Petersburg Trails and Maps

Looking for the best trails around Petersburg?

Find the top rated trails in Petersburg, whether you're looking an easy walking path or a long bike trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
33 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Allegheny Highlands Trail

24.5 mi
State: WV
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Barnum Rail-Trail

4.2 mi
State: WV
Ballast, Dirt, Grass

Big Stonecoal Trail

4.3 mi
State: WV
Ballast, Dirt, Gravel

Blackwater Canyon Trail

10.5 mi
State: WV
Dirt, Gravel

Carpendale Trail

0.8 mi
State: MD, WV
Crushed Stone

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

184.5 mi
State: DC, MD
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Clover Trail

2 mi
State: WV
Dirt

County Line Trail (WV)

4 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Davis Trail

2.6 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Deckers Creek Trail

19 mi
State: WV
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

East Fork Trail (WV)

8 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Great Allegheny Passage

150 mi
State: MD, PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Green Mountain Trail

4.1 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Kendall Trail

2 mi
State: MD
Dirt, Gravel

Laurel Fork River Trail-South

9.6 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Laurelly Branch Trail

3.5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Limerock Trail

4 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Lumberjack Trail

5.7 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Moore Run Trail

4.2 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Otter Creek Trail

11.8 mi
State: WV
Dirt
Accordion

Possession Camp Trail

3.2 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Railroad Grade Trail (WV)

3.2 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Red Creek Trail

6.4 mi
State: WV
Ballast, Dirt

Rocky Point Trail

1.9 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Rohrbaugh Trail

3.6 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Seneca Creek Trail

5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Shingletree Trail

4.5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

South Prong Trail

4.5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Stone Camp Run Trail

1.5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Tea Creek Trails

44 mi
State: WV
Dirt, Grass, Gravel

West Fork Trail

22 mi
State: WV
Ballast, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Whitmeadow Ridge Trail

5 mi
State: WV
Dirt

Widney Park Rail-Trail

0.8 mi
State: WV
Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884. For 24.5 miles this exceptionally scenic...
WV 24.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Nestled in a northern valley of West Virginia, the Barnum Rail-Trail follows the North Branch Potomac River through the superb scenery of the Upper Potomac region. If you plan to explore this...
WV 4.2 mi Ballast, Dirt, Grass
In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...
WV 4.3 mi Ballast, Dirt, Gravel
In 1888, the Blackwater Canyon Trail, located in the Monongahela National Forest, was used to haul coal and lumber through this stunning canyon. Today, remnants of this history still remain just...
WV 10.5 mi Dirt, Gravel
The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. The wooden bridge spanning 386 feet across the river is a...
MD, WV 0.8 mi Crushed Stone
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (a.k.a. C&O Canal Towpath) follows the route of the Potomac River for 184.5 miles between Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and Cumberland, Maryland....
DC, MD 184.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...
WV 2 mi Dirt
The County Line Trail is a short, less-traveled alternative to the neighboring 21.7-mile West Fork Trail. The County Line Trail travels 4 miles along the border of Randolph and Pocahontas counties,...
WV 4 mi Dirt
Located in Blackwater Falls State Park in the Monongahela National Forest, the Davis Trail is an easy rail-trail that ambles up Canaan Mountain as it heads south towards Canaan Valley Resort State...
WV 2.6 mi Dirt
Morgantown is known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. But it’s also known for its extensive rail-trail system along...
WV 19 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The scenic East Fork Trail follows the East Fork of the Greenbrier River through hemlock stands and pine plantations and past many small waterfalls, extending 8 miles from the Island Campground in...
WV 8 mi Dirt
Now the longest rail-trail east of the Mississippi River, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) spans two states in its course along great rivers and across mountain passes. Running from...
MD, PA 150 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...
WV 4.1 mi Dirt
The little-known Kendall Trail extends 2 miles south from the tiny community of Friendsville, Maryland, to the ruins of the former logging town of Kendall. The trail offers expansive views of the...
MD 2 mi Dirt, Gravel
WV 9.6 mi Dirt
West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...
WV 3.5 mi Dirt
The Limerock Trail is pure West Virginia: From Forest Service Road 18, the 4-mile rail-trail passes through rhododendron forests and along rocky cliffs and rushing streams. You begin with the sound of...
WV 4 mi Dirt
Located in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Lumberjack Trail offers a scenic hike on an old...
WV 5.7 mi Dirt
The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...
WV 4.2 mi Dirt
The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...
WV 11.8 mi Dirt
Accordion
The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...
WV 3.2 mi Dirt
The Railroad Grade Trail is a rural hiking trail built on a former logging railroad corridor in the Monongahela National Forest near Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park....
WV 3.2 mi Dirt
In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...
WV 6.4 mi Ballast, Dirt
In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...
WV 1.9 mi Dirt
In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...
WV 3.6 mi Dirt
Located in the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Seneca Creek Trail is a scenic feast of streams, meadows,...
WV 5 mi Dirt
West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...
WV 4.5 mi Dirt
The South Prong Trail is a remote, rugged rail-trail that offers a moderate, though sometimes quite hilly, hike. There are two very distinct sections of this trail—one section is boggy, while the...
WV 4.5 mi Dirt
The Stone Camp Run Trail follows an old railroad corridor through a deep hollow on Middle Mountain in the Monongahela National Forest's Laurel Fork North Wilderness. The scenic trail crosses the...
WV 1.5 mi Dirt
The Tea Creek Area Trails system consists of 12 trails totaling 44 miles, many of which follow old logging railroad corridors. The trails are found in the Marlinton Ranger District within Monongahela...
WV 44 mi Dirt, Grass, Gravel
The West Fork Trail is a pleasant 22-mile trail that snakes its way through a remote mountain setting and follows the West Fork River for most of its route. The soothing rumble of the river...
WV 22 mi Ballast, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Located in the heart of West Virginia, the Whitmeadow Ridge Trail is also in the center of the Monongahela National Forest. Otherwise known as the Whitmeadow Hunters Access Trail (notice the bullet...
WV 5 mi Dirt
Widney Park Rail-Trail is located in the quiet West Virginia community of Durbin. The old railroad town has a charming Main Street with welcoming shops and restaurants and the rail-trail is located...
WV 0.8 mi Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Barnum Rail-Trail

