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Old 02-14-12, 09:46 AM   #1
jscalia
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GAP trail advice

I am doing the Great Allegheny Passage in mid-April with wife and 3 kids between McKeesport and Cumberland. What would be the best way to do this as a one way trip in terms of starting points and shuttling. We are driving our own vehicle. Also lodging advice or recommendations?
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Old 02-14-12, 11:36 AM   #2
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I did the GAP with my son 2 years ago, we parked in Cumberland and rode north/west, thought we did take the train from Cumberland to Frostburg - 16 miles. It was a fun ride on the train, and they take bikes and trailers without an issue. We contacted Cumberland Trail Connection bicycle shop beforehand and arranged for them to shuttle our car to the end point. Since we were on the trail for 3/4 days, they did it at some point and left the second set of keys inside. We had the other set of keys. It was nice ending the trip and being able to get in our car to head home without any shuttle or hassle. Also, since the train took us up most of the way, we only had a small amount of uphill to the high point of the trail and from there on we had a downhill run or flats to cover.


My two journals on the two trips I've done on the GAP & C&O

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=5496&v=5m

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=7265&v=5E

Last edited by VT_Speed_TR; 02-14-12 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 02-14-12, 02:09 PM   #3
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Another alternative is to rent a car in Cumberland and return to West Mifflin. There is a Hertz rental counter at the airport that accepts one way vehicles. I'd suggest dropping your family off at the trailhead in McKeesport, then returning the car to the airport and riding back. It's a short ride, mostly downhill, but is a bit trafficked and I don't know if I would want inexperienced cyclists on it (especially doing 40 mph on a rough road across a bridge.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:37 AM   #4
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Wow Brian - it's been nearly two years since you and Kyle did the Passage together. How time flies!

Jscalia - if Cumberland Trail Connection could shuttle your car, it probably would be the easiest solution (and most attractive). FYI there is a list of shuttle operators at the trail's website: http://atatrail.org/pv/shuttleservices.cfm.

The trail is now open to Homestead. There is lodging (Marriott Courtyard) and parking available there. How old are your children? How many miles per day were you planning to ride? Do you prefer B&Bs or motel or hostel environments? (I prefer to camp or hostel, but have used more civilized accomodations in the past )

Judy
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Old 02-15-12, 06:26 AM   #5
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My wife and I it 2x last year.And for lodging in Rockwood check out the Hostel. Very comfortable. Also here is a link to a GREAT site.
http://www.atatrail.org/
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Old 02-15-12, 06:45 AM   #6
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Wow Brian - it's been nearly two years since you and Kyle did the Passage together. How time flies!

Judy
Yes Judy, times does fly. I'm now having a harder and harder time keeping up with him, especially mountain biking. Seems like only yesterday I was pulling him in a trailer, and now he's kicking by butt on the singletrack. I can still outlast him on all day rides, but I'm sure that advantage will be ending soon also.

Hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying this non-winter. Have you been doing any winter encampments?
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Old 02-15-12, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jscalia View Post
I am doing the Great Allegheny Passage in mid-April with wife and 3 kids between McKeesport and Cumberland. What would be the best way to do this as a one way trip in terms of starting points and shuttling. We are driving our own vehicle. Also lodging advice or recommendations?
Here's a journal from someone in exactly your same situation (2 parents, three kids):

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=128157&v=56

and here's the video version (same family):

http://vimeo.com/9303068
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Old 02-15-12, 06:35 PM   #8
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You can stay at the Yough Shore Inn. http://youghshoreinn.com/ I think Lin charges some minimum fee to park your car. You can either take a room there or camp in her back yard. With the 3 kids it might be cheaper too take a room.


You are also welcome to park here if you want. I live close to the Pittsburgh Airport. If you can arrive a Friday night, I could take you down the Montour Trail to the start of the GAP or take you through Pittsburgh (the shorter route) on Saturday and I would return here Sunday. But with the 3 kids, I'd recommend the Montour, if they can make the 60 miles in a day. There really is not a whole lot of accommodations along the trail (the Montour) .


Just PM me.

Don't try to camp at Ohioplye or you will have a long push up a steep hill.

There is a nice hostel in Rockwood.
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Old 02-16-12, 09:11 AM   #9
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I, too, recommend the Yough Shore. Very hospitable, and a fun place to boot. The Rockwood Hostel is nice, but the new hostel (Morguen Toole Co. http://www.morguentoole.com/lodging.html) in Meyersdale was quite enjoyable.

While camping options are somewhat limited in places along the Passage, B&Bs seem to open and close like clockwork. Every year there's a new crop (and it's sad that it's not just the bad ones that go under...)

Judy
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Old 02-16-12, 09:38 AM   #10
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Yes Judy, times does fly. I'm now having a harder and harder time keeping up with him, especially mountain biking. Seems like only yesterday I was pulling him in a trailer, and now he's kicking by butt on the singletrack. I can still outlast him on all day rides, but I'm sure that advantage will be ending soon also.

Hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying this non-winter. Have you been doing any winter encampments?
It hasn't been the best of winters for me, but I'm still kicking around. No winter encampments for me this year, but spring campaigning begins with General Forbes and his army at Fort Ligonier in April. Lots to do beforehand...
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