are about 12 miles in length and rather hilly given they pass from one river valley (the Monongahela) up and over to another (the Youghiogheny) along which the GAP Trail runs. Getting across the bridge in Elizabeth is a little dodgy but doable on the sidewalk once you get to it. I’ll finish creating these routes and post them publicly on RideWithGPS so you can see them. In a few days, I’ll ride one or more of these alternate routes and provide feedback if other riders have not already done so.

The primary constraint in finding routes from the Montour Trail to the GAP is that there are relatively few and widely separated bridges to cross the Monongahela River. Also the terrain, like much of that in and around the Pittsburgh area, can be rather hilly (not to mention the crappy, winding roads). (That’s another benefit to living in Western Pennsylvania ??) A good bike computer loaded with any selected routes in this area would be very helpful in trying to navigate them if you are not familiar with the area.

Check back in a day or two and I’ll provide information on how to access the routes with profiles that I’ve created and/or ridden. Hopefully other riders in the area can provide other answers to your question as well.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/19/2022 09:38 PM
I've created a handful of different routes to take you from the Clairton trailhead at the end of the Montour Trail to the GAP Trail. You can see all these routes at the RideWithGPS website using the FIND tab therein and inputting the search keywords "Clairton to the GAP Trail" which is used in those saved route titles.

I have ridden the conventional route using the Steel Valley Connector Trail to McKeesport many times as well as Alternatives 2 and 3 which take you to the GAP in West Newton, PA.

Alternates 1 and 4 take you from Clairton to the GAP at Sutersville and Alternates 5 and 6 take you from Clairton to the GAP at Buena Vista. I have only ridden portions of these four routes. By viewing these routes you can see the profiles and by changing to the satellite view for each route, you can get a sense of the roads comprising them. As I mentioned, I'll try to get out and ride one or more of these to get first hand information and provide that feedback.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/20/2022 06:43 PM
I rode the route of Alternate 6 in RideWithgGPS from the Montour trailhead in Clairton to Buena Vista today. It is a 9.5 mile route with 578 feet of ascent. This compares to the conventional route from that trailhead to the same location on the GAP in Buena Vista via the Steel Valley Connector of 16.5 miles with 539 feet of ascent.

The conventional route is about one-half on roads and the remaining half on bike-only gravel trail. The alternate route is all on roads, albeit with reasonable shoulders over most of their length and carry a fair amount of traffic at 30 to 50 mph. All the roads are 2-lane.

Lincoln Blvd traffic carries the higher speed traffic but is pretty straight with good sightlines for both cyclists and cars. The traffic on Lovedale Road is slower because it is much more curvy with shorter sightlines. Also its shoulder has several spots of broken asphalt to be avoided. Rock Run Road carries much less traffic and is pristine asphalt with a 3-ft shoulder passing by a very nice golf course and is nearly all downhill. In short, if you have ridden on all sorts of roads and are comfortable doing so, this alternate route will save you about 7 miles.

Please note that I don't recommend any route toward Elizabeth such as Alternate 1 to cross the Monongahela River using the Elizabeth Bridge in State Road 51. Getting up to that bridge from State Road 837 is subtly difficult and/or dangerous and riding any distance on State Road 51 is ill advised.

Lastly, note that you could take a public transportation bus from the airport to downtown Pittsburgh to start your trip at the beginning of the GAP trail and avoid virtually all roads. All these buses have bike racks on the front of the bus that will hold two bikes. You would need to remove your bags from your bikes before putting them on the bus.

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Detour at Mile 88-89
Jo from Henrietta, NY on 09/18/2022 01:29 PM
I now see on the nasty site that the trail between mile post 88 and 89 is closed, I guess that's near McMahon mill. There is a detour described as 3 miles up a hill and I guess down the other side. Anyone know what this detour is like? Bikeable? Steep like the PawPaw detour?

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/18/2022 02:24 PM
Its good to see those about to undertake the trip are doing the research to know the conditions and constraints along the trail. That knowledge minimizes surprises, allows better planning and results in a more enjoyable trip.

The detour at McMahon's Mill is virtually all on paved country roads with short sections between the towpath exits and roads that are passable dirt, grass or gravel. There are some rolling but rideable hills on the detour roads that I have ridden with a fully loaded bike. If you want to get a profile of the detour you can input the map of the detour provided on the NPS site into a route planning program like Ride With GPS and you'll get a quantitative view.

The most difficult parts of the detour are where you leave and return to the towpath itself. There are a few feet of embankment at each end that you'll likely have to push your bike up/down to proceed on.

Having done the preplanning before departure, you can, of course, get real-time feedback on the trail by speaking with oncoming riders.

Have a great trip.

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Yost's Antiques & Bicycles in Berkeley Springs
Sal from Johnstown pa on 09/16/2022 09:19 AM
Are bikes available to rent?

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 09/16/2022 09:37 AM
It’s not clear from information on the web and without contacting them, its not apparent that they do. However, there are bikes to rent at the C&O bike shop in Hancock, MD which is only 6 miles away from Berkley Springs.

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Anonymous from Henrietta, NY on 09/15/2022 12:17 PM
I wish the T-shirts had the design on the back instead of the front

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Roundbottom Campsite in Perryopolis
Judy from Pittsburgh on 09/13/2022 12:54 PM
Is there any electrical outlets that could be used to charge

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 09/13/2022 04:27 PM
No. There are some at Stewart’s Landing in Connellsville if you look for them however.

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