Trail Alerts

AUG 10 2017 | Paw Paw Tunnel (mm 155.2-155.8) closure extended

Paw Paw Tunnel closed as of today June 2, 2017:

Update: Paw Paw Tunnel is closed as of June 2, 2017. The closure is extended until October 2017.

C&O Canal National Historical Park has closed Paw Paw Tunnel as part of the planned rock scaling project. The park anticipates that the tunnel will remain closed between 100 and 120 days, hopefully re-opening around the end of September.

To provide thru-access for bicyclists during the project, a bypass trail will be available using an old logging road on the berm side of the canal upstream of the tunnel. A temporary “bridge” across the canal prism connects with an abandoned logging road that provides a gentler grade to the top of Tunnel Hill. This temporary by-pass then connects with the existing Tunnel Hill Trail.

Rock scaling is the physical removal of loose rock and unstable surface materials that pose a hazard. The project will enhance visitor safety by reducing the risk of injury from falling rocks.

For more information check the official C&O Canal NHP website.

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AUG 10 2017 | Detour for Conococheague Aqueduct (mm 99.8) project to start this week

UPDATE: The detour won't start until Thursday, Aug. 17, said Joe Reed, civil engineer for the C&O Canal.

Dave McMillion Aug 7, 2017

Starting late Tuesday or early Wednesday, a section of the C&O Canal near Williamsport is expected to be closed for more than a year to allow for an estimated $9 million project that federal officials say will transform the canal visitor experience in the area of Cushwa Basin.

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At the project kickoff event May 5, 2017, Members of Allegheny Trail Alliance, Doug Riegner (red) Bryan Perry (blue) stand next to National park service and C&O Canal Don Briggs, Superintendent (far right), Michael Reynolds, Acting Director of National Park Service (far left).

Read Full article HERE...

AUG 8 2017 | Detour in McKeesport mm 131.5) Train blocking road crossing and #GAPtrail

From our Steel Valley Trail Council friends and volunteers:

 The rail crossing at Locust Street in McKeesport is closed while it is being rebuilt, as you'll see in the attached photo. The CSX worker I talked with said that the rails had been sinking in the mud at that crossing and that "the crossing should reopen at the end of the week."Image1

Use simple common sense: trail users traveling east, go 1 block to your LEFT to Coursin Street flyover bridge, cross over the train tracks, make RIGHT on Lyle Blvd and continue on your way.  

Screen Shot 2017 08 08 At 3.05.45 Pm 

or vice versa coming traveling west, follow Lyle Blvd to Coursin Street, make a LEFT up and over Courisn flyover bridge.  

Thanks for your patience and cooperation.  Enjoy the trails!

AUG 2 2017 | Amtrak - Capitol Limited temporary service interruption

HUGE ALERT - Amtrak Capitol Limited affected!

Due to a terrible freight train derailment in Bedford County Pa., the Capitol Limited line between Pittsburgh and D.C. is not operating. Amtrak is bussing passengers and their baggage between Cumberland and Washington DC stations.

*NO NEW TICKETS ARE BEING SOLD on Amtrak for this route. Traveling with a fully assembled bicycle could be a problem. Please contact #Amtrak immediately about your reservation at (800) 872-7245.

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JUN 30 2017 | Conococheague Aqueduct Restoration Construction & Detour (mm 99.7)

By Linzy French

 Assistant to the Superintendent, C&O Canal National Historical Park

Williamsport, MD – The National Park Service (NPS), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) awarded an $8,997,112 contract for the restoration of the Conococheague Aqueduct to Corman Construction, Inc. of Annapolis Junction, MD on June 5, 2017. The next phase of the restoration project for the entire Williamsport interpretive complex will return the Conococheague Aqueduct to its 1920s appearance and create the first watered, operational aqueduct along the C&O Canal since 1924. During construction, visitors will be directed to follow a detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct located near Williamsport, Maryland between milepost 99.75 - 99.60.

20170620 Conococheague Bypass Plan   

Construction is anticipated to begin in late July 2017 and extend approximately 18 months, weather dependent, until December 2018. During this time visitors will be unable to travel over the aqueduct and through the construction area and will be directed onto a 1.1 mile long detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct. The upstream end of the detour departs from the towpath near milepost 99.75, travels along Fenton Avenue, an alleyway, state Route 68, and U.S. Route 11 until rejoining the towpath near milepost 99.60 (directly adjacent to the Cushwa Basin). Prior to closure of the towpath, signage will be posted to clearly mark the detour route.

Fenton Ave  Redland Brick Alleyway Bypass Route Details  Screen Shot 2017 06 30 At 4.54.53 Pm

The Conococheague Aqueduct is one of eleven aqueducts on the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 97 years ago, in April of 1920, the upstream wall of the Conococheague Aqueduct gave way, crumbling into the creek below. The C&O Canal Company temporarily repaired the aqueduct with a wooden wall, but the canal only operated for three more seasons before being closed in the spring of 1924.

