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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

Update on GAP Trail Boston to Buena Vista

Rick from Greenock, PA on 4/11/2021 12:10:50 AM:
Work is continuing on the trail which is passable, but still not officially opened. From Boston, about 4.5 miles east is still "un-paved" and bumpy from 2B stone used for the heavy equipment, to the tracks of the large excavators.From near milepost 124 (near the bald eagle nest), the trail is finished with smooth crushed limestone for about 1.5 miles until Dravo Campground. From there to Buena Vista is still not finished. Hopefully, if the decent weather holds, they can get this done soon. The section that is completed is very nice. Like riding on the PA turnpike after the bumpy ride on the unfinished trail. And the eagles are out and visible for a couple more weeks until the leaves come out on the trees.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 4/11/2021 8:22:22 AM:
On Thursday I was riding back from an overnight bikepacking trip from near Ohiopyle to West Newton. (No, I didn't see the wildfire in Ohiopyle.) I decided to continue on from West Newton toward Pittsburgh to see the condition of the trail where the sewer replacement work is being done. While there are still "Trail Closed" signs posted at the Elizabeth Sanitary Station and beyond, the trail surface had been restored with crushed stone like the original trail surface. As Rick from Greenock observed, the resurfaced trail was well compacted and generally smooth with a few pock marks/divots where the crushed gravel was not quite flush with the surface in general but still did not diminish the ride quality. With use and rain, I expect the surface to smooth out even more and be as good or better than the original surface. The recent and forecast nice weather bodes well for completion and full reopening of the trail by the end of the month. Now if only the Paw Paw Tunnel area was open. :-)

Anonymous on 4/23/2021 9:28:32 PM:
Any updates on this closed section from recent riders?

SLS from Mt. Vernon, IL on 4/24/2021 8:41:35 AM:
We'd like to know about this section of the trail as well as we are looking at riding from Boston to Connellsville, spending the night and riding back the next day. We ride road bikes with 28cm tires. Thanks!

Rick from Greenock,PA on 4/25/2021 6:39:35 AM:
Resurfacing is now completed. Some sections are still rough but passable. Work is continuing in places to replace the posts at the road crossings. Traffic on the trail is still light but steadily increasing. Be aware that the shoulders are still soft and not packed down so stay toward the center

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 4/25/2021 4:29:45 PM:
Rick: That’s great news. I look forward to checking out that portion of the trail this week. I’m curious what the term “rough” indicates. I presume they have now placed, leveled and compacted the new crushed stone surface layer over the entire affected trail section.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 4/27/2021 8:38:14 PM:
Today I rode the GAP from Homestead to Sutersville and back including the portion of the trail that has been closed since November for sewer installation/repair. The majority of the installation and restoration is complete but not quite all. There was still various locations of construction activity and equipment movement. Nearly all of this activity was between the Boston trailhead parking lot and Twele Road. (See the GAP Trail Map.) There was still some crushed stone being delivered, placed and compacted toward the Boston end of this ~2-mile section. Also there is still some patch paving to be done of access roads that cross the trail in that section. This activity was avoidable by riding on Smithfield Street which parallels the trail in this area. Given what small amount of trail remains to be finished, the level of activity I observed and the nice weather forecast for this week, substantial completion by the end of the month would appear achievable. As noted most of the trail is complete and very nice riding. The new trail surface very smooth...almost like riding on an asphalt roadway and the reseeding of the excavated shoulder along the trail is a lush green. To be clear however, the Regional Trail Council has not officially announced that the trail is reopened and there are still numerous "Trail Closed" signs along the way. However, the majority of 9-mile section of work is complete and rideable most of the way with a reasonable bypass along Smithfield Street where significant activity and work may still be encountered. There were numerous bikers along most of the trail in each direction. As a sidebar observation, the Trail View Convenience Store in Buena Vista/Industry is now closed with what looks like major fire damage.

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 4/28/2021 10:50:36 AM:
Nice recap Rivnuts, thanks for sharing your trip. If you’re confident it might be completed by the end of this month (or even mid-May), then I know I’ll be fine for my trip in June. Sad to hear about the fire to the convenience store in Buena Vista. I’ve used that store a few times to get water/gatorade so that will be a missed amenity along the GAP.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 4/28/2021 8:39:02 PM:
Today the Regional Trail Council (RTC) has announced that the 9-mile section of the GAP Trail that was closed from Boston to Buena Vista for sewer line repairs will reopen on May 1. Congrats to the RTC for supporting this public effort and returning the trail for the 2021 touring season. As I posted yesterday, this restored section of the GAP appears to quite well done both in the trail surface and the surrounding landscape restoration. Hopefully, others as well will post their observations about this restored trail section.

Anonymous on 4/29/2021 11:08:57 PM:
My husband &I tried to ride out of Boston towards Ohiopyle. We usually get in 15-20 miles. But with the fine sand or dust on the surface we only could do 2 miles. Is that going to be packed down or will water harden it? We bike that trail often

Rivnuts from Homestead,PA on 4/30/2021 8:19:52 AM:
As I noted following my ride last Wednesday, the final efforts to complete the restoration work were focused in the trail section leaving Boston toward Greenock. Crews appeared to be working their way back toward Boston placing and compacting the new crushed stone surface to complete the project. While the newly compacted material was smooth and firm, there was that shallow, loose layer of dust on the surface which made riding a little heavy as you noted. I suspect that with the rain we had yesterday, perhaps a second, final compaction and some dry weather that this trail section too will firm up for nice riding. (It may be soft there today with all the rain over the last 24 hours.) The earlier restored sections beyond Greenock, past Dravo Cemetery and on to Buena Vista were smooth and firm without that loose dust layer like the trail was before the sewer project began last fall. With a little time I expect these most recently completed sections will be similar.