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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland MD in 2 Days

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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland MD in 2 Days

Old 10-25-21, 07:08 AM
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Riding the GAP: Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland MD in 2 Days

My bike and I took Amtrak from Washington DC to Pittsburgh PA, then I rode back to Cumberland over 2 days - where my wife met me and we had a fun filled but wet weekend at Deep Creek Lake.

Cycleblaze journal here.


At GAP Mile Zero in Cumberland, feeling good after 150 miles.
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Old 10-29-21, 11:24 AM
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2 days !?!? Go You !! I did Pittsburgh to Cumberland over 3 hot & humid days in August.
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Old 10-30-21, 07:13 AM
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Definitely cool and mostly sunny for me!

I uploaded the first day's ride to ReLive, so an animation of that ride is here.
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Old 11-02-21, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore
Definitely cool and mostly sunny for me!

I uploaded the first day's ride to ReLive, so an animation of that ride is here.
That's a really cool animation. Pittsburgh to Confluence in one day is impressive riding, in my book.
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Old 11-03-21, 05:01 AM
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I've done a century ride this year and several 75+ mile rides, so my legs and the rear end were in decent shape - especially for a flat ride like the GAP.

Uploaded the second day from Confluence to Cumberland - Relive animation here.
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Old 11-05-21, 05:09 AM
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Very cool, I would like to do that ride.

I'm in the initial stages of planning to ride the North Bend Rail Trail in WV. From what I can tell most of the 70 miles is currently closed but if it is open in May 2022 then I think I will do it.

My plan is to get my brother to drive with me to Clarksburg, which is an 8 hour drive from here, stay overnight there and hop on the trail at Wolf Summit early in the morning. My brother can take in the sights while I ride to Parkersburg where he can pick me up. I think it would be about a 7 hour ride. I also will probably head over to Spruce Knob and do that climb the next day.
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Old 11-07-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15
Very cool, I would like to do that ride.

I'm in the initial stages of planning to ride the North Bend Rail Trail in WV. From what I can tell most of the 70 miles is currently closed but if it is open in May 2022 then I think I will do it.
I'd never heard of this trail. I did some poking around, it looks interesting. Last month I did a bicycle camping trip along the 62-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail in northern PA, and it was great (apart from the weather not being as nice as it could have been.) It was my first time doing something like that (I've done a few "mini" bike camping trips on roads), and I really enjoyed it, and was thinking I'd love to find similar trip opportunities elsewhere.
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Old 11-08-21, 04:58 AM
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My wife and I did day riding on the Pine Creek Trail years ago, staying at a B&B in Wellsboro - really enjoyed that trail.

A great similar trip for you would have been the Delaware and Lehigh trail in PA - we did that 3 years ago. But it got hit hard by the flooding in September, and long stretches were completely trashed - not sure it can be recovered by 2022.

The year before that we did parts of what someday will be the Pittsburgh to Erie Trail, it is getting more interconnected each year. We did Oil City to Kennerdell, I forget the names of the actual trails we were on but the Pittsburgh to Erie trail sites lists them all.
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Old 11-12-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore
My wife and I did day riding on the Pine Creek Trail years ago, staying at a B&B in Wellsboro - really enjoyed that trail.
Pine Creek Trail during my 2017 Erie to Philly tour. I got on at Ansonia, a bit south of Wellsboro, and continued south. He was on my side of the creek and must have heard me coming. Heard a big splash, looked over and saw him swimming across. Managed to stop in time (nearly wiped out slamming on the brakes), fire up the camera and get a couple of shots before he disappeared into the brush.

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Old 12-27-21, 08:03 PM
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Hope you rode around Deep Creek, great area to ride.
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Old 03-20-22, 10:07 PM
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Has anyone done the GAP for fall foliage outing> If so how was it?
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Old 03-30-22, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PBS
Has anyone done the GAP for fall foliage outing> If so how was it?
What time of the fall are you thinking. Iíve done it three times starting the Saturday after Labor Day.

I found that to be a good time. Not crowded if you need indoor accommodations. (I camped.) My understanding is that it can get busier during the height of the fall foliage season. Leaves havenít completely covered the trail, obscuring obstacles. Not too cool at night. But you can get some warm, humid days.
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Old 04-01-22, 02:22 PM
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I rode a 32 mile out-and-back from Garrett, PA to the Mason Dixon Line on Oct. 14, 2020. The leaves were good but not great that year. The trail was not very busy (it was a Wednesday).


