• 05/30/2020
  • 3:00 PM
  • 06/04/2020
  • 12:00 PM
  • Maryland and Pennsylvania

Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail tour

May 30 - June 4, 2020

Ellen Chilikas (outdoorsdiva@yahoo.com)

Have you ridden the GAP yet? I've done the C&O Trail, the Mickelson and the Katy and the GAP  trail is one of the best! It's gorgeous and lush, the riding is mostly flat and the history is interesting.  A few friends and I did this trip in May 2019 and I liked it enough that I want to do it again. 

The tour operator is Discovery Bicycle Tours and they have agreed to run a trip just for us.  All riding is on the unpaved trails except for the day of the Flight 93 Memorial visit - the ride on that day is on hilly back country roads but the sag is available for those who don't want to do the ride. Daily rides are between 15 and 46 miles, most of the daily rides are closer to 40 miles. There is plenty of light in early June so if needed you have all day to to the ride. The sag rider rides at the back of the pack so there is always support. Plus you can ride in the van from predetermined points each day (at a minimum you can take the sag to lunch or from lunch) if you want a shorter day's ride.

Here is their tour description: (full tour write-up is here: https://discoverybicycletours.com/bike-tour-great-allegheny-rail-trail-gap/)

The GAP Trail is on the bucket list of many cyclists for good reason. Its spectacular views and peaceful surroundings will thrill you. The wide crushed-gravel trail follows a railroad grade the full distance, with views of the Allegheny Mountains and the Casselman, Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers. Our route ends in downtown Pittsburgh at the famous “three rivers” confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers.

We start in Cumberland, MD, with the trip up to the Eastern Continental Divide and through a one-mile historical rail tunnel. The first three days are deep in the Allegheny Mountains, highlighted by the beautiful Ohiopyle State Park. We’ll also visit the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA.

In addition to the opportunity to ride all 150 miles of the GAP Trail, we’ll do a ride on the C&O Canal Trail on the first day out of Cumberland, MD. Our final day will allow you to see the transition from rural Pennsylvania through the evolving river corridors of Pittsburgh with a triumphant finish at the revitalized downtown area with its famous sports stadiums.

To fully experience the splendor of the entire length of this historic railroad route, we stay in comfortable, but casual inns. You’ll enjoy delicious meals, gorgeous scenery and outdoor camaraderie in these lovely locations.

We are going to add on a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater home (https://fallingwater.org/visit/)

The tour includes pickup and drop-off at a hotel near the Pittsburg airport, full sag support (one leader drives the van and the other rides with the group), use of a hybrid bike and helmet, all meals except for 2 lunches, the visit to the Flight 93 Memorial, the visit to Fallingwater, and several E-bikes for our use.  You need to provide lodging on the night before the tour, the last night of the tour, your airfare and the two not included lunches.  By the way, Pittsburg is a fabulous city - really! - it is quite walkable and has over 400 bridges and many museums. Plus lots of breweries! We added on a weekend in Pittsburg and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The cost is $1795/person. Some single supplements are available for $250.  The tour is a go with at least 8 guests and a maximum of 14 guests. There is also a fee of $50 that goes to the DBTC.

A $550 non-refundable but transferable deposit is due Nov 1, 2019.  The tour is limited by the size of the van so a maximum of 14 people can go. Please send a check for $550 made out to Ellen Chilikas plus the DBTC tour forms located here http://www.dbtc.org/page-1568909 to Ellen at 2880 W Riverwalk Cir - Unit B, Littleton CO 80123.

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