Solo on the GAP Trail: Forest Bathing, Stories, and Delights

One woman's journey by bike, 130 miles

JAN 22 2018

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December 7, 2017 - Guest blogger Margaret McBride kindly submitted this post.

This past August I cycled 130 miles over four days on part of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) — a 150-mile rail trail between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s been 30+ years since I toured by bike solo, and at age 65, I’m delighted to find I still like it: making up a trip as you go, free of someone else’s plan.

I don’t know what “forest bathing” officially means, but I’m calling my trip “forest bathing” because for most of my ride, I had an awning of trees, a significant river on one side, and a forest and walls of rock on the other side — often with waterfalls. I learned I was along some of the most beautiful country of the GAP Trail, and I was sometimes in Pennsylvania’s most visited state park — Ohiopyle on the Youghiogheny River (yaw-ki-ah-gay-nee ), a mecca for whitewater boaters.

The trip also became a listening — perhaps the best surprise: listening to the river, forest, waterfalls, trains, rain, silence, and hearing people’s stories.

Read full ride report HERE.


The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA.


P.O. Box 228
Homestead, PA 15120