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Fall in Ohiopyle
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What town would you move to near the C&O or the GAP?
 - 
BobK from McLean on 03/10/2021 08:29 PM
Hi all, years ago my brother in law bought a small old house right on the canal near Antietam and we used to ride there on the weekends from Cabin John Maryland, but he sold the place and now I’m realizing more than ever what a cool idea that was. So just wondering where you would buy a place like that near the C&O in Maryland or the GAP Pennsylvania and or if you were going to retire and wanted to keep on biking and hiking into the sunset, what small town along the C&O or GAP would you move to? Thanks very much for your thoughts!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/10/2021 09:51 PM
I'll let others more familiar with the Maryland towns along the C&O Towpath to respond. When you say "small" town, I'll assume there are no limitations and you're looking for a small vacation residence. There are several options but I would suggest the following: Confluence, PA; Meyersdale, PA, Whitsett, PA; Ohiopyle, PA; Frostburg, MD.

I think Confluence, PA would be my first choice. Its right on the trail and the Youghiogheny River and dam. Its a modest little town that has some small stores and shops. You can ride west toward Ohiopyle which is a nature lover's delight and on to Connellsville. There is hiking and kayaking/rafting in that area also. You could ride east to Rockwood and on to Meyersdale. There are a number camping options along this section of the GAP also.

I could write somewhat at length as to why I listed these locations and their merits (and limitations). If any of these locations strike a nerve or if there are specific attributes for your choice, let me know and I'll elaborate.

 
Anonymous on 03/11/2021 11:20 AM
Wonderful thanks for your suggestions Rivnuts! when I do my Pittsburgh ride in last September, I'm going to plan on staying 1 or 2 days in each one of these towns and explore around as I will be retired by then! thanks again Rivnuts!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/11/2021 02:20 PM
That sounds like a plan although you’ll not likely to find any place in Whitsett to stay. It’s simply one of the old coal mining villages along the GAP and off the beaten path. Not sure why I’m enamored with it other than its simplicity. The trail just kind of opens up there and has a nice park area, pavilion, etc.

You may be underwhelmed by these suggestions depending on exactly what you may be looking for. However, if you ride the length of the GAP and take just a little time in or about the towns and villages along the way you’ll see first hand what you options might be and what may be attractive to you.

If you embark from PIttsburgh and would like someone to ride along foe a ways drop me a note at:

Rivnuts@yahoo.com

As the time approaches. I’d be happy to pedal along and convey what local knowledge I can offer.

 
wkr from Brunswick, MD on 03/11/2021 06:05 PM
I already live about a mile from the C&O in Brunswick, MD and will be moving into a house in the "new" neighborhood here in a couple months. The Appalachian Trail is also just 4 miles on foot from home using the C&O (the Appalachian Trail is actually the same as the C&O for a few miles). So, I can flat, smooth path or hilly, rocky trail. I will admit to usually choosing the lazier option. ;)

This area is much cheaper than, say, Cabin John, or other suburbs around DC but it's not going to be as cheap as many parts of western PA. I'm native to MD and I don't have any interest in going anywhere else so I'll be retiring here (less than 5 years to go :) ).

 
BobK from McLean on 03/11/2021 07:14 PM
Sounds great Rivnuts, I plan on taking the train to Pittsburgh in late September or early October and will send you an email in August sometime to see when you might be available to ride along for a while and in the mean time, i'm going to do a test run to Harper's Ferry and or Cumberland just to test things out, so look forward to that ride Rivnuts and do like the sound of Whitsett for those same reasons!


 
BobK from McLean on 03/11/2021 07:59 PM
Hi wkr thanks for the info and congratulations on 5 years to go! Its an incredible feeling knowing you can do what you want, when you want and as long as you want, especially when exploring towns and trails by bike right?

