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Pittsbgh train station hotel?

Old 08-10-12, 04:38 PM
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Pittsbgh train station hotel?

I'm going to take the train to from Washington DC to Pittsburgh to start the Great Allegheny Passage trail trail bike ride back to Washington DC. I arrive at the Pittsburgh Amtrak station almost at midnight, need to unbox my bike and then find the nearest hotel to the station that will let me take my bike inside and up to my room. Sure, I could securely lock it somewhere. But with my luck, some idiot would steal or vandalize it before I even began my fun solo tour from Pittsburgh to Washington. So I'd like to take my bike INSIDE the hotel and up to my room. Any Pittsburgh people reading this who know the area immediately around the Amtrak station? I really don't want to ride far at midnight with all my gear. I want to get to a hotel quickly and get to sleep. Share any suggestions you can. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-12, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by motorapido
I'm going to take the train to from Washington DC to Pittsburgh to start the Great Allegheny Passage trail trail bike ride back to Washington DC. I arrive at the Pittsburgh Amtrak station almost at midnight, need to unbox my bike and then find the nearest hotel to the station that will let me take my bike inside and up to my room. Sure, I could securely lock it somewhere. But with my luck, some idiot would steal or vandalize it before I even began my fun solo tour from Pittsburgh to Washington. So I'd like to take my bike INSIDE the hotel and up to my room. Any Pittsburgh people reading this who know the area immediately around the Amtrak station? I really don't want to ride far at midnight with all my gear. I want to get to a hotel quickly and get to sleep. Share any suggestions you can. Thanks.
Seems like hotels/motels are pretty open about letting in bikes nowadays. A couple of years ago I went touring on DelMarVa eastern shore & motel guys not only didn't fuss about taking the bike in they chatted a bit about the trip. In the old days hotels/motels mostly had a strict no-dog policy yet now it's pretty common to allow dogs so I guess bikes are usually OK. OTOH a couple of months ago I drove up to Philly to drop off new Disc Trucker frame at Bilenky for S & S conversion--surprised that many hotels were booked up so perhaps reservations are a plus even though it seems off-season. BTW early this spring WashPost had an article about the GAP which I had never heard about as opposed to famous C & O trail. Article said GAP trail was very nice with relaxed grades & IIRC pretty good surfaces.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:51 AM
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Why don't you take the bike to the hotel boxed and build it up in the hotel room? More comfortable than doing it at the station at midnight. It will add the cost of a cab to your tour.
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Old 08-11-12, 04:11 PM
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Assuming you could get a room in town everything is going to be expensive. Expect to pay $150 and up. I would not be surprised if you pay over $200. The Marcellus shale people occupy most if the rooms in Pittsburgh a lot of the time. You might do better on something like Hotwire but you might not get your choice of hotels.

Your closest hotels in order are:

1. Westin Hotel Convention Center (about a block or so)
2. Courtyard Marriot (about 2 blocks or so)
3. Hampton Inn (maybe 3-4 blocks)

The area from the train station to hotels 1 and 2 are almost as safe as safe can be in a large city. Hotel 3 is at the edge of an area with a number of bars and there has been gun violence in the past but it is not like it happens every night, so still reasonably safe.

Assuming you can arrive on a Friday, Saturday or Thursday before one of my odd Fridays off, you are welcome to stay with me. I could pick you up at the train station. You would need to at least partially assemble you bike since I only have a car with a bike rack. I guess we could stuff it in the trunk if you were really tired.

The only issue is that I live in the opposite direction from the start of the trail. Depending on your route the distance to Mckeesport is either 35 or 63 miles. We can discuss the pros and cons of each route should you stay with me.

Either way, if I have your day of departure of, I would be glad to act as tour guide. It helps with the detours from the city or down the Montour Trail (one of the options from my house).

P.S. Assuming I am in town then I can help. I live about a 20 minute drive from downtown.

Last edited by spinnaker; 08-11-12 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 08-11-12, 04:26 PM
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I live in Pittsburgh, so I can't actually say if any of the hotels are bike-friendly or not. Train arrival and departure times are rather terrible here.

Closest mid-line hotels are:

Hampton Inn, 1247 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA (412) 288-4350 is about 0.2 miles away. Courtyard by Marriott, 945 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA (412) 434-5551 is about 0.3 miles away. Give 'em a call and see what they say about bikes. There's a Westin and Omni close by, as well, if that's more in your price range. ‎
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Old 08-11-12, 04:45 PM
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Depending on way you go, the Hampton could be the closet but I am assuming Altair's distances are the most direct route which would take you up Liberty and on to the Hampton. If you choose the Hampton, I would suggest going through the Amtrak parking lot, then to 11th and on to Smallman St. I would avoid Liberty at night by bike.
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Old 08-11-12, 05:59 PM
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Hook up with a warmshowers.org host

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Old 08-11-12, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1
Hook up with a warmshowers.org host
Yeah I'm one and already offered my help to the OP. There might be a couple a little closer than me but certainly not within a few minutes ride. Plus it would be a ride through parts of town that are not worth going through.
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Old 08-12-12, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker

Assuming you can arrive on a Friday, Saturday or Thursday before one of my odd Fridays off, you are welcome to stay with me.
Wow. Spinnaker, what a lovely thing to offer. As I get closer to nailing down my itinerary and specific plans, I will contact you if my schedule aligns with yours. This is a very nice offer. I can provide excellent references. I am a nerdy middle-age corporate management person, I also do adjunct college teaching and community volunteerism, so I could provide a variety of references to vouch for my character.

