Our guests who purchase the GAP/CO Bike Tour Blueprint receive the following:
Connecting Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania to Cumberland in Maryland, the Great Allegheny Passage stretches for nearly 150 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. The Great Allegheny Passage incorporates defunct corridors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and the Western Maryland Railway
In Cumberland the GAP seamlessly intersects with the C&O Canal Towpath. Hugging the north bank of the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, the C&O Canal operated from 1831 to 1924. It was used for transportation between the Allegheny Mountains and urban areas of the Chesapeake Bay.
Today, both trails have an average grade of less than 1%. At the highest point of the trail, you’ll cross the Eastern Continental Divide, after which the trail drops around 1,750 feet over 20 miles before reaching Cumberland.
The C&O Canal Towpath descends around 600 feet from Cumberland to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., with the gradual change in elevation almost indiscernible . Along the C&O, occasional potholes, rocks, and mud can be expected in some sections but conditions are improving dramatically as a major trail resurfacing project is currently underway.
Our GAP/C&O itineraries are designed to give you ample time to take in the sights along the way and experience the region’s natural beauty. Take your time and explore all the trail has to offer or opt to cycle long miles each day and push your limits as you complete the 335-mile trail.
Difficulty: The Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Towpath is rated at medium to hard difficulty. The trail has little daily elevation gain (with the exception of Meyersdale-Cumberland) and the surfaces are fairly well-maintained, although the C&O Towpath can be uneven and slow in sections. Itineraries range from 20-60+ miles/day with options for a wide variety of riders.