My wife's sister has a small place in Harper's Ferry, so going to check out HF more and Brunswick as well and do like the fact that the Appalachian trail connections are right around there, so going to learn more about HF, Brunswick and these other towns in PA and plan on visiting their sites and craft shops and meeting people along the way as that's what makes these adventures a lot more memorable right? Thanks again wkr, see you on the trail!




 
BobK from McLean on 03/11/2021 09:25 PM
Hi Rivnuts, I see that Whitsett is right next to Perryopolis and i'm sure you know George Washington bought 1644 acres there because he said:
"as fine a land as I have ever seen, a great deal of rich meadow; it is well watered and has a valuable mill seat."
Very interesting, got to check out Whitsett & Perryopolis for sure, also a big fan of GW, who isn't right? rode my bike to Mount Vernon many times!

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/11/2021 10:16 PM
We live on the GAP trail in Greenock about 25 miles from Pittsburgh. While I didn't move here for the trail, I will never move from here because of the trail. We can easily ride into Pittsburgh, and have done segments of the GAP all the way to Cumberland. Still holding out hope of a trip to DC when I retire.

Love the trail.

Rick

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/12/2021 05:08 AM
That sounds like a plan although you’ll not likely to find any place in Whitsett to stay. It’s simply one of the old coal mining villages along the GAP and off the beaten path. Not sure why I’m enamored with it other than its simplicity. The trail just kind of opens up there and has a nice park area, pavilion, etc.

You may be underwhelmed by these suggestions depending on exactly what you may be looking for. However, if you ride the length of the GAP and take just a little time in or about the towns and villages along the way you’ll see first hand what you options might be and what may be attractive to you.

If you embark from PIttsburgh and would like someone to ride along foe a ways drop me a note at:

Rivnuts@yahoo.com

As the time approaches. I’d be happy to pedal along and convey what local knowledge I can offer.

 
BobK from McLean on 03/12/2021 07:31 PM
Hi Rick, looking at google it looks like you made a great move being near parks, rivers and tons of greenery and looks like fun biking in all directions! Will have to check out Greenock when up there and let us know when you're thinking about doing the DC trip!


 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/12/2021 08:42 PM
Indeed, Whitsett is not far from Perryopolis which is the closest place I suppose to go buy something such as food. I'm surprised that Washington had to buy the land in Perryopolis as much land was awarded to him as payment for his westward expeditionary forays.

Like Whitsett and, perhaps Greenock to a degree, there are a number of small, old, few-street, mining and coking "villages" along the GAP through which the Western Maryland and P&LE railroads ran, almost literally. The "towns" such as West Newton, Connellsville, Confluence, Meyersdale, Frostburg and Cumberland were the commercial areas along the route.

Which, if any of these, would be of most interest to you depends on what you are looking for such as

Proximity and access to both bike and hiking trails
Proximity to or distancing from towns
Type housing and community desired
Access to shopping (by car or bike)
Distance to major cities
Geographical features and fauna

and priorities.

You'll get a good look during your ride as well as perusing maps of the area.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/12/2021 08:42 PM
Indeed, Whitsett is not far from Perryopolis which is the closest place I suppose to go buy something such as food. I'm surprised that Washington had to buy the land in Perryopolis as much land was awarded to him as payment for his westward expeditionary forays.

Like Whitsett and, perhaps Greenock to a degree, there are a number of small, old, few-street, mining and coking "villages" along the GAP through which the Western Maryland and P&LE railroads ran, almost literally. The "towns" such as West Newton, Connellsville, Confluence, Meyersdale, Frostburg and Cumberland were the commercial areas along the route.

Which, if any of these, would be of most interest to you depends on what you are looking for such as

Proximity and access to both bike and hiking trails
Proximity to or distancing from towns
Type housing and community desired
Access to shopping (by car or bike)
Distance to major cities
Geographical features and fauna

and priorities.

You'll get a good look during your ride as well as perusing maps of the area.

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/13/2021 12:07 AM
BobK we are on the corner of Sandy Lane and East Smithfield St, about 2 miles from Boston. There is a green fridge on the back porch with decent beer. Please stop by if you're in the neighborhood.

