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  1. #1
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    GAP: McKeesport?

    So I have been wanting to ride the GAP & C&O Canal towpath for a few years now. Finally got the wife interested, and we have purchased her a new bike she likes. She has agreed to train some this year and next and maybe undertake the Pittsburgh to DC journey next fall.

    For our first overnight 'shakedown cruise' I planned a route from McKeesport to Dawson. This would include parking our car at McKeesport and spending the night in the Dawson River Guest House, then turning around and riding back. 38 miles one way, which would be her farthest day ever.

    Is there a good (safe) place to park my car in McKeesport overnight? I read on another board that McKeesport was kind of scary, but I figured someone here would know. If this isn't a good idea, can someone recommend another 40-mile or so journey that might be better?

    Thanks for any ideas.

  2. #2
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    I did the GAP in 2008 from Cumberland to McKeesport all in one day. I had the wife running support and picked me up in McKeesport. I thought there was plenty of parking around and it didn't seem bad where we were at. I wouldn't trust it for a week, but overnight should be fine most anywhere. Call the borough office, they may have some better info.

    Another option is the Pine Creek Railtrail, I did that two weeks ago, from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro Junction and back in one day. Plenty of shorter ride options available. A nice ride would be to camp at Cedar Run and do an out and back to the north one day and an out and back to the south the next. If camping isn't your thing maybe they have camper cabins? I think there were places to stay in Blackwell and Waterville also.

    The hiker/biker sites on the C&O are nice if you wanted to do a bike camping trip.

    I'm thinking of attempting a 3 day run of the GAP and C&O in a few weeks if the weather holds and I can secure a shuttle.
    Mike

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! Good suggestion about calling the borough about parking... had not thought of that.

    The GAP trip will be on the way from visiting my daughter in PGH. I have heard about the Pine Creek Trail before, will definitely check that out for future excursions. Camping is out with the Mrs. but as long as we can find inside shelter she's OK. Now with the 'empty nest' - 2 kids in college, I want her & I to do more stuff together. If it means pedaling (slowly) along a flat path, I can deal with that!

  4. #4
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    Another option without the overnight stay would be to pick up the same trail in Connellsville (South of Pgh) and ride to Ohio Pyle (17 miles one way) or go the whole way to Confluence (add'l 10 miles).
    1995 Cannondale M500, Amp F3XC Fork
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  5. #5
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    Thanks!

    Also looks like a good ride, Toyman. I plan on integrating alot of these day-type rides on the trail before undertaking the entire journey next fall. It will also give us an excuse to visit the youngest at Duquesne.

    My wife is not an adventurer but so far I have gotten her skiing, kayaking and now biking... gives us lots of options to enjoy the great outdoors!

  6. #6
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    I would suggest going up river about 6-7 miles and park in Elizabeth Township, on the other side of the river from McKeesport. No worries about your vehicle there.

  7. #7
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    melsdad... Elizabeth Township is not marked on the trail maps... what is the closest trail town/village to the area you referring to? Is there a specific parking area you recommend?

  8. #8
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    There is a huge parking lot near the boston bridge (Rt.48) next to the Yough river trail.

  9. #9
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    I see the parking lot you're talking about, marked as Boston on the trailmap. Looks like a great spot to start our mini-adventure!

    Thanks to all for the suggestions! :beer:

  10. #10
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    If you start at Boston as opposed to McKeesport, you really aren't missing much as far as the trail goes. The futher up river you go the nicer the scenery gets. Enjoy your trip.

  11. #11
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    My wife & I rode the trail this weekend. Parked in Boston in the parking lot you described and rode down to Dawson, spent the night, and back. Great weather, and a good ride, was my wife's longest distance on consecutive days yet.

    Thanks for all the info. Next year = Pittsburgh to DC!

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