The world is full of wonderful, generous people. Spinnaker's offer of hospitality reminds me of that fact. Thanks!
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Old 08-12-12, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by motorapido

The world is full of wonderful, generous people. Spinnaker's offer of hospitality reminds me of that fact. Thanks!
Just don't show up unannounced, 30 miles out and in the wrong part of town, and need a ride. Uh-oh
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Old 08-12-12, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by motorapido
Wow. Spinnaker, what a lovely thing to offer. As I get closer to nailing down my itinerary and specific plans, I will contact you if my schedule aligns with yours. This is a very nice offer. I can provide excellent references. I am a nerdy middle-age corporate management person, I also do adjunct college teaching and community volunteerism, so I could provide a variety of references to vouch for my character.

The world is full of wonderful, generous people. Spinnaker's offer of hospitality reminds me of that fact. Thanks!
I'd suggest you join wramshowers.org. While not as good a vetting process as say couchsurfing, there is a feature to comment on fellow tourers. Though I don't think I have ever seen a negative comment on the site.
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Old 08-12-12, 07:38 PM
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Hi Motorapido, I recently read your post re: your trip. I too am going to be taking a train into Pittsburgh to ride the GAP/ C&O trails. I'm planning on starting the ride on Monday Sept. 10th & take about 11 days to complete it. By chance, are you starting your trip around then? And would you want to ride with another person? If so, let me know if you'd like to chat about this. Cheers!
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Old 08-13-12, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 2012Trek520
I'm planning on starting the ride on Monday Sept. 10th & take about 11 days to complete it.
Not to hijack this thread but...11 days?
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Old 08-13-12, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 2012Trek520
Hi Motorapido, I recently read your post re: your trip. I too am going to be taking a train into Pittsburgh to ride the GAP/ C&O trails. I'm planning on starting the ride on Monday Sept. 10th & take about 11 days to complete it. By chance, are you starting your trip around then? And would you want to ride with another person? If so, let me know if you'd like to chat about this. Cheers!
2012trek520, sorry to say I'm not doing my trip until October. Would you contact me with your trip report when you're done? I'd be very interested in that, and in particular your experience with using Amtrak and then your route from the train station to the trailhead. Good luck with your trip. Have fun.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:27 PM
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OK, will do Motorapido. Hope you have fun too!
Just curious, indyfabz, is 11 days too short? I figure about 30 miles/day (give or take) & could take some extra days if needed.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 2012Trek520
OK, will do Motorapido. Hope you have fun too!
Just curious, indyfabz, is 11 days too short? I figure about 30 miles/day (give or take) & could take some extra days if needed.
Thanks for your input.
11 days are way too long. Most people do it in 5 - 6 days and that includes the GAP and C&O. Some even do it in 36 hours straight.

30 miles a day, you'll be done by 10 or 11AM. But perhaps you have some physical limitation that prevents you from doing more miles, but only you are the judge of that.

You really should start your own thread if you have any other questions.
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Old 08-15-12, 09:36 PM
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I'm planning a 4 day ride from Pittsburgh to DC (home) this fall. I think the best way to get there is rent a car and drop off at Allegheny airport. Then ride over to McKeesport. Save money and time vs. taking the train and hotel. Figure I will be riding by 10:00 am, so early enough to make it half way to Cumberland. Any suggestions on the route from the airport to the GAP? Also, where would be the best place to camp the first night?
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Old 08-16-12, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
I'm planning a 4 day ride from Pittsburgh to DC (home) this fall. I think the best way to get there is rent a car and drop off at Allegheny airport. Then ride over to McKeesport. Save money and time vs. taking the train and hotel. Figure I will be riding by 10:00 am, so early enough to make it half way to Cumberland. Any suggestions on the route from the airport to the GAP? Also, where would be the best place to camp the first night?
People please don't hijack someone's thread. Start your own. For some this seems to happen a lot on GAP related threads.

To answer your question you have two options. Both start the same.

Drop you car at the airport then take the Montour Trail connector to the main part of the Montour Trail.

Option 1
Take the Montour Trail west then south. Arriving at 10 AM you should be able to make the campsite just past the National Tunnel but just north of Hendersonville. Around 25 miles from the airport. Or you could go another 10 or so and either stay at the Yough Shore Inn, in a room or camp in the backyard. Another 9 or so past that gets you free camping at Dravo campground.

