Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Gap c & o

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Gap c & o

Old 06-19-23, 12:33 PM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
ezdoesit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 313

Bikes: Fuji Touring 2008

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Gap C & O

Hi,
Anyone here done these trails?
Was thinking of these trails and to driving down to Pittsburg and train back to D.C. than ride back to my car so any safe and recommend places to park your car?

Also what months would you recommend riding?
End of July, August or September open to any oil these months.

Thank you so much for your time and help

Last edited by ezdoesit; 06-19-23 at 12:33 PM. Reason: typ O
ezdoesit is offline  
Old 06-19-23, 12:59 PM
  #2  
ret'd msgr
 
ignant666's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: upstate
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Have not ridden the GAP, but have done the C& O twice, most recently in May. No idea where to park at either end; i don't drive cars. Make Amtrak reservations early, as this is a super-popular route, and i believe they only allow 6 bikes/train.

As to when: It will be very hot and peak bug season in July or August, so September would be better. Can get fairly cold at night, so be prepared.

The Paw-Paw tunnel bypass involves walking bike for a long way, climbing steep, rocky, muddy stuff, and then walking bike down the other side. If i had known how much it sucked, and that there are folks who will drive you from Paw-Paw to Little Orleans, would have done it in a heartbeat. I'm sure they would be easy to find in Paw-Paw, or if not call Bill's Bar in Little Orleans and they can hook you up.
ignant666 is offline  
Likes For ignant666:
Old 06-19-23, 04:43 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,131
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17762 Post(s)
Liked 14,116 Times in 6,700 Posts
Iíve done the GAP a few times. I like the weekend after Labor Day. Very few people compared to other times.

Let me know if youíd like a map of a short side trip to see Buffalo Billís house from The Silence of the Lambs. Itís now a stay experience place that sells Skinsuit So Soft body lotion. 😂
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 06-20-23, 05:58 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,855

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, Lemond '03 Wayzata DB conv(Poprad), '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(pur new), '88 GT Tequesta(pur new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly, 1993 Trek 970 DB conv, Trek 8900 DB conv

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 736 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 775 Times in 456 Posts
Originally Posted by ignant666
Have not ridden the GAP, but have done the C& O twice, most recently in May. No idea where to park at either end; i don't drive cars. Make Amtrak reservations early, as this is a super-popular route, and i believe they only allow 6 bikes/train.

As to when: It will be very hot and peak bug season in July or August, so September would be better. Can get fairly cold at night, so be prepared.

The Paw-Paw tunnel bypass involves walking bike for a long way, climbing steep, rocky, muddy stuff, and then walking bike down the other side. If i had known how much it sucked, and that there are folks who will drive you from Paw-Paw to Little Orleans, would have done it in a heartbeat. I'm sure they would be easy to find in Paw-Paw, or if not call Bill's Bar in Little Orleans and they can hook you up.
There's a ridable-road detour around the paw-paw tunnel..if the tunnel is still closed(haven't checked, we rode this area a couple years ago)..it was discussed here(just before they closed the tunnel a couple years back): C & O Paw Paw tunnel is open

This is the detour
fishboat is offline  
Likes For fishboat:
Old 06-20-23, 06:13 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
DCwom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 425

Bikes: Burley Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by ezdoesit
Hi,
Anyone here done these trails?
Was thinking of these trails and to driving down to Pittsburg and train back to D.C. than ride back to my car so any safe and recommend places to park your car?
"driving down to Pittsburg and train back to D.C" ???
I'm not sure where you're asking to park, DC or Pitt? However we started in Homestead about 10 miles outside of downtown Pitt (Fort Pitt), the hotels are right on the GAP. There are a couple of Hotels there, we stayed the first night there and left the car at the hotel (with their permission). Also there was official overnight parking at the "Pump house" on the GAP, that was our alternate if the hotel said no. Note that not everyone is comfortable parking there, but we did see overnighters when we passed through that section.

On the 1st day we drove from NJ to Pitt, parked at Homestead, rode down to Fort Pitt & back to check off the ride's start, then headed south the next day.

Here is a link to our ride
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/12687
DCwom is offline  
Likes For DCwom:
Old 06-20-23, 07:12 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,974
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 687 Posts
Originally Posted by ezdoesit
Hi,
Anyone here done these trails?
Was thinking of these trails and to driving down to Pittsburg and train back to D.C. than ride back to my car so any safe and recommend places to park your car?

Also what months would you recommend riding?
End of July, August or September open to any oil these months.

