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Fall in Ohiopyle
Fall in Ohiopyle, PA on the GAP
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Ohio Pyle
Trek n' on 01/10/2023 08:28 PM
Does anyone know of anywhere to stealth camp near Ohiopyle? Looking to ride this summer.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/12/2023 08:05 PM
I don’t believe there is any stealth camping in and around Ohiopyle.

The nearest free camping is at Connellsville mile 88 (Ohiopyle is at mile 72). If you get there early enough you can snag an Adirondack shelter.


GSKD from Springfield Virginia on 01/13/2023 09:33 PM
As a 50+ year old couple who were rounded up in the middle of the night by 2 overzealous park rangers and dropped off in the middle of town with our 6 lb dog, we would definitely recommend against it. Or at least hide a little better than we did.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/14/2023 12:10 PM
While the town of Ohiopyle is in the Ohiopyle State Park, it is bordered by PA State Gamelands 51 and 111. Accordingly you may want to be cautious what time of year you try to do so or, at least, what color riding jersey you choose. :-)

Trek n' on 01/18/2023 10:14 AM
Thanks all. I will have to steer clear of that then.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/20/2023 11:02 AM
At one time there was talk of making some sites associated with Kentuck Knob Campground down closer to the trail. Might give them a call.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/20/2023 01:56 PM
Bill: I also had heard or read that rumor (probably the same place you did). In fact I looked for any signs of such a site in late October when I rode through there on the way back from DC but saw no evidence of it. Certainly no harm inquiring about it though.

If they were to provide such an area for free H/B camping, it would certainly be well used to the point of cannabalizing the paid camping at the Kentuck State Park itself which is tough to reach up that hill.

RCM from Los Alamos on 01/25/2023 05:21 PM
John W: You mentioned an Adirondack shelter in Connelsville. Which campground is that? Thanks.
Someone else mentioned Kentock CG in Ohiopyle state park. That is listed on bikecando.com. Is it not operating? Thanks

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/25/2023 06:28 PM
There are four Adirondack shelters in the free trailside H/B camping area as you enter Connellsville on the GAP from Pittsburgh. Tent camping is available there as well. The area there is known as Stewarts Crossing but the camping area itself does not have a unique name per se'.

There is potable water there. There is a toilet (outhouse) there also. There is a grocery and restaurants within walking distance.

About 10 miles from there is Roundbottom H/B primitive camping area with a couple of Adirondack shelters also. There is non-potable water there and a toilet (outhouse). Its more remote/quiet with no amenities nearby.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/26/2023 03:17 PM
Google Ohiopyle State Park Kentuck Campground. Last I recall, you can reach it from the trail but it’s uphill so you be walking your bike. Not sure why it’s not listed on this site.

As Rivnuts said, Stewart’s Crossing campground is the location on the north side of Connellsville. It’s pretty cool to have hot food and grocery stores just a stones throw away.


Bill in Houston from Houston on 02/03/2023 04:06 PM
Just saw an update saying that the Kentuck sites closer to the trail will hopefully be ready in time for fall leaves.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 02/03/2023 04:36 PM

Are those paid sites managed and reserved by the park itself or free, first-come first-serve H/B sites?

Where did that info appear?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 02/09/2023 12:05 PM
Oh, man. It was on Facebook, and I finally found it. It was a press release from 2020 that someone recently asked about. They were hoping it would be done by fall 2020! But then in the comments, people had some rumors.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 02/09/2023 04:26 PM
Thanks Bill.

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Point State Park Detour
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/25/2023 06:04 PM
Take from the GAP Website:

"Beginning February 1, contractors will completely overhaul the section of the Great Allegheny Passage connecting Point State Park with the Monongahela Wharf in 2023, rerouting the GAP along the Monongahela River, removing the narrow “pinch point” obstruction caused by highway piering, and eliminating a section of trail contiguous with the parking lot behind the state park offices. Look for long-awaited improvements to this short section's surface, width, grade, lighting, and line of sight. During construction, the GAP will be closed between the Monongahela Wharf Switchback and Point State Park, and travelers must use an alternate on-street route including bike lanes through Downtown Pittsburgh. For details, visit www.gaptrail.org."

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/27/2023 07:14 AM
Long overdue so this is great news. Sounds like the route will be more obvious to riders as the current design has a lack of signs/paint instructing riders on how to negotiate this small section. Looking forward to the removal of the “pinch point” as well.

