Great Allegheny Passage (Winter detours)
I am planning a winter traverse of the C&O/GAP trail from DC to Pittsburgh in late December. I know that the Savage Mountain Tunnel outside of Frostburg is typically closed and there is a posted road detour that cuts out about 10 miles of trail. From looking at maps and Google Earth, it looks as though there are a bunch of hiking/jeep trails that traverse the area, and, with a little bit of work, might be a viable option for getting around the closed tunnel. In particular, there appears to be a path straight over the top, and another option to ride south on the Mason Dixon Line and hook up with Old Mt Savage Rd on the top of the ridge line. Has anyone had any experience trying any of these alternates or recommend something else? I'll have an ultralight bike packing setup with a 29er mtn bike and am comfortable with sketchy and difficult terrain, even extended hike-a-bike. For the "integrity of the trip" I'd like to stay on as much of the trail as possible, even it is means more work. I can't be the first person to see these paths any wonder about them? If I am missing any other obvious winter closings, I'd be happy to hear other advice as well. Thanks for any help out there.