C&O Home  GAP Home
The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

Reply to Great Alleghany Passage Report (Oct 26-28)

Scroll down to see the discussion
All submissions are reviewed for appropriateness. We reserve the right to remove or edit any comment that we consider incorrect, misleading, or inappropriate, at our sole discretion. Please remember that this is a family-friendly website.
Reply to Great Alleghany Passage Report (Oct 26-28)
Your Name:

This does not have to be your real name. It could be a "screen name", your initials, or just leave blank.
Your Hometown:

Optional - it's just interesting to know where people are from
Email Address
So we know you are a human, please answer this easy math quiz:
3 + 5 =
Alex Ortiz from Silver Spring, MD on 10/30/2018 11:50:29 AM:
Just wanted to share the latest on my first trip down the Alleghany Passage this past weekend! Took the Amtrak up from DC to Pittsburgh on Thursday night, and the plan was to do the GAP in 3 days: Pitt -> Connellsville (60-miles), Connellsville -> Rockwood (45-miles), Rockwood -> Cumberland (45 miles). Although it was so late in the season & raining for much of the ride -- the trail held up extremely well and the ride was incredible.

The first leg from Pittsburgh was great, especially once out of McKeesport. (I stayed on the West Side of the river out of Pitt on the Three Rivers Trail before linking up with the GAP). There were a few towns here and there, and I stopped for lunch in West Newton. Made it to Connellsville just before dark and spent the night in their wooden Adirondack shelters! (a great time)

Second leg from Connellsville to Rockwood was for sure the most beautiful part of the ride. Especially riding through Ohiopyle State Park -- gorgeous. We could really feel the climb toward the later end of this ride -- and again made it in just before dark as rain was pouring down. Was slightly miserable but we survived. Plan was to spend the night at the Husky Haven Campground but since no one was staying in their guest house, we got to sleep in the basement which was heated & much appreciated. Warm showers, washer/dryer, bathrooms & heat was well worth it for $10 pp. Grabbed dinner & drinks at the only place in town @ the Rock City Cafe -- great pizza!

Day 3 was a slow but steady climb to the Continental Divide. We first went 12 miles to breakfast in Meyersdale, where it was practically all-you-can-eat for $9 at the Donges Drive-In & Motel. Made it to the divide pretty quickly after that & then all smooth sailing down into Cumberland. The tunnels on this leg were something, with one being completely pitch black and the other sharing a track with the train. And even though it was in the 40s/raining for most of the ride, it was all worthwhile. Trail held up strong and the fall foliage was beautiful, peaking quite late into the season.

Hope this gives anyone out there reading this the courage to jump the GAP whenever they want! It's incredible.


Richard from Washington on 10/30/2018 4:55:53 PM:
Nice reading. I loved the part about the Husky Haven Campground. Sounds like it was truly a haven. I'll have to try Donges Drive-Inn and Motel.

Kym from Spartanburg, SC on 10/31/2018 10:42:17 PM:
Hi there. I am planning on going in May. Question: I read your info on the legs of your journey (great info - thank you for sharing!) I was wondering what 40 or 60 miles feels like on the trail? I have done 45 miles on a road bike in just a few hours, and I have done 15 on a mountain bike on trails in a few hours. I noticed you pulled into your stops just before dark. How long do these legs take? I assume slower than a road bike but faster than a mountain bike trail?

rdw from richmond on 11/1/2018 6:28:46 PM:
did the trains wake you up in Rockwood? we thought they were headed into our room. agree on how wonderful the GAP is.

rdw from richmond on 11/1/2018 6:31:13 PM:
Kym, assume about 2 mph slower than your road speed.

Anonymous on 11/6/2018 5:53:05 PM:
Haha - yes, woke up a few times to the horns in Rockwood. And yes -- the only reason we approached towns nearing dark was due to late starts from early morning rains. I'm a pretty avid biker, and on the first leg from Pitt -> Connellsville, I averaged 12.7mph over 70 miles, which was including lugging all of my camping & gear. Probably could have bumped that up a bit but I average around 15-17 on the road, without gear.

The second & third legs were with friends who joined me via Amtrak in Connellvsille, who don't bike regularly and were on their backyard hybrids. We averaged 10.1 for the 45 miles to Rockwood, and 12.1 for the 45 miles after to Cumberland. We definitely took Days 2&3 with leisure!

Tawanda57 from Gainesville on 12/28/2018 7:08:36 AM:
Will be doing the Gap and C&O in late September 2019. So excited! When you say "steady climb" can you elaborate? I live and will train in Florida and want to make sure I'm ready. I'm 61 so will begin training January 1. Thanks so much.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 12/28/2018 10:11:16 AM:
From Cumberland to the Continental Divide is about a 1-2 % grade climb. It’s about 24 miles long to the top but it’s not really that bad at all. Then the remaining 125 miles to Pittsburgh will be slightly downhill though hardly noticeable. This is an old railway so there are no huge inclines/declines. It’s all really subtle. Pikes Peak it is not! :-)

Bikerfromtampa from Tampa on 12/28/2018 1:10:55 PM:
It is not that steep of a climb. If you rode it for just a mile you wouldn’t even notice it. But, after a while you will feel it, maybe like riding into a 5 mph wind. You cannot coast at all. If you have only ridden on paved roads, you will feel the effects of not riding on pavement more than the incline. You mentioned that you will start training in January. The amount of training you need depends on two things. 1) what your abilities are today and 2) how fast and long you want to ride each day. If you are contemplating the ride I assume you already do some riding now. If you can ride twenty miles on two consecutive days right now then you won’t need any additional training for a six or seven day ride for the GAP and C&O. My wife and I were 59 when we rode it. I also live in Florida and I am a casual (20 mile) rider and my wife and I had no issues riding the trails in seven days while we had plenty of time to swim in the rapids, talk to local townspeople, tour Harpers Ferry, tour the fort in Fredricksberg, etc.