Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Philadelphia area, Pa., USA
Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Mocha S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, C'dale F2000
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Originally Posted by n3vqh
Very Nice report... I want to do the C and O this summer/fall but your last line leads me to believe I should consider the GAP having road the C and O as a kid with the scouts I would love to do it again but all at once... but then having done it maybe I should do the GAP
Lots of folks love the C&O, so don't let me dissuade you. That said, I definitely found the GAP to be overall a much nicer trail, from the way it is surfaced (crushed gravel vs. dirt), the scenery, the small towns en route, etc. One big thing the C&O has going for it is the free hiker-biker campsites every five miles or so. Very nice feature. I'm eager to go back and ride the GAP; indeed, if I was closer I'd probably ride sections of it all the time. I don't feel so drawn to the C&O, but everyone is different.
By all means, if you can do both sections, that's great. Not too many (any?) similar long-distance off-road routes in the US. If it's a choice between the two, and you've already done the C&O, I'd recommend trying out the GAP. Logistics are often quoted as a problem for either trail, but I found using one-way rental cars to be an easy fix.