Also, we are about 2.5 miles from a bald eagles nest which is between us and Buena Vista. Looks like we're going to have to walk out to see them this spring before the leaves make the nest hard to see.

The section of the trail from Greenock to Buena Vista is about 6 miles, and does not have any cross roads at all. It is the best part of the trail (although I might be biased). Our house to Dravo Cemetery is about 8 miles round trip and is our go-to after work ride.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/13/2021 07:58 AM
Rick:

Although you made the kind offer to BobK, you've opened up the "green Pandora's Box" for those of us who live in the area and ride through Greenock often! :-)

 
BobK from McLean on 03/13/2021 08:54 AM
Thanks Rick, will try to stop by for sure if I'm in the area, here's my email if you're ever in the DC area, wodr@yahoo.com (w.o.d rider) w.o.d is the paved trail that runs from Purcellville VA to DC as an alternative to taking the C&O to DC, but you'd have to take White's Ferry across the Potomac to get to it. But you will definitely want to take the C&O to DC as that passes by Great Falls and is a lot more scenic. I'm definitely hooked on "green" after living in brownish Colorado for 15 years, but CO has great weather and is great for mountain biking, but doesn't have nice connected easy to ride trails like the C&O GAP trails and actually, I met someone on the C&O who was riding from OHIO to DC, so if I move to PA, I will have to give that a try someday!

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/13/2021 09:13 AM
Probably the excitement to actually see people again after this past year. I'll have to institute the one-beer limit.

My wife and I have our regular bikes and e-bikes we got last fall. We use the e-bikes if we want to go Homestead or Pittsburgh, and our regular bikes for shorter (~20 mile) trips. We have been identifying all the decent lunch places within our biking radius, and try to go out to lunch at least once a week. The e-bikes have definitely opened things up for us.

 
BobK from McLean on 03/13/2021 09:37 AM
Hi Rivnuts, you're right about the "green Pandora's Box" hahaha cos every time I came back from CO for a visit, I realized how much I missed the green, except for the leaf racking of course, but the advantage of living in CO with the higher altitude was whenever I went mountain biking with friends during the visit, they'd be huffing and puffing when I was just getting started hahaha!

 
BobK from McLean on 03/13/2021 07:11 PM
Hi Rick, "one beer limit" hahaha, look forward to hearing how those e-bikes work out, sounds perfect for your location!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/17/2021 08:35 PM
Rick. I rode right by East Smithfield and Sandy Lane today and didn't spot that green fridge. I've got to get me some new specs! :-)

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/20/2021 01:20 AM
I just plugged it in and stocked it. we sit back from the trail a little ways, so you'd have to know what you're looking for. Huge back porch which is perfect for watching people ride by on the trail. Can't wait for sitting on the porch season.


Spring ride
 - 
David from Walloon lake on 03/16/2021 11:26 AM
Looking for suggestions for a ride late April on the passage. Looked at the possibility of taking the train from Cumberland to Connellsville and riding back with a stop in Rockwood. Also would be interested in any feed back on out and back rides totaling about 50 miles.
Thanks for your response,
David Beier

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/16/2021 04:59 PM
The itinerary you described is a nice, doable trip and leaves time each day for sidebar adventures if you choose. Note, the train arrives in Connellsville around 10:00 pm. If you want a challenge, you can ride up the hill from Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide. That’s about 23 miles and the return trip back down the hill to Cumberland is quite easy. You could make your way up to Frostburg for a snack or bite to eat. Note, it is fairly steep up to Frostburg. Meyersdale to Confluence and back is around 50 miles round trip with nice small towns on either end and passes through Rockwood and the Pinkerton Tunnel. Just my thoughts.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/17/2021 01:44 PM
Bike riders travel on their stomachs, so you might plan around places to eat. These are just places we ate that I'd recommend for hungry riders. There are lots of other choices, but we enjoyed these. Plan accordingly. :)

Crabby Pig in Cumberland. Not amazing, but nice patio, and you can park your bikes where you can see them.

