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Great Allegheny Passage / Chesapeake & Ohio

  • Pittsburgh skyline
  • Great Falls near Washington DC
  • Eastern Continental Divide
  • GAP trail across roads
  • Trillium flowers
  • Harper's Ferry
  • C&O Canal Towpath trail
  • Capitol building Washington DC at sunset
DURATION
6 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
13 to 65 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
2-Easier to Intermediate
STARTING FROM
$2895
SINGLES FROM
$600

Trip Overview

Join us for a six-day pedal through three states along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Towpath. These two rails-to-trails connect the forks of the Ohio River in Pittsburgh to the tidewater of the Potomac in Washington D.C, with 335 miles of scenic, car-free, and nearly level riding. Though the grade is friendly, the miles are high. The 150 mile-long GAP Trail follows an abandoned railroad through tunnels and across viaducts through the Allegheny Mountains. In Cumberland, the trail joins the 185 mile-long trail C&O Canal Towpath. Meandering along the Potomac River, the towpath, which has 74 lifts to adjust for the 605 foot change in elevation, was constructed to make the river more navigable. The route is rich with history ranging from canal and railroad transportation to the Civil War.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day
Distance: 55 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort Inn & Suites
The trip begins with an 8:30am Meet’n’Greet in downtown Pittsburgh. Bring your luggage and be ride-ready. After brief introductions, we will pile our luggage, bodies, and bikes in the van and trailer. We will shuttle to the GAP trailhead at Point State Park, which sits at the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers. Known as “The City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh is the city with the most bridges in the world -- even more than Venice! So enjoy the many steel bridges you’ll see as you begin the ride. Stop for lunch in West Newtown, with its quaint storefronts. You’ll end your ride in Connellsville, once lucrative in coal mining and coke production; more than 40,000 beehive shaped coke ovens used to light up the evening sky. Dinner will be at 6:30 PM.
DAY 2 - Falls City
Distance: 58 miles | Terrain: Easier | Yoder’s Guesthouse
In the first 26 miles from Connellsville to Confluence, you will ride along the Youghiogheny River. The river has cut its way through the mountain ridge, forming the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania. Enjoy the beautiful Yough River Gorge Overlook before reaching Ohiopyle. Famous for its white water rafting, Ohiopyle, also known as “Falls City,” is where George Washington was famously forced to turn back because waterfalls made the river unnavigable. Enjoy the tunnels and bridges through Pinkerton Neck. At Garrett, you’ll pass through farm lands and wind farms. Just before ending today’s ride in Meyersdale, the highest town on our journey, you’ll ride on the Salisbury Viaduct, a 100-foot high high steel trestle that runs for more than 1,900 feet through the valley. We’ll have dinner tonight in Meyersdale.
DAY 3 - Wrap up the GAP
Distance: 33 miles | Terrain: Easier | Fairfield Inn & Suites
Though today is our last day of riding along the GAP trail, you won’t be disappointed -- there’s a line-up of one awesome sight right after the next! Shortly into your ride, you’ll come across the 910 foot-long Keystone Viaduct. After a few more miles of pedaling, you’ll come to the Eastern Continental Divide. At 2,392 feet, the divide marks the boundary between the watershed of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Less than two miles later, you’ll ride through Big Savage Tunnel, the longest tunnel on the trip. The last twenty miles descend gently alongside the Maryland Scenic Railroad line. You’ll ride through the Mason Dixon Park, honoring the two gentleman who surveyed the land and created the famous Mason-Dixon Line. Enjoy lunch in Frostburg, a popular college town, before riding past Helmstetter’s Curve and Bone Cave. You’ll end the day in the attractive and vibrant city of Cumberland, where the GAP and C&O trails combine. Tonight’s dinner will be on your own in Cumberland.
DAY 4 - Paw Paw Tunnel
Distance: 60 miles | Terrain: Easier | The 1828 Trail Inn B&B and Riverrun B&B
Today you’ll begin your journey along the C&O Canal Towpath. You’ll see many aqueducts and locks, each with their own story to tell. You’ll come across the 0.6 mile-long Paw Paw Tunnel, one of the world’s longest canal tunnels. The canal company opted to tunnel through 3,118 feet of the mountain rather than construct five miles of canal along the winding river. You’ll end the day in Hancock. We will enjoy dinner tonight at Buddy Lou’s Eats, Drinks, & Antiques.
DAY 5 - Harpers Ferry
Distance: 65 miles | Terrain: Easier | Light Horse Inn and The Ledge House B&B
You’ll see more aqueducts and locks today. Consider stopping at the Fort Frederick State Park to learn about the fort and its role in the French and Indian War of 1754-1763 as well as the Civil War. A little while later, cross the footbridge to Harpers Ferry. Deemed a National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry is the site of Brown’s Raid of the Federal Armory, which was the trigger that sparked the Civil War. Settling into Harpers Ferry, you’ll have opportunities to hike trails and battlefields. Enjoy dinner as a group tonight in the lovely Harpers Ferry Barn.
DAY 6 - Departure Day
Distance: 61 miles | Terrain: Easier
Pedal along the C&O Canal Towpath. Visit Great Falls, one of the most spectacular natural features in the Washington DC area, with its cascading rapids and dramatic waterfalls. At Widewater, see the nearly 500-foot wide log wall that was built to dam up water for navigation and to carry the towpath. Enjoy the final miles into the Washington DC area where we will say our goodbyes.