WV - 4.2 miles

Nestled in a northern valley of West Virginia, the Barnum Rail-Trail follows the North Branch Potomac River through the superb scenery of the Upper Potomac region. If you plan to explore this...

Deckers Creek Trail

WV - 19 miles

Morgantown is known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. But it’s also known for its extensive rail-trail system along...

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

DC,MD - 184.5 miles

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (a.k.a. C&O Canal Towpath) follows the route of the Potomac River for 184.5 miles between Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and Cumberland, Maryland....

Carpendale Trail

MD,WV - 0.8 miles

The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. The wooden bridge spanning 386 feet across the river is a...

Accordion

Kendall Trail

MD - 2 miles

The little-known Kendall Trail extends 2 miles south from the tiny community of Friendsville, Maryland, to the ruins of the former logging town of Kendall. The trail offers expansive views of the...

Great Allegheny Passage

MD,PA - 150 miles

Now the longest rail-trail east of the Mississippi River, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) spans two states in its course along great rivers and across mountain passes. Running from...

Allegheny Highlands Trail

WV - 24.5 miles

The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884. For 24.5 miles this exceptionally scenic...

Seneca Creek Trail

WV - 5 miles

Located in the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Seneca Creek Trail is a scenic feast of streams, meadows,...

Laurelly Branch Trail

WV - 3.5 miles

West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...

Tea Creek Trails

WV - 44 miles

The Tea Creek Area Trails system consists of 12 trails totaling 44 miles, many of which follow old logging railroad corridors. The trails are found in the Marlinton Ranger District within Monongahela...

Moore Run Trail

WV - 4.2 miles

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...

Accordion

South Prong Trail

WV - 4.5 miles

The South Prong Trail is a remote, rugged rail-trail that offers a moderate, though sometimes quite hilly, hike. There are two very distinct sections of this trail—one section is boggy, while the...

Shingletree Trail

WV - 4.5 miles

West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...

Big Stonecoal Trail

WV - 4.3 miles

In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...

Barnum Rail-Trail

WV - 4.2 miles

Nestled in a northern valley of West Virginia, the Barnum Rail-Trail follows the North Branch Potomac River through the superb scenery of the Upper Potomac region. If you plan to explore this...

Stone Camp Run Trail

WV - 1.5 miles

The Stone Camp Run Trail follows an old railroad corridor through a deep hollow on Middle Mountain in the Monongahela National Forest's Laurel Fork North Wilderness. The scenic trail crosses the...