The project will restore the aqueduct to its appearance in the early 1920s, with a new upstream wall designed to appear as the wooden temporary replacement wall. More importantly, the aqueduct will be restored to the condition where it can once again hold water, the first C&O Canal aqueduct to be restored to full operation. When complete, Williamsport, Maryland will be the only place in North America where visitors can ride boats across an aqueduct and through a working canal lock.

For more information about the project and the park, call 301-582-0813 or please visit www.nps.gov/choh. Follow us on Facebook at chesapeakeandohiocanal and on Twitter @COcanalNPS

MAY 26 2017 | Water pump is OFF at Dravo campground

WATER is OFF at the campground until June 15th when the site will be repaired by the local volunteer trail group.

Dravo Campground    Dravo Campground Sign

Plan ahead to have enough water for your trip!  

Visit www.GAPtrail.org/explore to find the next closest town or business where you can refill your water bottles and camelbacks.

MAY 10 2017 | Repairs Close Olmsted Island Bridge and Overlook mile 14.1 on C&O Canal

by Pete Peterson 

Potomac, MD- The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) will temporarily close the Olmsted Island Trail and Great Falls Overlook on or about March 1, 2017 for repairs that will improve visitor safety and better protect park resources. Construction on the bridges is anticipated to last 90-120 days with completion and re-opening in late June 2017. Completion of construction may be impacted by weather conditions.

Read the official postingFor more information on the project and Great Falls, please visit their website HERE

 Great Falls Map   Olm2

Great Falls overlook 3: photo by Dave Adams http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2907060

MAY 10 2017 | Several minor washouts - GAP trail between miles 4-11

It was reported from the Mountain Maryland trails group that several wash outs occurred due to recent rainfall.  Please use extra caution when traveling between mile 4 (Bone cave) up through mile 11.  Various pieces of the trail are affected and we want everyone going east and west to share the trail safely.  

We realize when avoiding potential hazards some riders swerve into oncoming trail traffic.  Be careful and travel safe!

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APR 7 2017 | Water & Restroom Facilities

There are chemical toilets at the campgrounds and GAP access areas, but limited potable water, especially since the NPS is no longer treating the pump water at the hiker/biker campgrounds. Carry at least a quart of water more than you think you need. Take advantage of towns along the way for water resupply. 

MAR 21 2017 | Big Savage Tunnel (GAP mile 22)

The Big Savage Tunnel (GAP mile 22) is open for the 2017 trail season. Happy Trails!

The 3,300 ft. long Big Savage Tunnel (GAP mile 22,) near the Mason-Dixon Line, is lighted and is opened during trail season. The tunnel is generally closed for the winter from early December to early April - Please check this site for updates.

NOV 1 2016 | Ohiopyle State Park (GAP mile 63)

Updates and photos of the new Visitors Center are available on ‘Ohiopyle State Park’ Facebook page.

Additional Ohiopyle State Park information can be found on the PA-DCNR website.

NOV 1 2016 | Montour Trail (City of Pittsburgh to the Airport)

For complete details on all construction notices for the Montour Trail please Visit the Website

NOV 1 2016 | Three Rivers Heritage Section (GAP mile 139)

PITTSBURGH, PA: *To get answers to specific questions concerning the Three Rivers Heritage Trail detours, please join one of their Social Network sites: Visit the Website.

NOV 1 2016 | Brush (GAP mile 6) & Borden Tunnels (GAP mile 17.5), MD

The Brush Tunnel (GAP mile 6)  is lighted. 

The Borden Tunnel (GAP mile 17.5) is NOT lighted - For your safety, PLEASE DISMOUNT & WALK through this tunnel.

NOV 1 2016 | Scenic RR Excursions to Frostburg off track (GAP mile 10)

The Western Maryland Scenic RR Frostburg excursions are off track. The landslide, located on tracks between Frostburg and Switch No. 9, was discovered Thursday during a routine track inspection. The train will only go as far as Switch 9 until further notice. The Great Allegheny Passage trail is not impacted by this slide, this section is open for trail use.

SEP 20 2015 | Pinkerton Tunnel (GAP mile 52)

Pinkerton Tunnel - ridersPinkerton Tunnel is now open!

You still have the option to take a 1.5 mile detour around the restored Pinkerton tunnel, near mile 52 in Somerset County. Besides shortening the distance, fixing the tunnel has create another spectacular feature along the trail. Located between the Pinkerton Low and High Bridges, the "bridge-tunnel-bridge" in quick succession is a marvel. It's also make a great way to create a loop ride, using the tunnel and the detour trail. Thanks to all of the donors and supporters who made it happen! 

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