I didn't stop at any restaurants or use any lodging, so I have no idea how things were in that regard. In 2021, the weather delayed the color change quite a bit and then some trees went from green to brown, sorta skipping the great colors.

Friends rode the GAP in mid May last year and found that a lot of places weren't open and staffing was an issue at places that were open. Hopefully things will settle down by the time the OP rides.

Last edited by Altair 4; 04-08-22 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Added Photo
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Old 04-03-22, 06:42 PM
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Vey cool

Originally Posted by jpescatore
I've done a century ride this year and several 75+ mile rides, so my legs and the rear end were in decent shape - especially for a flat ride like the GAP.

Uploaded the second day from Confluence to Cumberland - Relive animation here.
thx for this. I hope to do when foliage is changing...
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Old 04-08-22, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PBS
thx for this. I hope to do when foliage is changing...
Added a photo to my last entry for you.
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Old 04-10-22, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Altair 4
Added a photo to my last entry for you.
That was cool of you ty!
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Old 04-10-22, 11:02 PM
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Great write up! Its a fun trip, thanks.
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Old 04-11-22, 08:47 AM
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Google "The Great Ride" on YT for a hour long video on the GAP and C&O that was produced by our local PBS station. You might enjoy it.
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Old 12-29-22, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Altair 4
Google "The Great Ride" on YT for a hour long video on the GAP and C&O that was produced by our local PBS station. You might enjoy it.
great video - thank you !
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Old 12-30-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
great video - thank you !
Glad you enjoyed it. I liked how it focused on the people on the trail, both riders and volunteers.
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Old 01-08-23, 09:37 AM
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Excellent thread! I was born in Cumberland, MD and we used to ride the C&O as well as fish the C&O back in the 1970's. Going to have to ride the full length of the trail someday. Living now in Wash DC region I occ ride the C&O. But doing the full GAP trail will have to be a to-do now that I'm retired!
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Old 02-03-23, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by morsetaper2
Excellent thread! I was born in Cumberland, MD and we used to ride the C&O as well as fish the C&O back in the 1970's. Going to have to ride the full length of the trail someday. Living now in Wash DC region I occ ride the C&O. But doing the full GAP trail will have to be a to-do now that I'm retired!

C&O and GAP are fun and easy if you don't over pack, really don't need much planning at all other than the shuttling issues if you cant hitch a ride to a trailhead.
Its always crazy hot when I get a chance to go and being that I'm alone I don't really stop much, really going to try and do it earlier this year, convince my wife to go when the weather is nicer, and hit more towns, carry even less. Think I like the C&O a little more than the GAP... I enjoy the dirt road vibe vs perfectly manicured GAP rail trail and you can just ride as little or as much as you want with camp sites every 10 miles or so.
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Old 07-29-23, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RayLee
Think I like the C&O a little more than the GAP... I enjoy the dirt road vibe vs perfectly manicured GAP rail trail and you can just ride as little or as much as you want with camp sites every 10 miles or so.
The C&O is pretty great. Those camp sites are so convenient and decently maintained. Iím planning to lease a scout troop on a bikepacking trip on the C&O next spring. Should be great!
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Old 07-29-23, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RayLee
I enjoy the dirt road vibe vs perfectly manicured GAP rail trail and you can just ride as little or as much as you want with camp sites every 10 miles or so.
enjoy the dirt road vibe also - until itís time to clean and perform maintenance
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Old 07-31-23, 04:31 AM
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I've been doing some day rides on the GAP, the first centered around Cedar Creek Park and last week a one way ride from Confluence to Cumberland. In September have a Deep Creek Lake trip planned, will work in a segment to the west.

The 60 miles from Confluence to Cumberland was in great shape, a bit sandy around Deal and (oddly enough) Sandpatch, but the bridges and tunnels all in great shape and many signs of blowdowns being removed all all the thunderstorms.

A few weekends back, did the C&O Towpath from Point of Rocks to Seneca Creek and back, also in very good shape even with all the rain.

Cycleblaze journal here.
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