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

Addressing Vagueness of McKeesport End of GAP Trail

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.

Addressing Vagueness of McKeesport End of GAP Trail

Old 02-24-11, 10:56 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 157 Posts
Addressing Vagueness of McKeesport End of GAP Trail

So I'm getting excited about riding the GAP trail for the first time this summer. I've been reading the Trail Book (10-11 Edition) and trying to make sense of the McKeesport end of the trail. The written description does not match the small map shown in the book. I decided I'll look at Google Maps and see what that would show - well, it only added to my confusion.

If I take the trail from as close to Pittsburgh as I can get, in Duquesne, I know I cross the Mon River on the Riverton Bridge. The trail meanders through that riverside industrial park, then somehow crosses Lysle Blvd and it looks like you bicycle on the road. Then the trail starts up. Smehow, it crosses the Yough River. Where? On the 15th Street Bridge? Geez, the streets could be better marked there and the book could actually show what they are describing in words. It's not an area where I particularly want to get lost.

Any inspirational, directional advice from you experienced riders? Thanks! I'm trying to get as much of the trail coverd as possible, so that's why I'm thinking of starting at Duquesne.
Altair 4 is offline  
Old 02-24-11, 01:43 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,885
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 290 Times in 200 Posts
Contact "spinnaker" who posts on these boards and he will be able to give you the information you desire.
robow is offline  
Old 02-24-11, 02:34 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Too many! Santana tandems and triplet; MTBs; touring bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
I got so lost in Mckeesport at the end of my GAP ride in October that I wanted to cry! Yes, you can cross on either the 5th Ave/Lysle Blvd. bridge, and then take River Rd. to connect with the trail, or you can cross on the 15th St. Bridge. Alternatively, I think you can continue on the trail that parallels Walnut Street (i.e., don't cross the Yock), and this spur joins the GAP back in Boston (I don't know that for sure, though).

In my almost-done trail journal, you can see some detailed maps I created about the Mckeesport section at https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=179550&v=4o (scroll to bottom).

The short section of the route from when you cross the 15th St. Bridge and then ride along River Rd. was no fun at all, as I was dodging big tractor trailers fully loaded with drilling pipe. I'm used to riding in traffic, but between the big rigs and the dust they kicked up, I was scared of not being seen and getting squished. It was hardly the triumphal entry into Mckeesport that I envisioned for the end of my ride! :-)
Philly Tandem is offline  
Old 02-24-11, 05:10 PM
  #4  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
As briwasson says you want to cross the bridge in Mckeesport and take River Rd. The GAP actually starts on the Mckeesport side of the bridge but ignore the signs. You will need to follow the street anyway because the trail is full of glass.


Cross the Duquesne / Mckeesport Bridge from 837.
Once across the bridge follow Route 148 through the center of town.
At the opposite end of town, you will see the 5th Ave Bridge.
Cross the bridge . On the other end make a right.
You will basically be looping under the bridge you just crossed.
This is River Road. It follows the Yough through an Industrial area.
You will pass under a second high bridge. In about 1 mile or so the road will dead end.
There will be a jersey barrier on your right. The trail is behind the barrier. Follow it up the hill and down into Boston.

The Yough Shore Inn is an excellent first night stay. You can camp or take a room. Either way you get showers, towel and breakfast. There is free camping at Dravo but no showers and chem toilet.


If you can make it on a weekend, I could probably guide you.

If you need any help on this end let me know. You are welcome to start from here and You could take the Montour Trail to Mckeesport from my place. It will add 1 day (about 60 miles) to your trip.

Last edited by spinnaker; 02-24-11 at 05:13 PM.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 02-24-11, 07:47 PM
  #5  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
If you can want till after June, Amtrak should be allowing roll on roll off anywhere along the line. You will need to make reservations and since this will be a new service, you may want to contact them anyway.

If you can wait till after October then the trail should be finished from Pittsburgh to Mckeesport. Or as I said you can start from here it it will be almost all trail to Mckeesport with a few roads with low traffic.


Again if you can make departure on a Saturday, I could guide you no matter which way you chose.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 07:32 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 157 Posts
Thanks for the kind offer of acting as guide for us! As it stands right now, though, our itinerary is set, with a midweek start, in July. The plan is three days, with overnights at Connellsville and Rockwood. This is a CC tour. That roll on / roll off with Amtrak is intriguing. My ride partner is coming in from Northern VA and I live here in Pittsburgh. The thought was to meet up in Cumberland (where we will terminate our ride), leave our cars and then shuttle to McKeesport. After cycling back to Cumberland, we then go our respective ways home. Amtrak's scheduled arrival time in Pittsburgh is so user-unfriendly, arriving around midnight.

To call it complete, I plan to ride the GAP from Pittsburgh to McKeesport once the "gaps" are closed later this year.
Altair 4 is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 08:42 AM
  #7  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
I should have noticed the Pittsburgh in your profile?

Well you could just go and do a pre ride and check things out then. This is what I did on the Montour Trail before taking a big BF group down the trail a few years ago.