Cafe Mark in Cumberland for breakfast. Nice heavy breakfast before that ride up to the Continental Divide.

Toasted Goat in Frostburg. Good food, good service, awesome old hotel you can poke around in. Worth the climb up from the trail.

Frostburg to Meyersdale would be a sweet little ride, with the divide and bridges and tunnels and windwills.

Fran's Bar in Meyersdale. Such a dive. Have a beer and a burger with friendly locals.

Mill Shops in Rockwood. Cool old building and history. Inexpensive and delicious pizzas and ice cream.

Mitch's Food & Fuel in Confluence. So good. Nice bike parking.

Kickstand Kitchen in Connellsville. Good bike parking, sweet owner, really good food.

We spent the night in Buena Vista, and dinner at the country club was really good and also inexpensive. It's a pretty tough ride from the trail, so you'd only eat there if you were wrapping up the day there, not jumping off the trail for lunch.

Gary's Chuckwagon and the bakery next door in West Newton. Just what you'd expect. Perfect rider food.

Yough Twister in Sutersville for ice cream. They had a long menu, but we only had ice cream.

I know PGH locals can get it all the time, but Primanti's in Homestead had easy trail access and good bike parking. I had the biggest most amazing steak sandwich ever there.

Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe in Pittsburg had hearty food and a bike rack.

Like I said, plenty of other choices. Those are just the one I can personally vouch for. As always, check with them ahead of time to see if they will be open on the day you are there.




 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/17/2021 07:40 PM
Wow Bill. You've hit a lot of the haute cuisine locations along the trail. You've also identified a few that I've not wandered into over the years.

I'd add Morguen Tool for dinner and the GI Dayroom Coffee Shop for breakfast in Meyersdale. I'd add Lenora's in Perryopolis for dinner albeit you may need a reservation and a clean set of casual clothes.

Duke's Upper Deck Cafe in Homestead has the old steel mill feel about it from the yesteryear when the largest steel mill in the US was in Homestead. The Trailside Inn in West Newton is another decent option there.

Just note you'll have to ride a lot of hard miles to burn off all those calories consumed along the way not to mention ignoring your cholestorol count for awhile. :-)

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/18/2021 05:55 PM
Oh, yes, I only eat the finest food in the classiest places. Ha!

I have heard good things about both of those places in Meyersdale. We decided to hit the dive closest to the trail. :) It was sprinkling rain and we weren't in the mood for exploration.

For Lenora's, I think she publishes the dress code on her site. We weren't compliant, so we went to Randall's, another example of haute cuisine. Lenora's is a steep climb from the trail and I think she only does dinner.

When you're riding the trail, you gotta stay well fed so your body can recover! We will lose any weight gained when we get back to regular life!

 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 03/18/2021 08:46 PM
In Meyersdale, I stayed at the Maple Festival Park Campground to shower up.
Right across the street is Donges Drive-In which is a diner. Pretty good food and super cheap prices, breakfast, lunch, or dinner and they have ice cream.

Because other cyclists were at the campground, I just left my bike there in the band shell (where I ended up putting my tent) and just walked over but I could have locked up if I wanted. It’s nice not to have to walk far after the grind up the continental divide! : )


 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/20/2021 01:17 AM
Bill, a couple places we like are the Trailside which is expectedly just beside the trail in West Newton above maybe the best bike shop around.

Also just behind the Yough Twister is a nice place called Driscolls owned by the same people. While the GAP trail from Boston goes away from places, you can cross the bridge and take a parallel trail on the other side of the river. We like a place called Puzzlers which is about 2 miles from the bridge. They have a bike rack right off the trail, and a huge outside dining area. My wife loves their chicken salad made Pittsburgh style with french fries and cheese. The trail then connects back to the GAP at the 15th St. bridge in McKeesport.

There's a place very close to where we live called Muddy Waters. We don't go there much because it's too close by, but the food is pretty good and it's just a short distance off the trail.