Rohrbaugh Trail

WV - 3.6 miles

In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...

Otter Creek Trail

WV - 11.8 miles

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...

Kendall Trail

MD - 2 miles

The little-known Kendall Trail extends 2 miles south from the tiny community of Friendsville, Maryland, to the ruins of the former logging town of Kendall. The trail offers expansive views of the...

Widney Park Rail-Trail

WV - 0.8 miles

Widney Park Rail-Trail is located in the quiet West Virginia community of Durbin. The old railroad town has a charming Main Street with welcoming shops and restaurants and the rail-trail is located...

Allegheny Highlands Trail

WV - 24.5 miles

The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884. For 24.5 miles this exceptionally scenic...

Carpendale Trail

MD,WV - 0.8 miles

The Carpendale Trail straddles the North Branch of the Potomac River between Carpendale in West Virginia and Cumberland in Maryland. The wooden bridge spanning 386 feet across the river is a...

Deckers Creek Trail

WV - 19 miles

Morgantown is known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. But it’s also known for its extensive rail-trail system along...

Great Allegheny Passage

MD,PA - 150 miles

Now the longest rail-trail east of the Mississippi River, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) spans two states in its course along great rivers and across mountain passes. Running from...

Blackwater Canyon Trail

WV - 10.5 miles

In 1888, the Blackwater Canyon Trail, located in the Monongahela National Forest, was used to haul coal and lumber through this stunning canyon. Today, remnants of this history still remain just...

Lumberjack Trail

WV - 5.7 miles

Located in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Lumberjack Trail offers a scenic hike on an old...

Green Mountain Trail

WV - 4.1 miles

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...

Great Allegheny Passage

MD,PA - 150 miles

Now the longest rail-trail east of the Mississippi River, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) spans two states in its course along great rivers and across mountain passes. Running from...

Red Creek Trail

WV - 6.4 miles

In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...

Moore Run Trail

WV - 4.2 miles

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...

Whitmeadow Ridge Trail

WV - 5 miles

Located in the heart of West Virginia, the Whitmeadow Ridge Trail is also in the center of the Monongahela National Forest. Otherwise known as the Whitmeadow Hunters Access Trail (notice the bullet...

Accordion

Railroad Grade Trail (WV)

WV - 3.2 miles

The Railroad Grade Trail is a rural hiking trail built on a former logging railroad corridor in the Monongahela National Forest near Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park....

Big Stonecoal Trail

WV - 4.3 miles

In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...

Allegheny Highlands Trail

WV - 24.5 miles

The Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) follows the original route of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway, built by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1884. For 24.5 miles this exceptionally scenic...

Tea Creek Trails

WV - 44 miles

The Tea Creek Area Trails system consists of 12 trails totaling 44 miles, many of which follow old logging railroad corridors. The trails are found in the Marlinton Ranger District within Monongahela...

Shingletree Trail

WV - 4.5 miles

West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...

East Fork Trail (WV)

WV - 8 miles

The scenic East Fork Trail follows the East Fork of the Greenbrier River through hemlock stands and pine plantations and past many small waterfalls, extending 8 miles from the Island Campground in...

Rohrbaugh Trail

WV - 3.6 miles

In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to...

Kendall Trail

MD - 2 miles

The little-known Kendall Trail extends 2 miles south from the tiny community of Friendsville, Maryland, to the ruins of the former logging town of Kendall. The trail offers expansive views of the...

Green Mountain Trail

WV - 4.1 miles

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but...

West Fork Trail

WV - 22 miles

The West Fork Trail is a pleasant 22-mile trail that snakes its way through a remote mountain setting and follows the West Fork River for most of its route. The soothing rumble of the river...

Blackwater Canyon Trail

WV - 10.5 miles

In 1888, the Blackwater Canyon Trail, located in the Monongahela National Forest, was used to haul coal and lumber through this stunning canyon. Today, remnants of this history still remain just...

Seneca Creek Trail

WV - 5 miles

Located in the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest—a hotspot for mountain biking and rock climbing—the Seneca Creek Trail is a scenic feast of streams, meadows,...

Stone Camp Run Trail

WV - 1.5 miles

The Stone Camp Run Trail follows an old railroad corridor through a deep hollow on Middle Mountain in the Monongahela National Forest's Laurel Fork North Wilderness. The scenic trail crosses the...

