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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

earliest and best month

smitty from virginia beach on 1/22/2011 5:50:46 PM:
Will ride from Cumberland to DC in 2011. Wonder what month is the earliest I can ride (without misery) and which month is the preferred time frame?

smitty on 1/22/2011 5:56:41 PM:
Initial posting should have stated: Will ride from McKeesport to DC in 2011. What is the earliest month and the best recommended month to do so.

Anonymous from Camden, nc on 1/23/2011 8:05:59 AM:
Hey Smitty. Check out the Tour de Canal in September. I'm planning on adding the GAP to it and do the entire length the week of Sept 6ish thry 11th. Interested?

smitty from vb on 1/30/2011 6:28:59 AM:
As things materialize looks like June is falling into place for me. What are your thoughts on bikes to use? Can I use a road bike? Would I regret it? As things go I am in the area for a different road event and can make this trail ride happen if I use my road bike.

Anonymous from Camden, NC on 2/2/2011 9:42:17 PM:
Smitty, I have ridden the C&O portion and you must use a hybrid or mtn bike. NO road bikes allowed. I believe it would be the same for the GAP portion.

TQ from DE on 3/5/2011 7:19:23 AM:
Since you will experience all conditions of the trail, late spring, early summer on thru summer is my recommendation. Parts of the tow path are in good shape and portions are pretty bad to bad. Would recommend familarizing the rails to trails that parrallels sections. Often we switch back and forth cause the tow path is bad. Bad meaning high grass, soft/muddy or all three. Then portions are solid with good gravel and well maintained. It's a great ride.

Randy on 4/11/2011 2:50:25 PM:
Definitely don't ride in April. Lots of Spring storms roll through the area. Wait until mid to late May, June would be better. Use a Mountain Bike, the surface is very rough in many places. Bring a spare inner tube. I've seen lots of poor souls with flats. Some of the rocks on the trail have sharp surfaces. Road Bike - don't even consider it. Happy trails!

John from Bardstown, Ky on 4/18/2011 6:03:06 AM:
I did it last year on a hardtail mt bike and it was ok. Get smoother tread tires, don't ride with the knobbies. If possible get a fork without shocks.