Big Savage Tunnel 2021 Reopening Schedule
 - 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/19/2021 02:24 PM
See the message below that has been posted on the GAP Trail website.

"The Big Savage Tunnel will open for the season on Friday, April 9, 2021, according to Somerset County officials. This is a week later than anticipated, since deep snow remains on the Great Allegheny Passage at both ends of the tunnel; temperatures have not yet warmed sufficiently like they have in Pittsburgh or in Washington, D.C., and the tunnel is not yet safely or easily accessible.

Crews from Somerset County and Somerset County Recreation and Trails Association close Big Savage Tunnel each winter to protect the tunnel from cold winds and repeated freeze-thaw cycles that threaten to damage and fell its lining."

This is the good news.

The bad news previously reported is that the C&O Towpath just north of the Paw Paw Tunnel is and will remain closed through 2021 requiring through travellers to use the "up-and-over" detour. Also, the 9-mile portion of the GAP from Port Vue to Buena Vista that has been closed for sewer installation will not reopen until April 30 or perhaps later.


Big Savage Tunnel Winter Closure Announced
 - 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 12/01/2020 02:33 PM
From the Great Allegheny Passage website:

This morning, Somerset County announced that it will close the Big Savage Tunnel for the winter on Friday, December 4. It seals up both tunnel entrances each winter to protect the lining of the tunnel from damage related to annual freeze-thaw cycles during the coldest months of the year. The tunnel will re-open no later than Friday, April 2, 2021. There is no recommended detour since the tunnel is surrounded by private property and local roads are narrow.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/19/2021 02:22 PM
The GAP website has posted the message below regarding the scheduled date for reopening the Big Savage Tunnel for the 2021 season. Note the Paw Paw Tunnel will remain closed this year.

"The Big Savage Tunnel will open for the season on Friday, April 9, 2021, according to Somerset County officials. This is a week later than anticipated, since deep snow remains on the Great Allegheny Passage at both ends of the tunnel; temperatures have not yet warmed sufficiently like they have in Pittsburgh or in Washington, D.C., and the tunnel is not yet safely or easily accessible.

Crews from Somerset County and Somerset County Recreation and Trails Association close Big Savage Tunnel each winter to protect the tunnel from cold winds and repeated freeze-thaw cycles that threaten to damage and fell its lining."


Tires
 - 
Anonymous from Wolfeboro, NH on 03/08/2021 11:52 AM
My husband and I are hoping to ride the GAP and C&O this spring. What kind of tires (size) do you recommend with the dirt surface? Thank you for any advice.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 03/08/2021 01:14 PM
If you ever ridden a crushed limestone rail trail, pretty much any tire will work maybe perhaps not those super skinny racing tires. The GAP is all rail trail and is 80% crushed limestone and 20% paved asphalt. The C&O is part mule path dirt and part crushed limestone.

Of course no one can account for rain, the C&O can get quite muddy even a day or two after rain.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/08/2021 07:29 PM
Just to follow John W’s remarks and specific to your question, you can ride the GAP in 28mm road or hybrid tires in all but the worst of weather, albeit wider is always generally more comfortable. As John notes, the C&O Towpath is a mixed bag of surfaces and conditions and vulnerability to rain. If you plan to ride the entire length, in all but the driest of weather, I’d recommend a minimum 32mm tires and maybe even 35’s. Knobby tires would be good except, perhaps, on the paved WMRT if you choose to ride it, where road tires would be sufficient. In the worst sections under the worst of conditions, a fat bike would be much appreciated. :-)

Fortunately, recent resurfacing of the C&O between Shepherdstown and Edward’s Ferry has improved a significant portion of the C&O.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/17/2021 01:03 PM
Not to be a wet blanket, and I would never contradict Rivnuts, but we rode the part of the C&O just outside of Cumberland a few days after a rain, and it was still a mud bog in places. The day after a rain, it would have been nearly nonstop soupy mud. I don't know what tires you personally would choose for that.

