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The C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage

West Newton PA on the Great Allegheny Passage

Mile marker 112.5
Elevation: 761

Bike Shop
Bike Shop
Public Restroom
Visitor Info
Visitor Info
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C&O Canal Trail
Great Allegheny Passage
Western Maryland Rail Trail
Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast
127 Jefferson Ct, West Newton
Fox's Pizza Den
123 N Water St, West Newton
G&J Bakery
124 E Main St, West Newton
Gap Trail Bikers Campground
234 Collinsburg Rd, West Newton
Gary's Chuckwagon
109 S 2nd St, West Newton
J & J Corner Cupboard
110 Mt Pleasant Rd, West Newton
Mama Pepino’s
110 W Main St, West Newton
Palfey's Crossing Inn
104 Robertson St, West Newton
Rite Aid Pharmacy
113 W Main St, West Newton
The Hideaway
158 N Water St, West Newton
The Trailside
108 W. Main St, West Newton
Water Street Inn
116 N Water St, West Newton
West Newton Bicycle Shop
106 W Main St, West Newton
West Newton Trailhead
West Newton

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Forum Discussions about West Newton

Bike of choice for C&O
Majahonke on 07/13/2015 07:27 PM:
I'm planning to ride from Pittsburgh to DC in late Oct and have no experience with these trails. Would a LHT touring bike or Tarek hybrid be adequate or is a MTB required? Thank you.

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/13/2015 07:42 PM:
I think knobby mountain bike tires slow you down too much, forcing you to pedal and exert way too much on such a long and flat journey. Nor would I recommend really thin racing tires, they'll get gobbled up in the mud and ruts on the C&O. I have a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid and have seemed to found a happy medium that is perfect for the GAP/C&O. I use wider tires than a racing bike, but not as wide and knobby as MTB tires. Safe Travels!

Tom M from Raleigh NC on 07/14/2015 09:43 AM:
A LHT would be ideal for riding the GAP-C&O but the hybrid would be fine as well. Tires are your more important decision. I would recommend at least 32-35 mm tires with some tread, such as cyclocross tires. I've ridden the trails twice on touring bikes, once with Panaracer Pasela 32s and the other time with Clement LAS 35s, and the wider stance and tread of the Clements was preferable.

Majahonke from Western NY on 09/17/2015 05:40 PM:
I'm a little late but thanks for your input. Very reassuring. We'll be travelling the entire trail mid to late Oct.

KittySlayer on 09/18/2015 04:49 PM:
My wife road a stock Trek Neko hybrid she bought this summer for the trip. The only change we made was to use her regular saddle. She had the light load with sleeping bags and shoes in panniers.

I rode a cyclocross bike with 700x35 tires pulling a BOB trailer. Worked well for me but I am a roadie and am most comfortable on that geometry.

We road both the C&O and GAP in dry weather. Both bikes worked well for us. Without a load I might even ride my road bike on the GAP. Enjoy your trip.

Trail conditions
Brian from Avon IN on 07/12/2015 07:26 PM:
How muddy is the trail currently I am considering to ride soon or possibly mid September any update would be helpful I plan on camping. Thanks

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/12/2015 08:24 PM:
The GAP is made if crushed limestone so it's never too muddy though you'll get a bit gritty from it but even wet it's not too bad. It drains really well. The C&O is, for the most part, almost always muddy in parts. It's a dirt trail to begin with but it doesn't dry out very well. The tree canopy is very thick and it remains wet even days after it rains. No worries though. You'll be sweaty from the heat and exertion...the wet and dirt just become second nature when riding. :-) After a few miles in it, you just plow through the puddles instead of tying to avoid them. I use lots of those huge gallon and storage zip locks to keep all of my important things dry in my bags. It's good to know that even though I'm wet, sweaty, and dirty, all of my stuff is nice and dry if I got caught in a storm or wet trail.

Alex from Chicago on 07/21/2015 05:52 PM:
Lol, I've had the same experience the last two days biking from DC westbound. At first I was avoiding the puddles at all costs, even dismounting at times. Now I just bike through them. :)

I will say that on 7/20/15 between mile makers 20 and 30 (or thereabouts) the mud was particularly bad. Since then it's been fine. (In Hancock as I type.)

Andrea from canada on 07/25/2015 04:35 PM:
Just finished it -- trail was nice and dry - that being said it had no rained in a few days, but the few days it did rain when I was on the trail, it was very wet and muddy. I was covered from the waist down -- particularly bad area was between Shepherdstown and Williamsport, and again just before Cumberland (on the C&O). Just cleaned off going swimming in the Potomac!!

Brian from Avon IN on 07/25/2015 06:50 PM:
Thanks for the updates will check in as time gets closer to my ride day in Sept.

Bruce on 08/02/2015 02:31 PM:
The GAP trail seems to absorb water very well but the C&O gets very muddy. I was told it takes 3 days for the C&O to dry out after getting rain. We ran into constant puddle after mud puddle on the C&O.

tree fallen across trail
Rick from North Huntingdon on 07/10/2015 01:46 PM:
at the 30 mile marker there is a large tree that has fallen across the trail

Andrea from canada on 07/25/2015 04:33 PM:
there was also another tree across the mile marker 156/157 (just after Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O) - I ran into a few different rangers and mentioned it, so perhaps taken care of by now.