Great Allegheny Passage

Discussion in 'Biking' started by RhinoDave, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave Active Member

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    I thought I would share my experience on this great rail trail in Pennsylvania. I know this is in Dave's (themanfromthevan) back yard. I did an 8 day self contained bike tour starting in Pittsburgh and ended in Washington D.C. There are a few good campgrounds along the rail trail and C&O towpath that anyone can do parts of these trails. I prefer the more rustic campgrounds so a good starting point would be at the Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood. Campsites are on the small side but they provide free firewood at the campsite and the campsites are right along the trail. One drawback is that the showers are about a quarter of a mile from the campsites and cell phone reception is pretty much non-existant. Total miles for the trip was about 150 miles on the GAP trail and 185 miles on the C&O towpath. We actuallly did more miles than that by riding around town and finding good places to eat each day. I wrote up a Journal for this trip which can be found at
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3Tzut&doc_id=4318&v=DZ
    This website is also fun winter reading for those of us that are hopeless bike geeks.
    Some other campgrounds that were fairly nice were Rivers Edge in Adelaide, Pa. and Brunswick Family Campground in Brunswick, MD. about fifty miles Northwest of Washington. Both of these are right next to the trails.

    Built for comfort...not speed.
    97 Coleman Niagra
    87 Coleman Sun Valley (project)
    08 Chevy Trailblazer
     
  2. The Nuthouse

    The Nuthouse New Member

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    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for sharing! I thoroughly enjoyed your Journal and the photo's are unbelievable. I live near Philadelphia and have not spent a lot of time at the other end of the state - I now know I need to check it out. I have a friend who owns some property not far from Harpers Ferry but I have never really checked out that area either.

    When I was much younger (20 years ago) when I was in my mid 20's I did a lot of wilderness canoe tripping. I only wish I had the sense to keep a journal back then. I have some photo's from that time but the memories fade as time passes. Knowing what I know now about myself I think I could have done a decent job of chronicling my experiences.

    Thanks again,

    Eric

    The assorted nuts: Eric & Moria
    Peanut & Cashew (our traveling JRT's)
    '95 Chevy G20 Conversion Van '05 Rockwood 2280
     
  3. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Dave - Wow !! Thanks for sharing your blog of the trip. That is incredible. Yes - the GAP is in my backyard, compared to a lot of folks. It's probably a 90 mile drive to get to it.

    I've never been on any of it with the exception of the section through Ohiopyle. My wife and I rode that entire section about 3 weeks before Elizabeth was born in 1995.

    The Allegheny Outdoor Club, of which I am a member, did the entire ride same as you did, back in May/June. Here is a LINK that you may find of interest.

    If gas prices stay down, maybe I'll make it down there next summer.

    David, Betsy, Elizabeth, Olivia & Robert
    '01 Rockwood Freedom <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    www.themanfromvan.com
     
  4. HerrGill

    HerrGill New Member

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    Hi Dave, Wow you certainly are ambishish. I'm in my seventys, live in Maryland and ride for recreation. My wife and I did the Allegany passage last year from Confluence to Ohio Pyle and back (we were on a trip with our bikes) and the scenery was great. I have also done the entire C&O canal (several years ago) and camped out with a tube tent. There are plenty of places to replenish alogng the canal so you don't have to carry a lot with you. Now we ride the Great Western Trail (paved) a couple of times a year.
     
  5. MGriff

    MGriff New Member

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    Hi Dave,

    I just finished looking at your journal and pics and must say that it is very impressive. Thanks. I have a question maybe you could help me with: I am a complete novice to biking but have always had an interest in this sport. I am a 45 year old male and I really have been itching to start biking. What is the best way to start out? I want to start out with minimal investment. My main interest is Rails to Trails biking similar to what you chronicled in your journal. How much should I expect to pay for a basic gear set-up,ie bike and accessories? I guess I would ask is, How did you start out when you first started biking? Thanks again for the great journal you compiled!
    Mark
     
  6. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly Terra Alta, West Virginia

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    Road this trail a couple of years but only from Meyersdale, PA to Mckeesport, PA. It was a hundred miles in two days. We camped at a church camp about halfway between the two cities. It was a beautiful trip except for the thunderstorms we had during the first day.

    Bob & Linda...Patches, Poncho and Peanut
    2008 Starcraft 2108-TV 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited
    1996 Chevy S-10 4 X 4
    1969 Chevelle Malibu Sports Coupe
     
  7. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave Active Member

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    Glad you all have enjoyed the writeup. Mark, I think the best thing for you to do since you are just starting is to check some of your local bike shops to see if there are any bike clubs in the area that have active weekly rides and tours. Most clubs will go out of their way to provide you with help. Someone in the club may even loan you a bike to try out before spending any money or possibly have a good used one for sale. Some clubs are keyed to racers, you don't want those. A good new bike with helmet, and small tool kit should run between $400- $500. You can get much cheaper at the big box stores but they aren't very good and won't last long if you start riding with any regularity. A good bike shop will also make sure the bike fits you properly and is not too big or small. A good shop will listen to you on how and where you plan to ride and will show you bikes suitable to those types of rides. If you just ride rail trails and neighborhoods, a good hybrid type bike would work best. The Pennsylvannia Rails to Trails Conservancy is based in Harrisburg and is a good resource for area trail information. As for how I got started,it's really simple. Except for a few years when I was in high school and it wasn't cool, I have aways had a bike and have ridden. I simply rode whenever I got a chance and when a bike broke, I fixed it or bought a different one. Check out my webshots under camp toys to see my current "stable" of bikes. I got rid of three this year. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Big Smile">

    Built for comfort...not speed.
    97 Coleman Niagara 87 Coleman Sun Valley (project) 08 Chevy Trailblazer

    Edited by - RhinoDave on February 10 2009 20:18:25

    Edited by - RhinoDave on February 10 2009 20:21:40
     
  8. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    Really enjoyed your blog about the trip, what a great ride and adventure.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Chris

    01 f-150 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 07 Rockwood 1980, <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    Camping Days for '08 ~ 23 <i> and now planning for '09</i>
     
  9. MGriff

    MGriff New Member

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    Hi Dave

    Thanks for the info. I will look into the local bike shops for additional info.
    Mark
     
  10. Luv2ridebikes

    Luv2ridebikes New Member

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    Hey Mark - if you haven't invested yet, now is a good time of the year to check your local shops for trade ins and last year carry overs (on sale!). Some folks keep that mid grade recreational bike, but others trade them in when they upgrade.

    Dave - I didn't comment earlier, but that was quite an adventure. Thanks for sharing it.
     

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