Thanks for posting this!


Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2023 05:24 PM
Oh, man, I hope the detour isn't too terrifying.

When we got to that point, I was so glad that someone had posted a video of how to navigate that spot. No telling where we would have ended up if not.

Glad they are cleaning it up!

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 01/28/2023 06:54 AM
I rode through that area yesterday before the current route is closed. Initial work had begun and the new route between Point State Park and the Mon Wharf was apparent. The new section runs closer to the river and is a little more direct. With just a little signage or markings, it should be more intuitive , less confusing and more safe as long as the resident Canadian geese don’t move to the new route as well. We all know what impact they have on bike paths. :-)

Personally, I won’t use the published detour through town during construction but the published detour is probably safer with less traffic for those not familiar with the downtown area.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/31/2023 09:37 AM
For those that may want to use a bike computer gps file route (not that it is necessary) to follow the designated detour illustrated in the GAP website article to and from Point State Park from the formal GAP Trail, I have created a .fit file at Ridewithgps.com website of that detour.

It can be found at that website by searching routes using the search words "Point State Park 2023 Access Detour". Once located you can export it to your bike computer.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 02/02/2023 10:29 AM
Thanks Rivnuts, that route in Ride with GPS gives a nice visual to negotiate the detour!

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 02/02/2023 09:41 PM
While riding through Point State Park today I saw a sign just placed at the literal Point showing a recommended detour out of and into the park from the formal GAP Trail at Smithfield Street downtown. It is slightly different than what is shown in the GAP website news of the detour.

A bike computer gps .fit file reflecting that signage can also be found on the RideWithGPS website by searching for the route name:

"Point State Park 2023 Access Detour Per Sign in the Park"

Note the .fit file is for the outbound direction. It is only slightly different than the other version. Note the inbound route is via Fort Pitt Boulevard and Wood Street and the outbound route is via Smithfield Street.

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Amtrak bike drama
Ze from DC on 10/07/2022 11:15 PM
So i wanted to ride my bike from Pittsburgh down to Cumberland along the GAP, with the plan to take the train up to PA and bike down to Cumberland. After making my reservations (airbnb/hotels), I tried to book the train and "check in" my bike (I had done that between DC/Cumberland last year and paid $20)... except this time Amtrak website says all bike slots are SOLD OUT. I called them, they confirmed. I pleaded saying I had already made my plans, tough luck, customer service lady said driver/personnel would not let me on the train and I cannot store bike as there is no Bike/Luggage curbside service on this train. I tried to rebook my trip for later, but I am now looking at end of October, and everything says SOLD OUT for bikes on this Capitol "Limited" (name befitting).

What is Amtrak doing? I read that they are cutting on bike service in upstate NY/route to Canada. Is this is a new thing? This is one of the most popular bike routes and they are limiting it to 6 bikes per day (as the person on the line from Amtrak said).

Am I missing something? If Amtrak is making this difficult for bikers with their new changes, I think it may be time we let them hear from community.

NDT from Atlanta, GA on 10/09/2022 10:40 AM
We have just experienced the same thing. Our family of 4 just tried to book Amtrack for Cumberland to Pittsburg in May 2023, and there is only 1 bike slot left. So frustrating. I also welcome any suggestions or advice.

Rivnuts from Homestead PA on 10/10/2022 08:36 PM
We cyclists have long shared your frustration. I’ve never seen their reservation page show more than one available bike registration and their customer service is more of a disservice. I boarded last Friday in Pittsburgh and mine was the only bike in the baggage car!

Rscphoto from Savannah,GA on 10/15/2022 06:53 PM
Hey Rivnuts,
Good to meet you out there in the C&O and into Cumberland! I am in Pittsburgh now and hoping my impending return trip will be free of hassles. I am having to buy a box and check my bike, but that should be fine just so long as we both get home at close ti the same time. I am hoping checking the bike will speed my transfer in DC. The agent I spoke ti said it should check through. We shall see. Always uncertainty where Amtrak s involved. Fingers crossed.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 10/16/2022 10:43 AM

Glad you made it into the 'Burgh safely. Hopefully, you got some comfort and rest (as well as a shower) in Cumberland. I presume you got a little wet Thursday as did I as I reached home that afternoon.

What did you end up doing last night once you arrived in Pittsburgh and before getting the train this morning? I'm sorry I wasn't available to host you here before departing.