Thank you so much for your time and help
Here is some info on parking garages. The page includes a link to a form to fill out for extended parking when riding the GAP. There are garages within walking distances to the Amtrak station. Other options would be a hotel where you could stay and then leave your car.
phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 06-20-23, 07:43 AM
  #7  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
ezdoesit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 313

Bikes: Fuji Touring 2008

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by ignant666
Have not ridden the GAP, but have done the C& O twice, most recently in May. No idea where to park at either end; i don't drive cars. Make Amtrak reservations early, as this is a super-popular route, and i believe they only allow 6 bikes/train.

As to when: It will be very hot and peak bug season in July or August, so September would be better. Can get fairly cold at night, so be prepared.

The Paw-Paw tunnel bypass involves walking bike for a long way, climbing steep, rocky, muddy stuff, and then walking bike down the other side. If i had known how much it sucked, and that there are folks who will drive you from Paw-Paw to Little Orleans, would have done it in a heartbeat. I'm sure they would be easy to find in Paw-Paw, or if not call Bill's Bar in Little Orleans and they can hook you up.
Thank you for your reply
ezdoesit is offline  
Old 06-20-23, 07:45 AM
  #8  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
ezdoesit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 313

Bikes: Fuji Touring 2008

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by phughes
Here is some info on parking garages. The page includes a link to a form to fill out for extended parking when riding the GAP. There are garages within walking distances to the Amtrak station. Other options would be a hotel where you could stay and then leave your car.

Thank you for your reply
ezdoesit is offline  
Old 06-24-23, 07:31 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,042

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
What a lousy time of year for distance riding in the mid atlantic, north east. Best.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 06-24-23, 09:04 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
mirfi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 534

Bikes: Vilano Urbana, DownTube FS9, Montaque paratrooper, Nano mini-velo, Motobecane CX, Raleigh 20, MIFA folder, ROG Pony, Iverson Grand Touring folder, Exclusiv German folder

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 168 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 116 Posts
FYI. Go to gaptrail.org for resources.

How do I know.........?.

Last weekend we were supposed to do a two day, "easy" ride. Drive to and park in Cumberland, catch 9am shuttle to Confluence, ride to Meyersdale, spend night, ride to Cumberland. Drive home.

The day before the ride I had vacuumed my car out and was putting the floor mats in and threw my back out.

Had to cancel hotel, refund. Shuttle was unrefundable $65

:-(

Good luck, have fun.

Note, two weeks earlier I did 35 with some friends who cycle once a year on the CO. Pack more water than you need, it can be humid and there wasn't any potable water along that stretch.
mirfi is offline  
Old 06-25-23, 08:16 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,974
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 687 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
What a lousy time of year for distance riding in the mid atlantic, north east. Best.
From someone who lives near the GAP in the Mid-Atlantic, why?
phughes is offline  
Old 06-25-23, 10:58 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,042

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by phughes
From someone who lives near the GAP in the Mid-Atlantic, why?
Because it's summer. High heat, high humidity, and lots of bugs. I cycle about 50 Miles to the east, and this time of year the weather is brutal. Today was okay at best. As someone who lives in the area you know all this......
StarBiker is offline  
Old 06-25-23, 01:25 PM
  #13  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
ezdoesit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 313

Bikes: Fuji Touring 2008

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
Because it's summer. High heat, high humidity, and lots of bugs. I cycle about 50 Miles to the east, and this time of year the weather is brutal. Today was okay at best. As someone who lives in the area you know all this......
Thank you I have made up my mind it will be sometime in September
ezdoesit is offline  
Old 06-25-23, 10:39 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,042

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by ezdoesit
Thank you I have made up my mind it will be sometime in September
Late September......(October would be optimum)

If you can deal with all the aforementioned you might want to cycle in the heat. I notice less knee issues, which I find annoying since I prefer cooler weather, but that's me, and I am 50 plus. If you are young maybe none of this will affect, but bugs are a real pita. And humidity.....

West of Cumberland will be cooler. The further north on the C&O, and along the GAP will be cooler, but still.......(I have no idea on what part of the C&O the one poster lives since it's 180 plus miles long)

Last edited by StarBiker; 06-25-23 at 10:44 PM.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 05:15 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,692
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1180 Post(s)
Liked 664 Times in 501 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
Late September......(October would be optimum)
It would be nice to hit the range of fall colors for the ride. That would be my goal for timing. Somewhere in that range would do that. I don't mind and even like cool riding temperatures and overnight frost though. Not everyone does.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 06:15 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,599

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Co-Motion Divide, Co-Motion Java Tandem, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Carver Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 525 Post(s)
Liked 417 Times in 221 Posts
We've done it in 2018 so my info may be outdated. We drove to a place called Fletcher's Cove in Washington D.C. It was approx 3 miles from the end of the trail. There was enough parking there and was free and the trail was a few feet from the car.

