Finally we got to the startingpoint of the ”Great Allegheny Passage”. After spending several days on the US40 we looked forward to get on the trail that so many had recommended. First morning started with a hectic ride through the morning traffic in Pittsburgh. There are well marked trails in Pittsburgh on both sides of the Monongahela river. Our trail starts on the north side and changes to the south side a bit after passing center of town. Imagine the feeling of going on a trail without any traffic! So relieving not have to watch for any motorized vehicle.
For the first day our goal was set to reach the camping at Cedar Creek. It was a smooth biking on a paved trail in the beginning, that changed into still smooth biking but on crushed gravel when we came out on the countryside.
Travelling in slow pace in a beautyful scenery made us remember how this trip once started, following the Columbian river. It is more than two months since we took of from Portland, but it feels like yesterday.
Our second day on the trail did not start as easy as the first. We started of with early breakfast but had to sit and wait under a shelter while the rain pored down. Finally the rain stopped and we could leave. It took only about fifteen minutes until the rain started again.
On this stretch of the trail they have had a storm passing by a couple of days earlier. Leaving a lot of falling trees behind. For more than five miles there where several trees that we had to crawl under or carry our bikes over. This must be the toughest part we have done on our whole trip and definitely our slowest! Finally at the state park Ohiopyle we did, for the first time of all our biking days, mount a wet tent.
Even if it was a rough day we could look on the remains along the trail from times when the mining industri was at its peak. Day three and four the climb on the trail increased and we biked trough tunnels and over viaducts with fantastic views over the landscape. On our fourth day we passed over our last continental divide and the highest point on this trail and started to go downhill. A little bit from the top and just efter a tunnel opens fantastic views over the landscape. A place where one just must stop and just look!
Further down the hill you can, if you are lucky, see a steam train that goes parallell to the trail. On this trip we are lucky and we did meet the train! Very nice to see these old machines still in action. Puts a smile in my face.
End station of the trail is in Cumberland and there we also had planned our stop for the day. A visit to the small exhibition at the visitor center and a stroll around downtown ended our last day on The Great Allegheny Passage.