It was a pleasure having someone to ride with for many miles along the C&O. It made the miles pass by more quickly and enjoyably.

Best wishes.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/21/2022 11:12 AM
For two people or more, a one-way minivan or van rental is probably cheaper than Amtrak, and gives you the flexibility of stopping for supplies and such. AND, no drama.

We have tried to make Amtrak work a few times, and they just aren't interested.

Chris George from Golden, Colorado on 10/21/2022 03:59 PM
Hey FWIW, I am arriving in Pittsburg Saturday night (October 22nd, 2022) at 11pm to start the GAP trail ride down to DC. Prolly be in Boston PA SUnday morning. Riding my green gravel bike. Looking forward to sharing some smiles along the miles!

Christopher Scanlon from Skokie on 11/19/2022 05:29 PM
I did the GAP/C&O in the spring of 2022. I took Amtrak from Chicago to Pittsburgh, I had a bike reservation on this leg but their was no special bike section of the baggage car. The Amtrak agents just escorted me to the baggage car and I loaded my bike, panniers and all attached. For the return ride home from DC to Chicago there were no bike reservations available on the train. I spoke to three different Amtrak agents over a month and was finally able to get one of them to explain that "no bike availability" meant no special bike slots in the baggage car but for $15, they would supply me with a bike box in DC and load my bike in the baggage car. I did this (only had to remove handlebars) and made the trip back to Chicago. The level of unfamiliarity with bike travel protocols by the phone agents contrasted with the good service provided at the stations. Its a shame Amtrak seems to be on a mission to discourage bike travel.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/19/2022 07:06 PM
I’ve made that trip 8 times on Amtrak with a “bike reservation” the privilege for which I paid $20 but only once was there a dedicated bike hanging rack in which to put my bike. All the other times, I had to take my bike to and lean my bike against the baggage car wall or on its floor. Further, on 3/4 this of those trips I had to change my desired schedule or direction just to get a bike reservation.

If I understand Mr. Scanlon’s post correctly I could have paid $5 less, travelled on any day and in either direction I preferred, been provided a box and not have to walk my bike onto and down the platform and up the elevator. Ah, but I forgot...I would have had to remove the 4 small bolts that connect my handlebars to the stem.

What was I thinking? ????

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/22/2022 10:29 AM
In fairness to Amtrak, their bike baggage policy is given as follows:

“Bicycles/bicycle trailers may be checked in a bicycle container for $10, in lieu of a piece of baggage. Bicycle boxes are sold at most staffed locations for $15 per box. Customers may supply their own bicycle container. The fee for checking a bike as baggage is $10.00.”

Under that policy, buying a bike box from them and then paying them to ship the box as baggage would total $25. It would seem Mr. Scanlon got a bargain but affirms that perhaps not all Amtrak agents understand or can convey their policy correctly to cyclists.

Rick on 12/22/2022 07:23 PM
I honestly feel that Amtrak went into this arrangement with R2T's silently kicking and screaming. Their sitting on a miniature gold mine. People want to travel by train and don't mind paying the extra $20. Just a few years ago their were 8 designated bike slots and now it seems there are only 2-3 offered on any given day.loust service, nit enough income? I don't know the reason why but amtrak appears not to be interested in offering a badly needed service to the biking community.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/01/2023 09:43 PM
Interestingly I'm working on a plan to ride the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET) from Cincinatti to Cleveland in mid-May. To do so, I'm looking at taking Amtrak to get to Cincy from Pittsburgh via Amtrak's Capital Limited and Cardinal trains and the Capital Limited from Cleveland back to Pittsburgh.

While there are bike reservations available on each of these trains at this time (as I hope there would be 5 months in advance), the Amtrak online reservation system indicates there are only 2 bike reservations left on the Capital Limited trains. I question if that information is correct but, if so, there will certainly be none left in the near term as others begin to plan their 2023 bike trips.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 01/24/2023 09:30 AM
Well, things are changing as we speak with Amtrak’s Capital Limited Train’s bike reservation availability from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. I tried last night to finalize a May trip and it took several aborted online reservation attempts before I finally found one but it was several days outside my window for travel. I know, I could buy a box and ship my bike as baggage. But why must we have to do so when the box and a bare bike ship in the same baggage car?

It’s frustrating enough not to find an available bike reservation in my time window for travel but even more so that you have to use time consuming unsuccessful reservation attempts while doing so. At a minimum Amtrak should add a feature to their reservation web page that shows all the remaining bike reservations available for each day on a particular train from one city to another. That would prevent having to make multiple reservation attempts just to find one.