GAP is rideable on any hybrid or mountain bike, as it is nearly entirely really nice gravel.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/17/2021 07:56 PM
There's no contradiction with Bill from Houston whatsoever. AAs Bill notes the worst part of the C&O in wet weather in my opinion is from Cumberland to Spring Gap and even on to Little Orleans. As I mentioned, under wet conditions a fat bike would be the biker's best friend.

Given the sewer construction on the GAP between Port Vue and Buena Vista, we'll have to see if the trail restoration work returns the surface to its preconstruction condition which was quite good.

I rode the section of the trail from Boston to Greenock (Twele Road) this afternoon. The good news is that the trail itself was not excavated for the sewer as the sewer runs along side the trail and not in it. The bad news is that the trail has been used for construction traffic and, as noted by others, it is rough as a cob. Hopefully the trail surface is leveled and returned to its original condition or better.


GAP Trail Section Closure
 - 
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 11/14/2020 09:20 PM
Just a reminder below about the multi-month closure of a section of the GAP Trail outside Pittsburgh.

OCT 30 2020 | Winter Construction to Close 10-Mile Section near Boston

The Regional Trail Corporation, which owns and manages significant sections of the Great Allegheny Passage between Homestead and Connellsville, announced that it will close the GAP to all travelers between mile marker 120.9 (the Buena Vista trail access area and parking lot) and mile marker 131.1 (where the GAP crosses Liberty Way in Port Vue, near McKeesport), beginning November 16, 2020.

This closure is planned to last for five months – at least until April 15, 2021, and perhaps slightly longer depending on winter weather and the progress of contractors. There is no posted or easy detour, as nearby roads are hilly and narrow. We will keep www.gaptrail.org updated on progress as we receive updates from the Regional Trail Corporation.

This closure will allow contractors deployed by Elizabeth Township to install municipal sewer lines underneath the GAP for approximately nine miles. Long-term benefits include the replacement or repair of culverts that divert stormwater runoff under the GAP, and a complete trail resurfacing between Boston and Buena Vista.

Our best advice to thru-riders, aside from shortening your trip, is to arrange a shuttle between McKeesport and Buena Vista. The following businesses may be able to serve you: Bill’s Car Service (412-855-4484), Wilderness Voyagers (800-272-4141), or 2 Wheel Escapes (240-674-7626).

 
Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 12/04/2020 11:04 PM
As of this morning, the portion of the GAP from Port Vue to Boston is open. Conversely there is indeed a Trail Closed sign on the trail leaving Boston toward Dravo Cemetery.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 02/24/2021 03:59 PM
Two announcements were posted on the GAP website on 2/22/21. At first they both appeared to be the same as those posted on 11/25/20 and 10/30/20 pertaining to the closures of the Paw Paw Tunnel and a 10-mile section of the GAP Trail respectively.

The new post regarding the Paw Paw Tunnel closure appears to be the same as the announcement last fall of its closure until mid-2022 and the arduous detour up and over the tunnel. At first glance the new post regarding the closure of the 10-mile section of the GAP Trail also appears to be the same as the earlier announcement. There is one subtle difference however. The original post indicated that that section would be closed "at least until April 15 2021". The latest post states that it will be closed "at least until late April 2021". This subtle change suggests that the work on this trail section is somewhat behind the original schedule. Perhaps the recent snows in the Pittsburgh area have impacted winter construction.

It would be well advised for those planning an early May trip to monitor the GAP website for any updates about the reopening of that trail section.

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/11/2021 10:28 PM
do you know if they will replace the surface of the trail from Boston to Buena Vista with crushed limestone? It seems to me that that surface takes a long time to "settle". Any chance they might replace it with asphalt?

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/12/2021 09:32 PM
Rick:

I don't know the answer to your question at this time but have made inquiries to the Regional Trail Council and GAP Trail information site about the restoration and resurfacing specifications following completion of the sewer line. Being in Greenock you surely have a birdseye view of that sewer work and the amount of excavation going on.