Then we biked to D.C. Train Station and took the train to Pittsburgh and biked Pittsburgh-Washington D.C.

PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 06:22 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,131
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17762 Post(s)
Liked 14,116 Times in 6,700 Posts
Holy crap! I just saw on Facebook that Husky Haven closed permanently. The place did not give a reason, but it sounds like the owners retired. Maybe someone will take it over, or already has under a different name.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 06-26-23, 06:40 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,599

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Co-Motion Divide, Co-Motion Java Tandem, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Carver Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 525 Post(s)
Liked 417 Times in 221 Posts

We camped at Husky Haven during our ride :-)
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Likes For PedalingWalrus:
Old 06-26-23, 09:37 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,042

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus

We camped at Husky Haven during our ride :-)
Makes me want to listen to later Eno.......
StarBiker is offline  
Likes For StarBiker:
Old 06-26-23, 10:00 AM
  #20  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,987
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 76 Posts
The best time to go is during an extended dry period. Of course, that's typically not known in advance. Finishing riding on the canal about 6 days ago would have been ideal. Beginning to ride on the C&O 6 days ago would have turned into a mudfest as the region went from a mini-drought to localized flooding in just a few days. One advantage of the summer is that unpaved trails dry out much more quickly than in cooler temperatures. Water routinely sits in small pools on the C&O towpath in DC during the winter. Perhaps areas upstream which have been resurfaced fare better now after rain than they did in the past.
axolotl is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 10:23 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,974
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 687 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
Because it's summer. High heat, high humidity, and lots of bugs. I cycle about 50 Miles to the east, and this time of year the weather is brutal. Today was okay at best. As someone who lives in the area you know all this......
That's just Summer to me. I actually cannot think of any better time to ride the GAP, especially if you are camping. The temperatures at night are nice, so it isn't too cold. Earlier in the year the nightime temperatures drop considerably. Anyway, normal Summer. I like that.
phughes is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 10:27 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,974
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 994 Post(s)
Liked 1,197 Times in 687 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
Because it's summer. High heat, high humidity, and lots of bugs. I cycle about 50 Miles to the east, and this time of year the weather is brutal. Today was okay at best. As someone who lives in the area you know all this......
That's just Summer to me. I actually cannot think of any better time to ride the GAP, especially if you are camping. The temperatures at night are nice, so it isn't too cold. Earlier in the year the nighttime temperatures drop considerably. Anyway, normal Summer. I like that. In August, t is usually in the mid to upper 80s during the day, to me that is not high heat. The nights are in the 60s, nice for sleeping.
phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 06-26-23, 02:36 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,131
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17762 Post(s)
Liked 14,116 Times in 6,700 Posts
Originally Posted by phughes
That's just Summer to me. I actually cannot think of any better time to ride the GAP, especially if you are camping. The temperatures at night are nice, so it isn't too cold. Earlier in the year the nighttime temperatures drop considerably. Anyway, normal Summer. I like that. In August, t is usually in the mid to upper 80s during the day, to me that is not high heat. The nights are in the 60s, nice for sleeping.
You also have the tree cover in many places to keep the direct sunlight off of you.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 06-26-23, 02:59 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,692
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1180 Post(s)
Liked 664 Times in 501 Posts
I think October is ideal, but bear in mind that I am usually happiest when eveyone else is complaining that it is too chilly and saying they froze at night.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-26-23, 04:51 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,042

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I think October is ideal, but bear in mind that I am usually happiest when eveyone else is complaining that it is too chilly and saying they froze at night.
That's me. And today's weather is just horrible.

60's, high humidity is not perfect sleeping weather with lots of bugs at night. Plenty of wet weather in the last week to make it even more fun, although the rain is needed. Pouring right now.

The OP is not implying anything hardcore. They may not even camp. I don't know what their intent is besides finding parking, riding the train, and riding the trail. Some camping?

I don't tour, and never plan on it. But I have road daily for transportation for 15 years until the last couple years right next to at times heavy suburban traffic. And it was brutal in the summer. Compounded by vehicles.

And yes, of course there is a difference with having some canopy, and being in the woods as opposed to the asphalt jungle around here. I did not have that luxury on my 5 to 10 miles daily rides......(High sun angle pounding you)

I have done longer distances, mostly on the NCR. Still feels crummy.

The best time of year would be early, mid spring. No vegetation, and hardly any bugs, lows in the 50's by mid later spring, and dry.

We had a great fall, and spring this past year.......summer did not linger like it has been doing the last few years.

Last edited by StarBiker; 06-26-23 at 04:57 PM.
StarBiker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.