Ok, my blood pressure is coming down slowly now.

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McKeesport Trail Parking in McKeesport
RCM from Los Alamos on 01/21/2023 10:58 PM
This parking lot looks large. Would I be allowed to park here for a 10-day ride? Is there any concern about security?

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 01/22/2023 08:52 AM
It is a quite large parking lot adjacent to the City of McKeesport Police and Fire stations many of whose members’ cars and spare police vehicles park. While there may be an “Overnight Parking Only” sign there, I highly doubt or ever heard of any enforcement since the lot is rarely more than, say, 20% full. (I’ll look for such a sign the next time I ride by there.). If you do park there, park up nearer the firehouse where the policemen and firemen park their personal cars and walk in and through that area regularly. It should be as secure there as anywhere as long as you take the normal precautions such as removing anything of value inside from sight.

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How to move 2 people, bikes from Washington DC to Pittsburgh?
AJV from Pottstown, PA on 01/16/2023 12:02 PM
We are 2 older guys planning to bike the GAP, C&O trail from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. We plan to drive a car to Washington and leave it parked in Wash.
But now we need a way to get us and bikes back to Pittsburgh to start our bike ride.
What is best way? Maybe rent a car for one day? Any suggestions where? Or is there a service that takes people from Washington to Pittsburgh?
Any suggestions?
thank you.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 01/16/2023 06:54 PM
You could do a one way car/van rental from National Airport and drop it off somewhere close to your Pittsburgh hotel. Something like a mini-van but a car could work if it has a huge trunk for two bikes with the front wheels removed.

There’s also Amtrak, DC to Pittsburgh (Capitol Limited line). Try to reserve a bicycle ticket (roll-on, roll-off) or if those are unavailable, just buy a bike box but know you need to twist your handle bars and remove your pedals (have those tools on your person). The bicycle tickets are trickier to reserve (only so many) but Amtrak with a bike box isn’t the worst thing, I’ve done it a few times.

Let us know what you ended up going with and good luck.


Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/16/2023 08:05 PM
There are private shuttle services that will transport you between various points on these trails including DC to Pittsburgh but the options John W. cites are the least expensive. For info, Amtrak's Capitol Limited train arrives in Pittsburgh from DC daily about midnight. However, there a few hotels not far from the train staion.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/17/2023 03:15 PM
We went with a one-way minivan. Easy peasy. Not any more expensive than Amtrak, and considerably less drama and hassle. Plus convenient for last minute errand running.

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GAP Trail Near Pittsburgh Reopened
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 12/06/2022 11:18 AM
The construction work in the Hays section of Pittsburgh to eliminate the ponding that occurs there has been completed and is now open.

Cathy from Churchill from Churchill, PA on 01/11/2023 01:26 AM
I biked that section of the trail a week ago and it is great! Three years ago I fell trying to maneuver around ice and such from the water that flooded the trail and then iced over. I didn't have serious injuries, but it was not fun. So glad that section is fixed and can be safe for all.

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McKeesport Loop Trail Construction
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 01/10/2023 07:39 PM
Although the McKeesport Loop Trail is not formally part of the GAP Trail, be aware that there has been construction in and along that asphalt trail from the 15th Street Bridge to approximately 25th Street. Although it is currently rideable, much of the that asphalt has been removed leaving a level but rough gravel surface.

Hopefully, the asphalt will be restored once the current construction is complete or, at least, before the upcoming spring riding season.

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Courtyard Marriott Waterfront in Homestead
wisbikechick from Oshkosh, WI on 12/15/2022 03:59 PM
Will the Marriot near Homestead PA allow you to leave your car there for a few days while riding the trail?

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 12/15/2022 06:19 PM
To be clear, I don’t know the definitive answer to your question. To be sure, you’d have to inquire directly to the hotel. Even then it could depend on who you speak to there and whether you you plan to stay there one or more nights. There’s certainly no physical reason you could not park there as there is ample parking around the hotel.

Note there is also a Hampton inn and a Holiday Inn Express in that shopping center that have ample parking space as well.

In summary, I’d give the Marriott a call. I’m sure you won’t be the first to ask that question. In addition to the hotels, there are other large stores in that center that could be candidates for multi-day parking such as Costco, Target, Lowes and Giant Eagle. There’s a lot of foot traffic in these lots to dissuade potential malfeasance.

