Biking on the Greater Allegany Passage

My wife and I have been getting more and more into bicycling lately. It is something we can do together and stay together while doing it. I was trying to run again this spring, but my knees were not accepting that well, so biking it is!

This spring we took our first trip to Ohiopyle in Pennsylvania to bike on the Greater Allegany Passage, and have been back twice since. Our last trip was Sunday when we started at Ohiopyle and biked to Confluence PA and back – a total of 22 miles. It was a hot humid day, but the shaded trail next to the river was quite refreshing.

A welcome sign

The trail is a rail trail that starts in Cumberland MD and ends up in Pittsburgh PA – a total of about 150 miles. This part in Ohiopyle is relatively flat and a well maintained small gravel trail. In either direction it is a shaded trail that runs along the Youghiogheny River.

The family on the trail at a pullover

Our first trip we went north (actually downstream – the river flows north) for an out and back ride of about 10 miles. We did the same trip a couple weeks later with my family and had a great time. All three daughters, two sons-in-law, and all five grandkids were with us. My six year old grandson rode his bike, and the others rode in bike carts behind their parents. My niece and nephew also joined us with their two boys. That was fun. Again an out and back trip of about 9 miles this time with no problems. A couple of rest stops so the kids could play and explore the river bank a little. The boys who rode their own bikes had no problems with this distance or trail.

Sunday my wife and I decided to go south (or upstream) and explore. My intention was to do an hour out and then come back, but we were so close to Confluence after the hour we decided to keep going and I am glad we did. Again this trail is 99% shaded and runs along the river. It is quiet, full of nature, the other riders are friendly, and when you are close to a town there are also hikers, but everyone we met followed the rules of courtesy for bikers and hikers and there were no problems. It is actually quite fun to actually say hi to strangers and be able to actually see the smiles on their faces instead of a face mask.

There are some hiking trails off the bike path. This was north of Ohiopyle

Ohiopyle and Confluence do cater to the biking and hiking crowd. Both also cater to the river rafting crowd with professional guided tours. Ohiopyle is definitely set up more for the tourists with more eateries and places to find other things like beverages and ice cream and is definitely more crowded. We have found if you get there before 10AM parking at any of the lots is not a problem. They can get full in the afternoon. We had lunch and ice cream when we returned after our 3 hour ride and it was good, at tourist prices. I would suggest driving until you get to the overhead bridge in Ohiopyle, take the turnoff up the hill, and there is a parking lot about two blocks up the road. The trail is right there, there are restrooms close, and it is walking distance to the eateries etc. If you go north towards Connellsville, you will cross two bridges of the river with breathtaking views, and if you go South towards Confluence it is a nice quiet trail. I would highly recommend either direction. You can turn around in a town either way. Confluence is 11 miles and Connellsville is longer. Do not expect restrooms or shops on this trail even though we did find a little picnic area 4.25 miles south, but you must pack your own stuff in.

The river is clean and scenic!

This is only one stop on the Greater Allegany Passage, if we do others (and I am sure we will) I will let you know. I would highly recommend this for biking or hiking. It is beautiful!

A break by the river

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Feel free to like or comment!

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