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Sarah from Pittsburgh on 1/12/2020 12:37:42 PM:
Are there any women on here who have tackled the trail from PGH to DC solo? I'm planning on a possible trip this spring and was looking for feedback about how safe you felt along the trail itself and in towns. I will be staying in hotels and plan on doing the whole thing in five days.

 
John from Pittsburgh on 1/12/2020 6:14:49 PM:
You'll be fine! :-) I've never heard/seen of any incidents on the GAP/C&O. Obviously you'll be starting/ending in two large cities so use the normal precautions you would use. But the trail is safe.

 
Sarah from Pittsburgh on 1/12/2020 7:35:57 PM:
Thanks! I live in Pgh now and used to live in DC. As backwards as it seems I'm more nervous about the more remote sections of the trail. Haha!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 1/12/2020 8:19:49 PM:
Being you are from Pittsburgh, you likely heard of the woman that was accosted on the trail just beyond the Homestead Waterfront shopping area. That is the only incident that I am aware of in the trail in the last few years. Aside from that, I agree with John's comments that the trail is has been quite safe for all travelers, both men and women. You should feel quite comfortable on the GAP portion as the distance between small towns and communities is rather short and the trail is rather open and generally well travelled. The C&O has more remote sections between towns and seems more isolated than the GAP, e.g. the section between Cumberland and Little Orleans. That said, I've met some unusual characters on the trail albeit harmless and interesting. Like John, I don't view safety as an issue but I would point out that bicycle service along the C&O can be a challenge, especially if a mechanical issue arises in a remote section of the trail. You should take the normal precautions in terms of taking and knowing how to use simple bike tools and parts such as spare tire tubes. Further, you should have a backup plan for a more serious mechanical problem should it arise. Obviously a cell phone and some contact numbers could become quite useful in such an event. Note however, there are some sections of the trail where cell phone service does not exist. In that instance, other bike riders along the trail can be very helpful in getting assistance. In short, the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared" is well advised