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The Great Allegheny Passage

Tags on this page: Canal Place, Cumberland, Pittsburgh, Trail Towns, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Bike touring, Bikepacking, Frostburg, The Narrows, GAP, 

The Great Allegheny Passage (the GAP) rail-trail is a spectacular trail that is listed as a multi-use trail, but make no mistake, cycling is king here!  


The GAP as it is known starts in the small biker friendly city of Cumberland, MD (where the 184.5-mile C&O Canal National Historic park ends) and winds its way west through valleys

using abandoned corridors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, Union Railroad and the Western Maryland Railway to Pittsburgh, PA  150 miles away.  The GAP climbs 1800 feet in the first 24 miles (the climb is not as daunting as it sounds) to the Eastern Continental Divide where it is mostly flat and then slightly downhill to Pittsburgh. 

Along the way riders will pass through notable landmarks like the Cumberland Narrows, Mason Dixon Line, railway tunnels and bridges, Eastern Continental Divide, Windmills, abandoned coal mine and steel mills, small towns, State parks and ends in downtown Pittsburgh.  For the first 15 miles bikers pedal along the Western Maryland scenic railroad on its way from Cumberland To Frostburg,   

The GAP is unique in that it is a collaborative and cooperative effort of seven different trail organizations that helps promote, manage and maintain different sections of the trail.  The surface is well maintained and is mostly crushed limestone.  Riders should be aware of the numerous road crossings and note that the   weather in the Laurel Highlands section of the GAP can also turn cold (and snowy) in the spring and fall.  The cold weather also forces closure of the Savage Mountain tunnel closed for about four months and biking around this closure is not a good option.   

The numerous "Trail towns" along the length of the GAP provide ample services with many restaurants, B&B’s, hostels, and hotels,  

Go for a day, weekend, or take longer and explore the whole thing (and maybe the C&O Canal National Historic Park also). 


You will fall in love! 

How to use the map: The map below contains points of interest for this section of the trail! Click the upper left hand button to see a menu with a list of all points. Items on this map are grouped by Category or trail, and can be toggled on or off through this menu to get a better picture of  a specific category of options. All items contain their description from the table below, as well as google-maps information as available. Click on the upper right hand button to view the map in greater detail.


How to use the table: The table below contains points of interest for this section of the trail! Click on the heading of each section in order to get a sorted list of items (i.e. see all items by Mile on the trail, or all places with Food.) The upper right contains a search bar -- use this to find all items with a specific word (i.e. all 'locks' or all 'attraction'). All items below also exist on the map above, grouped and labeled by type for clarity and convenience. 

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