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Old 06-13-14, 04:08 PM   #26
bgraham111
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Here are the shelters in Connellsville.
They are really right there. This is facing south (Pittsburgh to DC)

Ah.... click on the pic. I can't seem to big-ify it.

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Old 06-13-14, 08:18 PM   #27
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Info from 3 years ago:
Started from McKeesport for GAP/C&O. Stayed at the Yough River Inn the first night (really my kick off since it was only 10 miles from the car rental drop off at Allegheny County Airport). 68 miles to Confluence at Confluence House B&B, 62 miles to Cumberland, overnight at Fairfield Inn (Laundry facilities!).

For those who hit the C&O, stayed at Riverrun B&B in Hancock which was great and Laurel Lodge Inn in Harpers Ferry which was incredible.

I toyed with camping and was glad I didn't. It rained quite a bit and when it wasn't raining the mosquitos were dense.

Brief tour diary is on Track My Tour

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Old 06-14-14, 09:06 AM   #28
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I am starting my ride in Weirton W.Va on the Panhandle Trail and the Montour Trail in PA. Camping in Cecil Park. PA. I will get onto the GAP at Boston, PA riding to Cedar Creek Campground for my last night camping. The rest of the GAP I'm staying in B&Bs. Two nights in Confluence and one night in Meyersdale. I'm doing a very easy paced tour with lots of stops because of the World Cup. Mine is more of a soccer watching tour with bike rides between games.
I camped in Ceder Creek on Memorial day weekend heading westbound. There was a drunk guy fighting with his wife all night long and then he was up at 6am to go rev the engine in his truck. I'm not saying that this sort of thing always happens at that campground, but because their is a parking lot near the campground there is a chance that people who aren't trail users will be using the campground. Next time I will probably stay at Roundbottom (MP99).
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Old 06-14-14, 06:00 PM   #29
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the police station is right outside the park. They lock the park up at night.
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Old 06-15-14, 06:32 AM   #30
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the police station is right outside the park. They lock the park up at night.
That's all good and well but when I was there that did not seem to have prevented a drunken obnoxious car camping family from using the hiker, biker, paddler campground. The point of course is that camping spots have good points and bad points. I consider easy car access to be a bad point, and the Roundbottom campsite at mile post 99 does not have that problem.
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Old 06-15-14, 03:07 PM   #31
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That's all good and well but when I was there that did not seem to have prevented a drunken obnoxious car camping family from using the hiker, biker, paddler campground. The point of course is that camping spots have good points and bad points. I consider easy car access to be a bad point, and the Roundbottom campsite at mile post 99 does not have that problem.

Can't remember where I read a warning about car accessible camping on the C&O. Either it was on the website or in the trail book. Rivers Edge is car accessible but they do an excellent job of giving the hiker bikers their own space.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:34 AM   #32
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Antietam Creek campground is car accessible on the C&O. Very nice campground as well.
So are other hiker/biker camp sites that are close to a lock house w/ parking access or national park.
Antietam Creek was very busy once when I stayed there. And hikers/bikers were still able to get some solitude at the far northern end, furthest from the road and parking area.
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Old 06-17-14, 09:49 AM   #33
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so based on some of these suggestions do you all have any recommendations for how much cash to carry if I wanted to stop at some of these fine dining establishments? or to rephrase the question how much do you think food would cost to eat at some of these places if the timing works out correctly.

i am hoping to camp in my hammock.
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Old 06-17-14, 05:18 PM   #34
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so based on some of these suggestions do you all have any recommendations for how much cash to carry if I wanted to stop at some of these fine dining establishments? or to rephrase the question how much do you think food would cost to eat at some of these places if the timing works out correctly.

i am hoping to camp in my hammock.
Less than $100 and your bank card, Plenty of ATMs along the way.
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Old 06-25-14, 11:20 AM   #35
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Less than $100 and your bank card, Plenty of ATMs along the way.
Spinnaker, I have recently moved to Pittsburgh, just north of the airport. From reading your posts, you must be in the same general area. I attempted to send you a PM, but discovered one must have 50 posts in order to do so. This is my first, although I have been lurking for some time. I have a few questions regarding the area that don't pertain to this thread. Can you PM me, or is that not allowed either?

Sorry to everyone else for the interruption.
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Old 06-25-14, 11:44 AM   #36
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Spinnaker, I have recently moved to Pittsburgh, just north of the airport. From reading your posts, you must be in the same general area. I attempted to send you a PM, but discovered one must have 50 posts in order to do so. This is my first, although I have been lurking for some time. I have a few questions regarding the area that don't pertain to this thread. Can you PM me, or is that not allowed either?

Sorry to everyone else for the interruption.
49 more short posts and you're there.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:21 PM   #37
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i am hoping to camp in my hammock.
Make sure you have long tree straps especially on the C&O. the trees are very big and far apart at some locations. Husky Haven Campground had several spots to hang (sites 2 & 9).

I agree that $100 is the most you will need.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:28 PM   #38
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I got some good BBQ chciken here in Confluence:

The Smokehouse BBQ ::: Confluence, PA ::: Restaurant - Take Out
The restaurant is closed temporarily, probably for a few more weeks.
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Old 06-28-14, 08:31 PM   #39
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That's all good and well but when I was there that did not seem to have prevented a drunken obnoxious car camping family from using the hiker, biker, paddler campground.
I got good cellphone service there. And the cops did check the campground when I was there.
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Old 06-29-14, 06:30 AM   #40
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How do you secure your bikes while sleeping or is that not much of a concern?
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Old 06-29-14, 03:10 PM   #41
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How do you secure your bikes while sleeping or is that not much of a concern?
In my experience, it's only a concern if you leave the campsite to go to a store, restaurant, etc. In most cases, anywhere you'd want to do this, there are bike racks nearby. The only time I locked up was in Connellsville where there are racks on the back side of the shelter in post #26 . Even then, we only locked up because there was a lot of foot traffic near that particular spot from a reasonably large town.

