Now you’re ready to create your bike trip, what’s next?
1. Choose which direction you want to travel.
2. Decide whether you want to camp or stay indoors each night.
3. Pick your trip itinerary.
4. Reserve your lodging and services.
5. Prepare for your trip – Background and Experience pages
Our itineraries are based on travel from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, but this is not required. Most travelers find that their logistics work best in this direction, however, if driving from the south or east you may prefer to drive to Cumberland and park there rather than in Pittsburgh.
You may also wish to park in Cumberland and be shuttled at the start of your trip, which allows you to end back at your vehicle.
Biking from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, you’ll have a slight rise particularly between Confluence to Deal, Pa. This is followed by 20+ miles of downhill as you end in Cumberland, Md. Riding in this direction, your last day can take advantage of the easy downhill ending and allow you to catch an early afternoon return shuttle (we schedule shuttles for 1:30 pm for most riders).
Biking from Cumberland to Pittsburgh you’ll have a significant uphill for 20+ miles from Cumberland up to the Big Savage Divide.
For private rooms with private bathrooms, expect to spend approximately:
4DAY GAP (3 nights) – $475 for 1 room with 1-2 beds
5DAY GAP (4 nights) – $600 for 1 room with 1-2 beds
6DAY GAP (5 nights) – $750 for 1 room with 1-2 beds
*Pay less by reserving rooms which share bathrooms or do not include breakfast.
Camping on the GAP is possible at established campgrounds only. There are several free, primitive campgrounds between Pittsburgh and Connellsville. There are pay campgrounds which offer bathrooms and other services along the trail. These range from $8-25/night.
Camping support including luggage transfers, shuttling, and equipment rentals are available on the GAP.
Our Itineraries listed below correspond to a Ride with GPS Trip Experience we have created just for this blueprint. The Experience includes the digital mapping the route, daily itinerary information, dining guide, emergency numbers, and more.
Although you will want to reserve your trip months in advance, you will need to request your password access to the Ride with GPS Experience once you are within 45 days of your trip. Once the password is provided to you, access is available for 45 DAYS to one user. Additional user access can be requested for an added cost.
Request access by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAY 1. PITTSBURGH TO WEST NEWTON (34 MI.)
Welcome to Pittsburgh! Arrive a day or two early and spend time exploring the city. Enjoy a city bike tour, visit the Warhol museum, or take in a Pirates baseball game at PNC Park.
On Day 1, you’ll start your GAP trip in Downtown Pittsburgh at the western terminus in Point State Park. Take a moment to grab a photo at the start, then follow the Monongahela River out of the city. The transformation of Pittsburgh is on display as you cycle past the former steel towns that drove the U.S. in the 20th century.
Overnight: West Newton – Bright Morning B&B
DAY 2. WEST NEWTON TO OHIOPYLE (42 MI.)
After a full breakfast to start the day off right, you’ll have the chance to pedal through some of the most gorgeous sections of the GAP trail – Ohiopyle State Park. Arriving in Ohiopyle, take your time exploring the small town and surrounding hiking trails. Or simply sit by the falls and watch the rafters and kayakers make their way through the rapids.
Overnight: Ohiopyle – Ohiopyle Suites, Falls Market Inn, Laurel Highlands Guest Houses
DAY 3. OHIOPYLE TO MEYERSDALE (42 MI.)
Today the trail leads you through the dense woods and rolling farmland of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Pinkerton Tunnel is your first of several tunnels on the GAP (use caution entering and exiting!). Ride across the Salisbury Viaduct and take a moment to pause and enjoy the spectacular view. End the day in the sweet town of Meyersdale (home of the Pennsylvania Maple Festival).
Overnight: Meyersdale – Levi Deal Mansion, Yoder’s Guest House
DAY 4. MEYERSDALE TO CUMBERLAND (32 MI.)
After a full breakfast at your B&B, get ready for a special treat on your last day on the Great Allegheny Passage. Today’s highlights are the incredible views to be found at the top of the Eastern Continental Divide – you can see three states on clear days! Even better, after you’ve had your fill of the view you can spend the afternoon enjoying 20 miles of gentle downhill riding (1.75% grade). The trail here follows alongside the Maryland Scenic Railroad line; watch for the historic steam engine which still runs on some days.
If you are planning to stay at hotels or B&Bs along the trail, you must make reservations in advance. The GAP sees over 1 million visitors a year and in many towns there may only be 5-10 rooms.
Downtown Pittsburgh is a small geographic area and any hotel located in “downtown” will be in easy wakling and biking distance of the trailhead at Point State Park.
The Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown has been our lodging partner for almost 10 years. They welcome cyclists and are centrally located in the Cultural District, near many restaurants. The Penn Ave bike lane crosses in front of the hotel, or access the riverfront bike trail just one block behind the hotel.
Booking online or by phone. [Use trail rate link above to reserve.]
The SSTR is a unique and affordable lodging option located along the riverfront trails which connect directly to the Great Allegheny Passage. The Southside is Pittsburgh’s entertainment district with many restaurants and music venues nearby. Very bike friendly with dedicated ownership and staff.
3 private rooms, 1 family room, 3 shared hostel rooms
Camping on the GAP is possible at established campgrounds only, and some require reservations. Expect weekends to fill up. If you ride over a weekend to a first come site, arrive plan to arrive early and/or have a backup plan.
Closest to Pittsburgh and often full on weekends, particularly in summer. Open sites with fire rings, bathroom, and 25-30 sites. Too close to Pittsburgh for most of our itineraries, but an option for a shortened first day. Open year round.
Located right outside West Newton and close to restaurants. Wifi, fire rings, showers and bathrooms. 30 sites. Open March-October.