Deckers Creek Trail

WV - 19 miles

Morgantown is known as the home of West Virginia University, the inspiration for a Joni Mitchell song and the birthplace of Don Knotts. But it’s also known for its extensive rail-trail system along...

Clover Trail

WV - 2 miles

West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest offers a wide variety of trails for day or multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty, including several trails built on former logging railroad...

Recent Trail Reviews

Deckers Creek Trail

Scenic Climb

July, 2017 by jmk355

I spent a day in Morgantown hitting both Mon River Trails and the Caperton Trail, but the Decker's Creek portion was the most scenic. (North is notable too). Be prepared for a steady climb out of Morgantown after a couple miles, but its a moderate grade and provides a fun reward on the way back down. After 13-14 miles, I ran into kids on dirt bikes on the trail and more non bicycle congestion ahead, so I reversed course and headed back down. Not many trail heads after a few miles, so bring lots of water.
Only issue was a hard time in finding good parking. Do NOT try to park at HR McQuain Park even though it is the hub of the trails in the area. All parking spots are metered or reserved for patrons of nearby places, it seems to be a bus transfer station based on the herd of buses I ran into on arrival and the traffic to get into the lot is awfully slow and congested. I ended up parking at Marilla Park which is only 1.5 miles from McQuain Park. There are tennis courts, a pool and skate ramps there, but parking is abundant and free. Wish I would have gone there first.

Great Allegheny Passage

Just great!!

July, 2017 by jfriez

Can't say more been riding the YRT trail for years!!

Carpendale Trail

Nice Side Trip

July, 2017 by jencromer

I did this trail as a little side trip off the C&O. I think its name is actually Knobley Tunnel Trail. Unmarked from the Maryland side, but it's right beside the remnants of a railroad trestle. My first tunnel on a bicycle - quite the experience! Incredibly humid!

Accordion

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

An Amazing Experience

June, 2017 by brendan.ms

A friend and I just recently finished this trail. It was an amazing ride with plenty to see along the route. The trail was very well maintained with the grass having been recently mowed and some sections of the trail having been repaved.

We completed this trail in 4 days going from Cumberland to DC; I was quite surprised at how empty the trail was, so if you want a nice peaceful ride and learn some historic facts about the area this is a great trail for you. There are plenty of free camping spots along the route as well as port-a-potties (not the best well kept many had wasp nests inside). Also their are water pumps along the route to stop and refill so you do not need to carry too much water.

West Fork Trail

Not Worth The Drive

June, 2017 by hikermon

Tried to ride this trail on 5/31/17 starting in Durbin. Had a nice chat with a local while gearing up. First quarter mile was good, then the overgrowth started. Further I rode, the worse it got. At around mile 7 it really was out of control, but I rode on. Around mile 8 there was a blowdown to climb over. The growth was seat high at this point. About mile 9 it was a single track ride and could not see the trail, just a path in the "grass". I turned around as I like to see what I'm riding into, and could not. A big disappointment. It was not worth the drive to get there. Don't bother. Ride the Allegheny Highlands Trail in Elkins instead!

Great Allegheny Passage

Pittsburgh STILL NEEDS WORK!

June, 2017 by dochyde357

How many YEARS is it going to take to mark the trail properly through Pittsburgh? Are you kidding me? How many more stories about getting lost trying to find your way? If you want to ruin the start of your bike ride, begin in Pittsburgh. If you want to ruin the end of your GAP adventure, finish in Pittsburgh. If you don't waste your time in Pittsburgh and start or finish in say, Homestead, it's a great trail. Clearly marked, great scenery and wildlife. Many great places to stay or camp along the way. Many wonderful places to eat too. We stayed at some fantastic B&B's along the GAP and enjoyed every meal during our four day ride into Cumberland.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Don't get on at Harpers Ferry!

May, 2017 by suemer47

We stopped at Harpers Ferry and were told by at least 3 park rangers that all you have to do is put your bikes on the bus at the Visitors Center ...cross the bridge and get on the trail. None of those people told us that when you cross the bridge there is a spiral staircase and about 40 metal stairs you have to carry your bike down to get on the trail. It was not fun and very dangerous. Luckily a few nice strong young men carried our bikes. The trail at the bottom of the stairs was nice, but very muddy. All I could think of was how are we gonna get our bikes back up the stairs. When I mentioned this to the business owners in Harpers Ferry, they all said yes, you need to complain to the park service. No where on any of the trail information is this problem listed.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

C&O trail

May, 2017 by stevenlaineerwilson

This is an absolutely beautiful trail with lots of nature and serene sideways along its path.

