Pennsylvania: The Great Allegheny Passage Bike Tour
This tour was a natural progression for us since we have been running bike tours along the Erie Canal for the last 20 years. Understanding the challenges of a ride that is ALL on bike path is imperative. We love all that this destination has to offer, and we think you will too! The Great Allegheny Passage meanders nearly 150 miles, connecting Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD. There are small towns every 10 miles or so, that provide essential cycling comforts. The surface and grade are ideal for hybrid and touring bikes, as most of the trail is converted from abandoned rail beds, which makes for a nearly level riding surface with the average grade of less than 1%. The steepest eastbound grade 0.8%, and the high point of the trail, is where it crosses the Eastern Continental Divide near Deal (2,375 feet above sea level). From the Eastern Continental Divide heading toward C&O Canal, the trail drops 1,754 feet in 24 miles to reach Cumberland. For 2020 we offer an itinerary that takes in 100% of the GAP and 100% downhill. We will transfer guests on day 2 from Pittsburgh to Meyersdale, where you enjoy a long downhill into Cumberland. On day 3 we will transfer back to Meyersdale and pedal downhill all the way back to Pittsburgh. We cordially invite you to experience the natural beauty of this rail trail. We've carefully broken up the rides so that you'll have ample time to relax, take in the sights, and enjoy! We encourage you to add on a visit to Pittsburgh, PA, our starting and end point.
(includes 4 dinners, wine social, picnic lunch transfer back to car)
Arrive Pittsburgh, PA. Meet by 3:00 pm to set up your bike and take a short warm-up ride to the Hotel Metal Bridge, passing by the headquarters of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Orientation, wine reception, followed by dinner at local restaurant. Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites or Marriott (15 miles of bike path riding)
After a morning transfer to Meyersdale we begin our ride. Today we pass through three railroad tunnels.. Cross the Eastern Continental Divide for an easy downhill cruise into Cumberland, MD, and mile zero of the Great Allegheny Passage! If you have time, take in 10-15 miles of the C&O Canal. Lodging: Fairfield Inn & Suites (35 or 45 miles)
Morning transfer uphill to Meyersdale. Ride gently downhill all day! Today you will be high above the ground! Bike over 100 feet of rail bridge and across the 101-feet-high Salisbury Viaduct for views of the Somerset wind farms. Arrive to Ohiopyle for late lunch, then head off to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, a site not to be missed. Finish the day off in style as we check in to the acclaimed Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Dinner on your own tonight. (41 miles)
Leaving from Ohiopyle State Park at a leisurely pace we will follow the Youghiogheny River downstream to the charming village of Perryopolis. Here we'll be treated to private dining at our hotel, the Inn at Lenora. (35 miles).
Our last full day of riding will take us from Perryopolis all the way back to Pittsburgh (Homestead) following the Youghiogheny River. In Homestead you can opt to pick up 15 more miles by pedaling into downtown Pittsburgh. Sumptuous farewell dinner. (42 or 55 miles) Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites or Marriott
After a hearty breakfast we make final farewells and then shuttle back to Pittsburgh.