Map

Picture of Great Allegheny Passage / Chesapeake & Ohio

Dates & Pricing

Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable until the final payment due date.

Start End Cost Availability
May 24, 2020 May 29, 2020 $2895.00 Available! Reserve Reserve
Jun 14, 2020 Jun 19, 2020 $2895.00 Available! Reserve Reserve
Sep 27, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 $2895.00 Available! Reserve Reserve

What’s Included

All shuttles, 5 nights' lodging, 5 breakfasts, 4 dinners (you are on your own for one dinner), 2 lunches, leaders, van support, route directions, a bicycle, and a helmet. Airfare is not included.

Dates & Pricing

Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable until the final payment due date.

Start: May 24, 2020
End: May 29, 2020
Cost: $2895.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve
Start: Jun 14, 2020
End: Jun 19, 2020
Cost: $2895.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve
Start: Sep 27, 2020
End: Oct 02, 2020
Cost: $2895.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve

What’s Included

All shuttles, 5 nights' lodging, 5 breakfasts, 4 dinners (you are on your own for one dinner), 2 lunches, leaders, van support, route directions, a bicycle, and a helmet. Airfare is not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Comfort Inn
Our hotel in Connellsville, PA is perfect for those who want to explore all the sights of the Laurel Highlands and more.
Yoder’s Guesthouse
Yoder’s Guest House is the perfect place to relax, refuel, and recognize the beauty of your journey.

Each of their 11 guest rooms has its very own private bathroom. Their continental breakfast, wireless internet access, and ADA compliance make Yoder’s an extremely accommodating and relaxing experience for everyone. In the evening, guests relax in the historic doctor's library, play board games in the dining room and appreciate the company of other friendly guests.
Fairfield Inn & Suites
A gem among Cumberland hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites is perfectly situated near I-68 and just minutes to the C&O Canal trail. Get a great night's rest in one of our comfortable rooms and enjoy thoughtful amenities like free wireless high speed internet, free local calls and large work desk. Unwind in our indoor pool or whirlpool. Join us each morning for an energizing, complimentary continental breakfast buffet.
The 1828 Trail Inn B&B and Riverrun B&B
The 1828 Trail Inn overlooks the historic C & O Canal Rail Trail (former Western Maryland Railroad), and the Potomac River. Named for the date of the beginning of the race between railroad and canal builders to open up commerce between Maryland and the Ohio River Valley, this B&B provides a comfortable stopping point. We may also use space at the Riverrun B&B.
Light Horse Inn and The Ledge House B&B
Built in the Crossroads of the Revolutionary War, the restored historic Light Horse Inn offers early American style. Seven gorgeous suites with views of mountain heights and small town. Built circa 1770s, the Inn takes you back to a time when George Washington could have been spotted from the windows surveying the land. On some departures guests will stay at the Ledge House B&B.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Pittsburgh skyline Great Falls near Washington DC Eastern Continental Divide GAP trail across roads Trillium flowers Harper's Ferry C&O Canal Towpath trail Capitol building Washington DC at sunset