Option 2.
Go through the city to Boston about 40 miles from the airport,


Please post your own thread if you want any more details on either of these options.
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Old 08-17-12, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
People please don't hijack someone's thread. Start your own. For some this seems to happen a lot on GAP related threads.

To answer your question you have two options. Both start the same.

Drop you car at the airport then take the Montour Trail connector to the main part of the Montour Trail.

Option 1
Take the Montour Trail west then south. Arriving at 10 AM you should be able to make the campsite just past the National Tunnel but just north of Hendersonville. Around 25 miles from the airport. Or you could go another 10 or so and either stay at the Yough Shore Inn, in a room or camp in the backyard. Another 9 or so past that gets you free camping at Dravo campground.

Option 2.
Go through the city to Boston about 40 miles from the airport,


Please post your own thread if you want any more details on either of these options.
Not hijacking the thread any more than you are. Anyway, I think you have the wrong airport in mind. Just discussing alternatives to taking a train and staying in a downtown Pittsburgh hotel, which is renting a car and driving on the morning of departure to the Allegheny County airport, that has a Hertz dropoff, and is only a few miles from McKeesport.

In a recent discussion with a couple guys who were riding the GAP and C&O Towpath from Pittsburgh, they recommended skipping the downtown area and starting in Boston, if possible. It looks like the best route from the Allegheny airport to Boston is through McKeesport. Anyone done this before?
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Old 08-17-12, 03:01 PM
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alan s,
pm spinnaker, he is probably the most knowledegable individual on this board concerning your route and options, he knows his stuff when it comes to McKeesport and the Pitt.
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Old 08-17-12, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Not hijacking the thread any more than you are. Anyway, I think you have the wrong airport in mind. Just discussing alternatives to taking a train and staying in a downtown Pittsburgh hotel, which is renting a car and driving on the morning of departure to the Allegheny County airport, that has a Hertz dropoff, and is only a few miles from McKeesport.
Sorry missed the "Allegheny". First you need to be sure you can return a car at those rental offices. I have heard of issues in the past. Assuming you can return a car at the County airport then it is just a short ride down to the GAP. It is a busy road so you need to be careful.

The best route is probably Route 885. It looks like a busier road on the map but seems to have less traffic and is a more direct route. You would then cross the Dravosburg Bridge and turn left on to the Mckeesport side of the Bridge. Make a left at the market on the corner at the left side of the street and go down the ramp. Make a right on to Pacific Ave (disclaimer these streets are one way and I think that is the right name, other wise just take the appropriate parallel street).

When you get to the end of the street make a right then a left. Do not go back up the ramp to the bridge rather make your way under the bridge. This is River Road. Follow to the end. You will see a Jersey barrier on the right. The trail is behind the Jersey barrier.
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Old 08-20-12, 07:26 AM
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[QUOTE=spinnaker;14619996]Sorry missed the "Allegheny". First you need to be sure you can return a car at those rental offices. I have heard of issues in the past. Assuming you can return a car at the County airport then it is just a short ride down to the GAP. It is a busy road so you need to be careful.

The best route is probably Route 885.

Spinnaker, is the map at this link the route you're describing? I can't see Route 885 on the map, and the bridge on this map is call Mansfield Bridge. I might have gotten it wrong. I'm going to call that airport's car rental desks to double check about car drop-offs. This would be way quicker than biking from the main airport on the Montour Trail to the GAP, if I can work out the car drop-off. So, Spinnaker, if you would please, check out this map and see if it is what you described. Thanks!

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=A...&z=15&lci=bike
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Old 08-20-12, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Not to hijack this thread but...11 days?
It depends how much time off from riding you take. I spent half a day in Harper's Ferry and a full day in Antietam.

And to the OP, I never had trouble taking my bike to my hotel room.
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Old 08-20-12, 06:32 PM
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Spinnaker, is the map at this link the route you're describing? I can't see Route 885 on the map, and the bridge on this map is call Mansfield Bridge. I might have gotten it wrong. I'm going to call that airport's car rental desks to double check about car drop-offs. This would be way quicker than biking from the main airport on the Montour Trail to the GAP, if I can work out the car drop-off. So, Spinnaker, if you would please, check out this map and see if it is what you described. Thanks!

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=A...&z=15&lci=bike[/QUOTE]

Yeah that is the road. De[ending which map you are looking at, the roads and bridges can be labeled differently/
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Old 08-20-12, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by motorapido
Spinnaker, is the map at this link the route you're describing? I can't see Route 885 on the map, and the bridge on this map is call Mansfield Bridge. I might have gotten it wrong. I'm going to call that airport's car rental desks to double check about car drop-offs. This would be way quicker than biking from the main airport on the Montour Trail to the GAP, if I can work out the car drop-off. So, Spinnaker, if you would please, check out this map and see if it is what you described. Thanks!
Please post what you find out about the car drop off. That would save a lot of hassle with the train and hotel, not to mention the complicated route from downtown Pittsburgh.
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