If you are riding with a group, locking bikes together is a safe enough bet most of the time if you want a little extra security. Usually, my bike was right beside my tent and myself.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:10 AM   #42
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How do you secure your bikes while sleeping or is that not much of a concern?

I would take some precautions in larger towns. At Connellsville, I took my bike in the shelter and slept in front of it. Anyone trying to mess with it would have had to step over me. At Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood, I didn't lock my bike since I didn't bring a lock. Wasn't worried about someone coming along the trail and down the hill into the campground while I slept to steal anything.

Just got back form touring in Montana. I did bring a light cable and combo lock because I was alone and there were a few days where I knew I would be leaving my bike at a bike camp unattended while in town. Other than that, I think I used the two other times--when I shopped for groceries in two larger towns--Missoula and Hamilton.
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Old 06-30-14, 05:59 AM   #43
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I was going to ride the C&O and GAP this summer but because of issues at work I'll need to postpone the trip. I'm looking at going in October. I'll be mostly camping. I think October is the start of the "off season". I'd expect that to mean less crowded. The nighttime lows will be lower. How cold I can expect it to be, I'm not so sure yet. Will the campgrounds be open for the most part?
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Old 06-30-14, 06:21 AM   #44
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Make sure you have long tree straps especially on the C&O. the trees are very big and far apart at some locations. Husky Haven Campground had several spots to hang (sites 2 & 9).

I agree that $100 is the most you will need.
+1 on the long tree straps. I brought three, and one dynema strap extender. It seemed like my choices each night were either between trees too far apart or too close together. A bit too far apart is easier to manage than too close together. Two years ago at Rivers Edge Campground in Connellsville, I found almost no hammock-hanging options in the hiker/biker section of the campground, and had to hang between to large trees that were very far apart. This year I camped along the river at a drive-in type of site. I think it was 21. There were several good options along that stretch, right at the river bank.

My rig this year was a BIAS Weight Weenie Micro, whoopie slings, trail sticks for toggles and tree straps, with a Z-Packs 7 ounce Cuben fiber hammock tarp. Super light and comfortable way to travel.
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Old 06-30-14, 07:10 AM   #45
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I'm leaving in 3 days and was thinking of stringing a looped cable through my tent pole. I think someone messing with my tent would wake me up.
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Old 07-09-14, 06:49 AM   #46
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Just a follow up after my round trip ride on the GAP. Stayed at Trail Inn in Frostburg and secured bike to railing, decided to get a room and enjoy AC. At Husky Haven, (my new favorite place on the GAP) I just locked the frame and wheel and put bike beside tent, but would have felt equally comfortable leaving the bike unlocked. Locked bike to a tree at Ohiopyle State Park but felt pretty safe their as well. (As a side note, Ohiopyle sucks because you have to push your loaded bike 1/4 mi up a steep hill. I got to Connellsville at around 3:30 and was too antsy to stay so I pushed on to Ohiopyle, it was good for time but bad for camping.

Route was Homestead->Ohiopyle->Frostburg->Cumberland (arrived drank a cup of coffee took in a few sights and headed back)->Rockwood->Homestead (I feel I pushed myself a little too hard on the last day)
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Old 07-09-14, 08:18 AM   #47
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If you are planning to ride on the C&O trail soon, check the latest updates from the National Park Service. Apparently many sections of the C&O are now blocked by trees blown over in a huge thunderstorm yesterday.

I carried a 6' cable with combination lock on my trip, which we used to lock all 3 bikes in our group. It probably wasn't necessary, but I felt better having the bikes locked while eating lunch and view various attractions along the way. It is so easy to steal a bike that is not locked that it's just not worth the risk. If nothing else, I would recommend carrying a small cable lock.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:20 AM   #48
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At Husky Haven, (my new favorite place on the GAP) I just locked the frame and wheel and put bike beside tent, but would have felt equally comfortable leaving the bike unlocked.
How was the train noise?

Where there any other people there? I stayed there on a Sunday in September (Whatever day was the opening day of the NFL season) and had the place to myself. Didn't lock the bike since I didn't have a lock. Love the free firewood. As dusk approached, I was sitting at my picnic table preparing dinner when some sort of raptor swooped down, snatched a chipmunk and flew off with dinner in its talons. I didn't get a good look at the bird, but it was on the small side. Thinking it was a small owl as I later heard whooting.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:52 AM   #49
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How was the train noise?

Where there any other people there? I stayed there on a Sunday in September (Whatever day was the opening day of the NFL season) and had the place to myself. Didn't lock the bike since I didn't have a lock. Love the free firewood. As dusk approached, I was sitting at my picnic table preparing dinner when some sort of raptor swooped down, snatched a chipmunk and flew off with dinner in its talons. I didn't get a good look at the bird, but it was on the small side. Thinking it was a small owl as I later heard whooting.
There was definitely train noise but it really didn't bother me as as much as I thought it would. I was there on the 4th so there was also a lot of fireworks noise as well. There were maybe 3 other groups of bikers and a few car campers there but I still felt secluded.

edit: (oh and the bathroom/showers were immaculate)
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Old 07-09-14, 08:56 AM   #50
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Rode out and back ride on July 4th and 5th from Cumberland to Connellsville. 180 miles RT. Pretty easy trail to ride and the weather was perfect. Connellsville was a decent place to camp for free in the shelters. Lots of fireworks and train noise, but ear plugs took care of that.

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