Things to Do
Places to Stay
The Great Allegheny Passage is ideal for anyone on a bicycle or foot who wants to blend adventure with breathtaking scenery and journey through the region's rich history on your own power and at your own pace. There is little wonder, then, that this trail is included in the national Rails to Trails Hall of Fame.
The longest multiple-use trail in PA, the Great Allegheny Passage consists of 150 miles of nearly level rail trail suitable for most any type of bicycle. It stretches southeast from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. There, the Great Allegheny Passage connects with the C&O Canal towpath, extending all the way to the Georgetown district of Washington, D.C. for a total length of 334.5 miles.
The Big Savage Tunnel, located near the Mason & Dixon Line, is closed for the winter from December 1st to April 10th each year.
**Named on CNN's list of "50 Spots, 50 States for 2014" representing Pennsylvania!
Built in the days when coal was king, this PA rail trail once rumbled with heavy freight trains, and was a key artery of commerce well into the 20th century. Because rail traffic required gentle grades, Great Allegheny Passage cyclists and hikers never faces inclines of much more than 1 percent. Recreationists enjoy a smooth, virtually-flat pathway that meanders through picturesque peaks, traverses rich, fertile pastures, bridges sparkling streams, passes through river gorges and tunnels beneath tall Pennsylvania mountains. Truly one of the most beautiful trails in PA.
Depending on the time of year, Great Allegheny Passage cyclists and hikers will be rewarded with gorgeous, sweetly-scented spring wildflowers, towering green forest stands and tufts of wild columbine, a blaze of autumnal red, orange, and gold or the silvery glint of frost and snow on stark winter branches. Always, the air is bracing and clean. Always, the experience is unforgettable.
All along the Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania rail trail, a series of "trail towns" serve as starting and stopping points...as well as destinations themselves. All offer overnight accommodations and places to eat for Great Allegheny Passage bikers and long-distance hikers. Most offer bike rental and repair shops as well. A stop at any of these towns is sure to enhance your Great Allegheny Passage experience.
Immerse yourself in the Class I-IV whitewater fun and adventure at Ohiopyle State Park.
Experienced outfitters like Laurel Highlands River Tours, Ohiopyle Trading Post, and Whitewater Adventurers can prepare you for the level and intensity of rafting that matches your desires and experience levels. You can also rent bikes during your stay. And after you work up an appetite with all this high-energy activity, be sure not to miss the "good eats" at the Firefly Grill, Ohiopyle Bakery & Sandwich Shoppe, and the Ohiopyle House Café.
See charming Victorian homes that have been lovingly restored and transformed into bed-and-breakfasts. Sit on the deck at The Trailside for lunch or a snack and enjoy a beautiful view of both the Passage and the Youghiogheny River.
Experience the Hostel on Main created specifically for trail users. The charming Rockwood Mill Shoppes and Opera House located in a converted feed mill is a fun place to eat a homemade ice cream cone.
See the very picturesque confluence of the Casselman and Youghiogheny Rivers. Bike rentals are available. Many splendid dining and lodging options, including theRiver's Edge Café and its accompanying gardens, andThe Parker House make this a particularly charming stop.
Visit the restored Western Maryland Railway Station just north of the Salisbury Viaduct. Remember, too, that every March, this town becomes "Maple City," hosting thePennsylvania Maple Festival.
Spend a night at the restored and renovated Victorian bed and Breakfast, Fox Castle Bed and Breakfast just one mile from the trail. Experience the town's thriving glass industry, and explore ArtWorks Connellsville and Connellsville Canteen.