With you plan then, sounds to me like you need directions in the reverse direction from the trail into Pittsburgh but you should be able to figure that out.

You can minimize your exposure to 837 my crossing the Glenwood Bridge onto Hazelwood,


The train back to Cumberland leaves in the morning not at midnight. Very early in the morning.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 09:13 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
DCwom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 427

Bikes: Burley Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker

If you can wait till after October then the trail should be finished from Pittsburgh to Mckeesport.
I been looking for some confirmation on the completion to Pitt. We are also planning a GAP trail CC tour with stops at Connellseville & Rockwood. We were on the fence about doing the GAP this summer since we are also riding the eastern sections of the Erie canal. Waiting until 2012 for a completed trail would be great.
DCwom is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 09:21 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker
I should have noticed the Pittsburgh in your profile?
I'm not making our plan clear enough.

I plan to meet up with my riding partner in Cumberland; I'm driving from Pittsburgh and he's driving from NOVA. Cumberland is about 2 hours away from home for both of us, just in different directions. We load our bikes onto a shuttle service in the morning to take us to Duquesne / McKeesport / Boston (I'm starting to rethink that whole thing). We commence our ride in the West and head East. First night in Connellsville (about 40 miles), second night in Rockwood (47 miles), and then the last day to Cumberland (44 miles). I figure this is an easy pace, allowing for summer heat, time to stop at interesting places to eat and see things and to just take in the beauty of the ride. When we get back to our cars in Cumberland, we load up and head back to our wives, kids and jobs. Hopefully, the better for the experience.

I'm definitely planning to reconnoiter the area before we start (we drive through that area to get to Triple B Farms to pick strawberries in the early Summer). For now, I'm just trying to feed my excitement for the ride. For me, almost always the planning of any trip - be it on a bike, car or plane - is half the fun (heh, sometimes it's the only fun!).

I'm still keeping the Amtrak option open. With the oil price volatility linked to the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, who knows what a gallon of gasoline will cost by July? I think we've seen a 10% jump in the last five days.
Altair 4 is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 09:23 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by DCwom
I been looking for some confirmation on the completion to Pitt. We are also planning a GAP trail CC tour with stops at Connellseville & Rockwood. We were on the fence about doing the GAP this summer since we are also riding the eastern sections of the Erie canal. Waiting until 2012 for a completed trail would be great.
When were you thinking of riding the GAP?
Altair 4 is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 09:27 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker
If you can want till after June, Amtrak should be allowing roll on roll off anywhere along the line. You will need to make reservations and since this will be a new service, you may want to contact them anyway.
Hey, Spinnaker, I know this was being tossed around by Amtrak, but where have you found the start date for this serivce? I'd like to have something to quote when I call Amtrak.
Altair 4 is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 10:19 AM
  #12  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
I was trying to put together a BF trip for sometime in September but I will be touring the Selkirk Loop at that time. I would not mind going in October but it might have to be a last minute decision with the unpredictable nature of the weather.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 10:33 AM
  #13  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
Originally Posted by Altair 4
Hey, Spinnaker, I know this was being tossed around by Amtrak, but where have you found the start date for this serivce? I'd like to have something to quote when I call Amtrak.
It has been mentioned several times on the C&O mail group.

But like I said, you will want to call and confirms. Though I am sure you will get 20 different answers there too.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 01:07 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Too many! Santana tandems and triplet; MTBs; touring bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Regarding AMTRAK roll-on/-off service along the trail corridor, the most recent update I could find via Google (Sept. 2010) has an AMTRAK spokesperson "not as confident about a 2011 startup..."

https://bike-pgh.org/blog/2010/09/20/...ound-the-bend/

I really think the main thing holding the C&O/GAP trail back from being a truly world-class trail destination is the logistical hassle of getting to/from the ends. The train service, while not perfect (only one per day right now, I think), would go a long way to helping with that.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 08:22 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
DCwom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 427

Bikes: Burley Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Altair 4
When were you thinking of riding the GAP?
We hadn't settled on a set of dates yet, the fall would be nice when the leaves change, but I'd then we would have to consider heavier gear for the weather. I'm thinking July or Aug.
DCwom is offline  
Old 02-25-11, 08:27 PM
  #16  
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,538

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3394 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 46 Posts
Originally Posted by DCwom
We hadn't settled on a set of dates yet, the fall would be nice when the leaves change, but I'd then we would have to consider heavier gear for the weather. I'm thinking July or Aug.
July and August can be very uncomfortable this time of year at this end of the state. It gets very humid and hot. September would be a better compromise.
spinnaker is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hyegeek
Pacific Northwest
15
10-21-13 03:44 PM
Steve B.
Northeast
11
10-17-13 08:07 AM
nondes
Eastern Canada
13
06-13-13 10:41 AM
ConvertedRunner
Northeast
6
10-27-10 10:25 AM
Venturous
Northeast
3
08-27-10 10:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.