Allegheny Highlands Trail

Alleghany Highland Trail

April, 2017 by thestew4

My husband and I were looking for a nice long trail to do. We picked this one. Drove down from Canada to do some early Spring riding. We enjoyed the easy 6mile climb from Parsons towards Elkins but were quite surprised passing a wood factory and messy backyards with lots of dogs barking and chained up. I could go on but was disappointed by the whole area.

Great Allegheny Passage

The GAP Is Truly Great

March, 2017 by bagrasser

In 2016, it was my goal to ride the entire Great Allegheny Passage, in sections, on day trips. I live in western Pennsylvania and most of the trail is within 1.5 hours from my home. I have ridden parts of it since its earliest days in the 1980's, but until this year, never the whole trail.

I began in July by starting at Rockwood and heading for the Pinkerton tunnel. When I reached the tunnel, I took the by-pass and returned through the tunnel. It was a nice round trip of about 17.5 miles. I liked it so much that I repeated it the next day with my daughter.

The next trip again started at Rockwood, but this time I rode to Meyersdale. This ride includes the Salisbury Viaduct, the 1900 foot long, 100 foot high bridge across the Casselman River valley. I stopped in the visitor center, the restored train station, at Meyersdale for a break and then returned to Rockwood. As I recall it was a very hot day, about 90F, but most of the trail is shaded so it really wasn't uncomfortable at all. The length of this trip was as about 24 miles total.

Next trip I started at Meyersdale and headed for Frostburg. This trip takes you over the historic Bollman bridge followed by the 900 foot long Keystone Viaduct which crosses the CSX railroad and Flaugherty Creek. The trail continues through Sandpatch, Deal, and Warrens Mill eventually reaching the Eastern Continental Divide. Further on is the Big Savage Mountain tunnel. At 3300 feet, it is the longest tunnel on the trail. The tunnel opens up to a gorgeous vista of the Wills Creek valley and the mountains beyond. On a fast down hill ride comes the Mason Dixon line as you cross into Maryland, the Borden tunnel, and then Frostburg. I had a good lunch at the Trail Inn and started back for Meyersdale. On the return trip, about four or five miles short of Meyersdale, when my rear tire was punctured. It was my first flat ever on the trail. Since I had no repair kit or means to inflate my tire, I walked the rest of the way to Meyersdale and arrived at twilight. I now carry an extra tube, CO2 cartridges, and the proper tools to change a flat. This leg was about 32 miles for the round trip.

The next ride was with my brother. We started at Cumberland and rode up to Frostburg. It's a fair hill climb once you pass through the Narrows, but if you ride steady, it's not bad at all. Highlights include some great views of the mountains and valley below, and the Brush Tunnel. This section parallels the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad nearly the whole way to Frostburg, so be ready to photograph the train. Again, we had lunch at the Trail Inn. The return trip is a quick ride down hill. Total distance was about 32 miles.

The following trip started at Confluence where I headed for the Pinkerton Tunnel again. This section also includes great scenery along the Casselman River. About a half mile short of the tunnel, I came across a rattlesnake stretched across the trail sunning itself. It was a busy day on the trail and I feared that someone might ride over the critter either hurting it or worse, being bitten by it. So I stopped and shooed it off the trail with a long stick, but not before it coiled and rattled quite a bit. Eventually, it peacefully and safely left the trail. The other cyclists watching me were quite entertained. When I reached the tunnel, I again took the by-pass and returned through the tunnel. On the return leg to Confluence, I paused with some other riders in the underpass at Harnedsville to wait out a brief summer rain shower. I then continued through Confluence on to Ohiopyle. This section of the trail parallels the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park and is like riding through a forested cathedral. This is also one of the busiest sections of the trail, probably because it is so beautiful. The trail and views of the river can't be beat. At Ohiopyle I stopped for lunch at the Falls City Restaurant and Pub where I enjoyed some great food and craft beer. If you've never been to Ohiopyle, take some time to explore. You'll like what you see and want to come back. After lunch, I returned to Confluence. Total mileage this day was about 40 miles.

