8/12/2010 6:30:03 PM
My wife and I biked the GAP from McKeesport to Cumberland this summer and back and it was truly "the ride of your life." If you can't do the entire GAP I think the section from Meyersdale to Cumberland is the best part since you get to ride over the Salisbury viaduct (if you do a little backtracking) and the Keystone viaduct. You get to go over the Bollman Bridge (cast iron) and through the Big Savage tunnel. You get to cross the Eastern continental divide and the Mason Dixon line. And best of all you get a 15 mile downhill coast from Frostburg to Cumberland and if you time it right you will pass the Western Maryland steam engine chugging up from Cumberland. Of course you should pedal the 15 miles back up (1.6% grade) just to do it. Hey, I'm 63 and I did it. We met great people including a guy who biked here from Oregon (he had a recumbent and support) and a group of Eagle scouts on a 33 day trip to NY to do the Erie Canal. One note of caution, we did see 7 rattlesnakes within three to four feet of the trail coming down from the Big Savage tunnel so be careful if you step into the grassy areas or go deeper into the woods. Let me briefly add Meyersdale has a restored train station where you can load up on souvenirs. All in all you won't be disappointed. You will see interesting features, meet interesting people, see a bunch of wildlife, and get great exercise. What could be better?