Mind the GAP

Posted on: October 11, 2019 Posted by: Louise Popko Comments: 0

Mind the GAP

The Great Allegheny Passage, or “GAP,” is a 150-mile system of biking and hiking trail that weaves around mountains and runs parallel to rivers to take participants all the way from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD. One of the best parts of the GAP is that it connects to other area trails, including the Montour Trail, the Laurel Highland Hiking Trail, and the C&O Canal towpath. If you’re up for a challenge, you can even take the C&O Canal Trail where it begins in Cumberland, MD the remaining 184.5 miles to Washington, DC! This route is free from traffic and motorized vehicles, and so creates a safe and scenic passage through the region.

The McKeesport section of the Great Allegheny Passage lies next to the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, which once served as the backbone of Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire. The railroad carried coke from coal mines along the Youghiogheny River Valley to the steel mills that once thrived in Pittsburgh. Today, the GAP and other nearby trails showcase McKeesport’s industrial history, of which you can still watch the coal barges drift by at McKees Point.

As a Trail Town, McKeesport is a cyclist-friendly area that provides easy access to trailheads, restaurants, lodging, and bike shops. The McKeesport Hostel, located along Water Street/Bendel Way near the Marina at McKees Point, offers an affordable three-bed short-stay accommodation for bicyclists and hikers in the area. If you’re looking to tune-up or repair your bike after a long day out on the trails, Zak’s Bike Shop at 3014 Walnut Street meets all your cycling needs.

No matter how your skill level on a bike, McKeesport and the Great Allegheny Passage offer a wide variety of fun outdoors opportunities. Why not go for a ride today?


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