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Great Allegheny Passage Trail Conditions 08/05/18

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Great Allegheny Passage Trail Conditions 08/05/18

Old 08-06-18, 04:55 AM
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Great Allegheny Passage Trail Conditions 08/05/18

A group of use rented a house in Confluence PA and bike the GAP trail from Connelsville PA to Cumberland MD. The GAP is in general in great shape, though there were a few small tree/limb blowdowns that we cleared each day - all the rain has meant loose roots.

In early July a small tornado crossed the the Confluence end of the Ohiopyle to Confluence section but that has all been cleared - it took down the signature 100+ year old sycamore tree and 4 pine trees at the Parker House where we stayed, but no damage to the Parker House - great place to stay if you are looking at riding the GAP.

We used Cumberland Trail Connection on the final day to shuttle some riders from Cumberland to the top at Deale, so they could enjoy the 25 mile downhill ride.

All the rain has caused the Frostburg to Cumberland section to have a number of washouts and sand/gravel pit sections - many not comfortable with riding on a loose surface had to walk their bikes.

Sunday am I biked the 37 miles from Confluence to Deale to meet the shuttlers and it was a glorious ride. The big wind turbines were even spinning in the light breeze.
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Old 08-06-18, 08:54 PM
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Good thing you still had a great ride. I toured the GAP C&O in late June 2017 and had nice dry weather and good trail conditions. The GAP is awesome I plan on a return in 2019.
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Old 08-06-18, 10:27 PM
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Thanks for the report, good to hear the GAP has withstood the rains pretty well. Looking forward to the ride, even if it rains, heh. It's impressive how folks come from all over to ride the GAP, I haven't read one bad review.
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Old 08-07-18, 05:17 AM
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This was the 3rd year we've had a group do the GAP. The group is a mix of experienced cyclists and occasional/rarely cycle cyclists who are all very good at whining - and other than the condition of the section downhill from Frostburg, no one had a single thing to complain about!

Well, one complaint: Meyersdale at mile 31 is a nice lunch stop if you do the uphill ride from Cumberland. There is a fantastic visitors center there, but if you want to go into town for a sit down lunch, the only restaurant that doesn't require a 1/2 mile ride back up a steep hill was closed for 2018.

My favorite section is the 27 miles from Confluence west to Connelsville. The trail can get congested +/- a few miles of Ohiopyle but the view of the river, and west of Ohiopyle of the Youghiogheny Canyon, are phenomenal.
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Old 08-07-18, 05:59 AM
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Thanks for the report. I'm planning on riding the GAP this coming October from Boston to Cumberland. Here's hoping that the Frostburg to Cumberland surface is improved by then.
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Old 08-07-18, 08:36 AM
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My son (13) and I just rode the GAP this weekend, Pittsburgh to Cumberland (Saturday through Monday). I agree that there are a few really bad sections between Frostburg and Cumberland, where the trail can hardly be called a trail. Very soft sand and loose gravel with water runoff channels through them. They are just short sections, though, and are easily walked if needed (I rode through them with 26x1.25 tires, but it was challenging). The bad sections are all on the right side of the tracks when heading downhill. Just ride aware and you'll be fine.

Stayed at the Melody Motel in Connellsville and the hostel in Rockwood. The Melody is under new(ish) ownership and they seem to be improving on it. This is the second time I've stayed there and I think it's a good value for bikers at less than half the price of the new Cobblestone Hotel (which is very nice). Just depends what you are looking for. Cobblestone is right on the trail and is only a year or so old. Price quoted for Saturday night for two people was $140. Melody was $64 for the two of us, but is about 1.5 miles off the trail and up a hill. The Melody is a very basic, 1960s-style motor inn. The beds were comfy, they had good pillows, air conditioning felt great, and shower was good. That's all I'm looking for when bike touring as an alternative to camping :-)

We were the only people staying at the hostel on Sunday night, so it was nice to have the whole place to ourselves! Although I always enjoy meeting other travelers when staying at hostels.

Last edited by Philly Tandem; 08-07-18 at 08:39 AM.
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