Sarge P from Sarasota, Fl. on 12/20/2022 12:56 PM
Last year I stayed at the Hampton Inn, right next door to the Marriot. I left my car there for 8 days as I rode the GAP/C&O. They were very accommodating - I gave them my license plate and phone numbers in case they needed to contact me. I returned to find my car just as I had left it, with no problems at all.

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John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 11/17/2022 02:00 PM
Soon there will be no more crossing the tracks at McKeesport!


A land donation allow the trail to extend and bend around the Mon and Yough rivers and connect to the GAP under the Jerome St. Bridge.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 11/17/2022 07:33 PM
Thanks to John W. for this RIDC and McKeesport announcement of that long-awaited improvement. This relocation will take the trail behind the DuraBond Plant along the river. The new route should provide some beautiful views overlooking the rivers.

We look forward to the timeline for this rerouting.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/29/2022 05:17 PM
OOOoooo, I like it. Although I did love the old industrial stuff and the old roundhouse in McKeesport, so I didn't dislike the old route. This will make the trail a little safer, and more scenic.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/01/2022 10:53 PM
I’m with you on that, Bill. I kind of like seeing the trains along the trail. There’s a whole a lot of nature all the way to DC so some trains and old industry mixed in is what makes this trail so special. That said, safety is important and keeping people off the streets and on the trail is a good decision.

Now train horns while camping at night, that’s another thing! :-)


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Harpers Ferry to Purcellville
DL from Alexandria Va on 11/13/2022 01:49 PM
Planning a GAP trip for 2023! Pittsburgh to DC. As part of the route, would like to overnight in Harpers Ferry then head to Purcellville for a return to DC via the WO&D. Looking for suggestion for bike route out of Harpers Ferry to Purcellville with low traffic and with limited gravel roads. Similar to route out of Brunswick published by KirkR (great route - but want to visit Harpers Ferry and leave from there).
Thanks to all for the great info on this site!

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/13/2022 04:43 PM
I’ve ridden self-supported from Harpers Ferry to the train station at the end of the W&OD in Purcellville a few years ago. I followed the bicycle route that Google Maps yields between these two locations which is:

Union St
Rte 340
Rte 671
Rte 9
Rte 611

(There aren’t a lot of options.)

Rte 340 was easily the the diciest, albeit the shortest route, of all with heavy, high-speed traffic and rubble in the shoulder. The others were country highways with less traffic and rolling hills.

Perhaps other forum contributors can offer some other options or feedback.

Although not directly related to your question and you likely already know, you’ll need to carry your bike up the stairs from the C&O Towpath to the railroad/pedestrian bridge to Harper’s Ferry.

DL from Alexandria Va on 11/13/2022 07:41 PM
Thanks for this info (and all of your contributions!). Definitely not planning to do steps twice which is why we hope to leave from Harpers Ferry side. Soooo…Hoping to find the safest, but not necessarily the fastest route to Purcellville. Seems that Louden County has lots of back roads that you can’t really check out on google maps. Plan to stay in-or close to Purcellville so have all day to do it. Hopefully others have considered this paved alternative to the lower C and O. Am particularly concerned about 340 out of Harpers Ferry….appreciate any additional feedback from folks who have ridden this way.

John J from Leesburg, VA on 11/18/2022 01:48 PM
What about 340 to Harper's Ferry Rd (671) to 9, to 690 Hillsboro Rd that goes into Purcellville?
Or if you can stay on 9 a bit longer then take a right onto Purcellville Rd, which is very low traffic/ some gravel, small road and goes right into P. Ville? We had no traffic at all when we used this road.

Or the standard, C&O to Brunswick and get on 287 Berlin Turnpike that goes all the way down to P. Ville with a short part on the W&OD headed West to get into P.Ville?

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New Sutersville Convenience Store Open
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/04/2022 04:37 PM
A new convenience store has opened near the Sutersville trailhead. An old gas station that had shutdown has been remodeled and, now, reopened. It offers drinks and snack food among other items.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/08/2022 05:38 PM
I remember standing at Yough Twister looking across at that gas station. Glad it's getting new life.

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/08/2022 08:39 PM
The Yough Twister is being remodeled as well under a new owner (same as the convenience store) but is not complete or open as yet.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/10/2022 03:31 PM
The Yough Twister needs to live forever.

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