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Matt Dietrich from Napoleon OHIO on 5/19/2020 9:26:59 PM:
From what I can find on various forums, it appears the trail from Pittsburgh to Washington DC is open the whole way, but visitor centers, restrooms & drinking fountains are not open as of May 19, 2020. Our trip is scheduled for June 18. Our plan is to continue with our trip since we are self contained with tents, and restaurants are open for food/drink. I even see rafting is now open in OhioPyle. Does anyone see any major issues with this plan. We will bring our masks for entering busy areas or restaurants/shops. Thoughts?

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 5/20/2020 9:06:47 AM:
I, too, have been trying to monitor the status of both the GAP and the C&O trails to DC as I look forward to making the trip again. Since I plan to camp along the way, the status of the campgrounds and campsites along the C&O are my primary concern relative to the logistics of the trip. As of this morning the NPS webpage for the C&O still states that the campgrounds and campsites are still closed. I don't know for certain if that is still the case or whether the webpage simply has not been updated. The issue of the spread of the virus remains an issue as well. There should be no significant issues along the GAP itself. Over the last week or two I'm starting to see touring cyclists riding along the GAP out of Pittsburgh.

 
John from Pittsburgh on 5/20/2020 8:08:29 PM:
I’m shooting for early September, Rivnuts. I’ll either get to do it or accept defeat for 2020 and watch lots of videos about people riding the GAP to DC!.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 5/21/2020 9:11:13 AM:
John from Pgh Pre-pandemic I had a tentative plan to make the DC trip in August with a friend from an earlier Erie Canal trip. I'm not sure if he still plans to make that trip or not. I admit to having cabin fever with other spring and early-summer tours being cancelled and thus was considering making a trip down the GAP/C&O even earlier...perhaps just the GAP, one way or round trip given the restrictions on the C&O. Just need the weather to warm up and dry out a little. Re the Montour, if you want to brave a day-ride on that trail in the near term suggest a day/time good for you and I can meet you in Hendersonville.

 
John from Pittsburgh on 5/21/2020 3:13:24 PM:
Rivnuts...I’ve been hitting some solo runs on the Montour and even got up to the Panhandle trail this spring. Feels great although I’ve had to layer up on a few trips. If they can ever connect the east end of the Panhandle with Carson St. in downtown Pittsburgh, they could have a ton of cross country riders going though there. We’ll get that Montour ride in at Hendersonville soon enough! Lets target this summer...July perhaps when things open up (hopefully)? Looking forward to that. Did you do Erie Canal on your own or was it the PTNY Cycle the Erie Canal event? Highly recommend that tour and/or that trail. Such a great ride. Not crazy crowded like RAGBRAI but still feels like a big event...just the right size actually.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 5/22/2020 9:52:46 AM:
John from Pgh: I,too, rode the Panhandle Trail out of Walker's Mill a couple of weeks ago. It is a great gateway trail to Ohio but, as you noted, is not directly accessible from Pittsburgh. You can get there from Pittsburgh via the Three Rivers Heritage Trail across Neville Island and the Montour albeit with a bit of road riding to reach the Montour. I've ridden the Erie Canal Trail across New York including the excursion to/from Niagara Falls across the Peace Bridge a couple of times, most recently last year. It is similar in the number of participants to the GOBA and Shoreline West tours. The XOBA tour across Ohio is much smaller still which I rather like. With nicer weather I think I'll revisit the Ghost Town, Armstrong and Allegheny River Trails for day rides until the C&O opens fully. Stay safe.

 
John from Pittsburgh on 5/22/2020 1:11:14 PM:
It seems like quite a few extra miles are required going via Neville Island/Montour Trail. It’s a shame the Panhandle isn’t connected yet but maybe one day.. I suppose you could exit the GAP at McKeesport and take the Montour but you‘ll miss the approach to Pittsburgh which a great ride. Quite possibly my favorite ride ever is the Greater Niagara Circle Route out of Niagara Falls, ONT. Head north to Niagara-in-the-Lake (NOTL) along three Niagara River Recreation Trail, then head west to Port Weller on the Waterfront Trail, then south to Port Colborne along the Welland Canals Parkway Trail, then west to Fort Erie on the Friendship Trail, then finally back north towards Niagara Falls on the Niagara River Recreation Trail. 87 miles total. Parts or all of those trails make up the GNCR. I did it over two days to take in all the scenery and sights. Wineries, the Niagara Gorge, Queenston Heights, NOTL, old forts, an active shipping canal (with usually a freighter or two to see), and of course, the Falls. 90% trail. A really great trip and the only hills are the Escarpment but it’s not bad.