The method of restoration is quite important. The trail surface through that area was generally very good as you know in all but the wettest of times and even then soft but quite rideable. In some earlier forum string someone observed that the GAP Trail is generally much better than the C&O Towpath in wet weather because its origin was a railroad rather than an earthen path. Railroads typically have a substantial stone/gravel subbase which allows very good drainage beneath the surface. The excavations for the new sewer line are likely deep and may well have disturbed or removed the gravel/stone subbase. If so, I would hope they would return that material rather than simply backfill with compacted soil and then spread stone dust on top. We'll see what the response to my inquiry is. You may be able to see what they are doing as well.

With a good and properly installed subbase and surface layer, the resultant stone trail would be nearly as good, if not better, than asphalt paving in the long run. The restored section of the C&O Towpath that followed good restoration practices has been a noteworthy improvement thus far.

Asphalt paving deteriorates over time as Pennsylvania roads confirm. If the surface heaves or roots grow beneath the paving the asphalt can become rather uncomfortable. For example, the paved section of the WMRT that parallels the C&O Towpath that approaches Hancock is almost painful to ride.

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/12/2021 11:59 PM
We tried to ride from Boston to Greenock this week with the nice dry weather. It was nearly impassible, but I can't see that any effort has been made thus far to restore the trail itself. There are still sections of sewer line to be installed and a steady stream of tri-axle trucks heading up the trail toward Buena Vista. As there is no road access between us and Buena Vista, they are using the trail itself as the road. They have placed a large quantity of heavy rock on the trail to make it passible for the trucks which will have to be removed before proper restoration. In all, I think that their April 15 end date is a pipe dream (NPI).

So instead of being able to ride out or our back yard onto the trail, we have to do like everyone else and transport our bikes to a passible section.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/13/2021 08:10 AM
Unfortunately the GAP website now states that the trail will be closed "at least to April 30 and perhaps longer". As for the trucks driving on the trail, at least we know the trail will be well compacted. The good news is that the placement of the large stone for them to drive on could be the start of a good, well-draining subbase.

Living in Homestead I am fortunate not to have to drive to a remote trailhead to pickup the trail. However, the views along the trail are not as nice or green as further out your way and beyond. Soon I am going to ride out to Boston and then try to ride up Greenock Buena Vista Road and bypass the construction to Buena Vista.

 
Rick from Greenock, PA on 03/14/2021 10:28 AM
Update on the GAP trail from Boston to Buena Vista. My wife and I biked the section from Boston to our house (about 2 miles last week. It is very rough, but passable. Past us going to Buena Vista is nearly impassible, so we walked about 2.5 miles to mile post 124. For locals, this is where the Yough bends and they placed to benches there and there is probably the best view around. Also, the bald eagle nest is about 200 yds away from the benches. We didn't see any eagles. I'm guessing they are sitting on the eggs right now.

Back to the trail. There is still about 300 yds of pipe to be placed on the section we walked. Until it is placed, they can't start to renovate the trail surface. 3-4 brave souls had their mountain bikes and gave us updates passed where we turned around. the trail is very rough from Greenock to Dravo Cemetery, but gets better after that. Based on the progress made thus far, I can't see this getting done by the end of April.

Going from Boston toward Pittsburgh is also rough, but the trail is paved from Dead Man's Hollow which is about 0.75 from Boston.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/15/2021 08:16 PM
Rick: Here's the response by the Regional Trail Council to your question about restoration/resurfacing of the trail following completion of the sewer installation project:

"It will all be resurfaced basically the same as it was previously, the drainage issues will also be corrected."

This doesn't identify the actual engineering specifications for the restoration but implies that it will be returned to its previous condition or better. I trust that will be the case. If the base and surface layers are properly compacted, the settlement should be minimal but I frankly would expect it will take a period of time for the stone dust to fully fill the voids remaining beneath following compaction.

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