My brother and I joined forces again on the following ride starting at Connelsville. From here, we rode upstream to Ohiopyle. On this trip I remember that my brother was counting the number of other cyclists we encountered. In this 17 mile stretch he counted over 120 on the trail until we were just short of Ohiopyle where the crowds made his informal census impossible. This attests to the popularity of the trail. This section is also quite scenic and again parallels the Youghiogheny River. The bridges at Ohiopyle offer wonderful views and always beg one to stop and enjoy. Lunch this day was again at Falls City Restaurant and Pub, my favorite in Ohiopyle. The return leg is mainly downhill and the total mileage was about 34 miles.

My next trip also began at Connelsville, but this time I headed downstream towards West Newton. This trip began the remainder of the trail which I had not previously explored. On this section I was impressed by the number of little villages and communities through which the trail passed, Adelaide, Dawson, Van Meter, and Smithton as well as long stretches of woodsy trail. You pass through Cedar Creek Park along the way as well. At West Newton, I had lunch at the Trailside Restaurant and Pub. Great food and beer and it's literally adjacent to the trail access parking. On the return trip I met two women who were through-riding from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. They were from New Jersey and California and on the first day of their journey. I was impressed by the numbers of through-riders I noticed on each of my rides this season. It is obvious that through-riding is becoming increasingly popular on the GAP. This leg of the trail was the longest at 50 miles roundtrip.

My brother joined me again for the next ride from West Newton to McKeesport. This ride was fairly rural with wooded areas and small communities until we reached Boston when the surroundings become interspersed with industry. We reached McKeesport near the Marina parking area. This is where the Youghiogheny River enters the Monongehela. From here we returned to West Newton for lunch at the Trailside Restaurant and Pub. Total mileage this trip was about 36 miles.

My final leg of this journey was on a beautiful sunny day in October. I started at McKeesport and headed for Point State Park in Pittsburgh. This is the most urban portion of the trail and begins with a crossing of the Monongehela River to the west bank. It passes Kennywood Park, the Waterfront, a shopping center at Homestead, and Sandcastle water park. Eventually, I crossed the the Mon again at the Hot Metal Bridge which has a great view of downtown Pittsburgh. This leads to the last portions of the trail ending around the Allegheny County Jail. From there the streets of Pittsburgh lead to the end of the GAP at the medallion near the fountain in Point State Park. On the return trip I stopped at the Hofbrauhaus, another favorite restaurant, on the Southside for an excellent lunch. I ended the ride in McKeesport where I began for a total of 32 miles on the day. My goal of riding the GAP in 2016 was complete.

I apologize for the extended dissertation, but I don't think that enough good things can be said about the Great Allegheny Passage. This is a wonderful trail full of great scenery, fun trail towns, nice people, exceptional bridges and tunnels, and adventure. I recommend that everyone should get out and enjoy it.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Awesome, and really fun to jog!

January, 2017 by isaacwathieu

I went on a 11 mile run through swains lock and it was so fun, you would occasionally see other runners but not too much. I also enjoyed the scenery around me. It is mostly dried dirt but has some mud. Really great if you are going with family members.

Great Allegheny Passage

Exceptional Trail

November, 2016 by steve plattner

In October due to a weird work schedule, I got on the trail at Connellsville, rode to Pittsburgh, took Amtrak to Washington, DC, then rode back via the C&O Towpath and joined the GAP again at Cumberland. Did it in six days pulling my BOB trailer the whole way.

The GAP trail is terrific. Very well-maintained, seems very popular. I encountered all sorts of people, including many riding the entire Pittsburgh to Cumberland or on to Washington route. The beginning it uphill for nearly twenty miles, but very do-able if you set your pace. The Mason Dixon line monument is wonderful, as is the tunnel nearby. Lots of great scenery and wildlife--even saw 1 porcupine and a black bear darted across the trail. I stayed at the Ramada in Cumberland (fine) and had a great Italian dinner nearby, then stayed in Meyerdale the next night before heading back into Connellsville where I stayed off the trail a bit at the Melody Motor Lodge--a throwback to another era but fine. Parked my car near the Amtrak station at the Connellsville PD--they just asked that I leave them a note with my contact info just in case. I really enjoyed the more industrial areas as well as the natural ones--McKeesport, Homestead, etc. Lots of history and beauty.

I would rate the GAP among my top four bike trails--with the Katy in MO, the Greenbrier in WV, and the shorter but beautiful VA Creeper--especially east of Damascus.

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