Biking to kennywood
Is there a way to get to the front gates without having to be on 837 for very long?
Yes, but you have to ride a lot of hills instead. It’s not bad if you enjoy the extra riding. Dig out a map and look at Eliza/Maple/Whittaker/Mifflin and the Rankin Bridge.
StefB makes an interesting point – the new trail segment runs adjacent to Kennywood, but you can’t get to KW from the trail.
Do they have bike racks or anywhere good to lock up once you get there?
They have some steel fences surrounding the entrance. 837 doesn’t look bad for the first portion with its wide shoulders but it narrows significantly before reaching the parking lot.
As I recall, they don’t have “real” bike racks but I found someplace equally secure and convenient to lock up without any trouble.
i you’re feeling adventurous you can bike the new trail and turn right a bit ofter kennywood down into the old train factory and then walk up the hill under the bridge which will take you out into the mcdonalds parking lot across the street from kennywood… it’s all flat other than carry your bike up the last hill
Hey I just found this post…some friends are thinking of going to Kennywood this weekend and I thought it would be fun to bike there on the new trail. Then I saw that you can’t…directly at least. So how “off-road” is that adventurous part Mark?
How is the ride up from the rankin bridge? I am going tomorrow and don’t wanna get all sweaty on the way. I’ll probably drive but I’m just curious.
I haven’t ridden the bridge, but someone got hit on it semi-recently.
Looking at goggle maps it would be sooooo simple for K’wood to open an access for trail riders to the park, there’s some kind of access road right below the steel phantom. Imagine if GAP travelers could get into a great amusement park right from the trail. Hoot! Letter writing campaign?
I’ve gone over the bridge many times but never headed towards kennywood from there.
I almost got killed at that intersection last week.
Stef and I would probably buy season passes if they did that.
the last adventurous part is just walking up a dirt hill…. i haven’t done it in more than a year and i don’t know what going through that old train factory is like now that the trail is open, there might be more fences.
there are more and better ways out of that area now since they brought so much heavy machinery through there to build the trail, if you just ride past kennywood and then start looking up there is bound to be a decent access road that comes down from 837 not too far past
Any better ways to get to kennywood yet, now that we have a straight shot to their back door?
I was thinking about taking GAP to Grant Ave, make right n 837 and in around 1 mile I am at Kennywood.
Mikhail, if you don’t want to go all the way up to Grant, you can use the access road about halfway in-between the bridge and Grant…it veers off to the right, back across the tracks and goes right up to 837…saves you half the hill and its less time with the speeding traffic on 837…for what its worth, I stick to the sidewalks on that stretch to Kennywood, at least until you get up the hill and to the light by the gas station. I know riding the sidewalks isn’t the greatest idea or whatever, but traffic on that stretch is fast, the shoulders are filled with trash and there is a lot of turning traffic (left and right).
I’m going to send a message tonight to the folks at Kennywood and Sandcastle about the potential for more ticket sales, esp combo and season passes if they do bike entrances and decent bike parking, and the potential for strong concession sales if they sell drinks/ice cream/whatever outside said bike entrances available to all trail users. Also going to suggest a “misting station” at said concessions area, at least on the Sandcastle side.
Good business, and, well, totally awesome if they do even half of it. Anyone else care to write that one in?
mlinwood25 wrote:you can use the access road about halfway in-between the bridge and Grant
byogman wrote:about the potential for more ticket sales
1. Run to Costco
2. Buy a box of ice cream (something like 15-20 pieces for $10-12)
3. Run outside to GAP and sell for $2 a piece.
I feel like I say this about everywhere in the county, but…
I used to commute on 837 and pass Kennywood on the weekends, isn’t too bad from my experience
I cross the Rankin bridge now on my commute too, (and used to about a year ago too, somewhat regularly) and don’t generally have any problems there either.
It also looks like it shouldn’t be too hard to get on 837 from the trail a little bit past Kennywood:
If that’s the case, if you weren’t up for 837, you could ride the sidewalk right to Kennywood
Getting to Kennywood through the old locomotive factory:
I like the idea but things have changed. In particular there is now a solid fence cutting it off from the trail and the space is now some kind of storage area for trailers (all numbered but not parked in order, as the OCD amongst us no doubt noticed). By the looks of it, you could probably bushwhack around the fence (though someone like me is now less likely to do it).
Then again the trail in that stretch seems to have squeezed through some kind of space-time wormhole thingie. Or a least a space-warp:
Google maps is great, but they’re really kind of weird when it comes to crowd sourcing trails. There are lots of places where they mark trails that don’t exist, or that aren’t rideable on anything but a mountain bike. And it’s impossible to get the trails removed once they’re marked. You can, theoretically, edit the map and delete the bad portions, but the edits get reviewed and then refused. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actually been there and seen there’s no bikeable trail. It’s great that people are enthusiastic and put up their favorite shortcuts, but not so good if you’re trying to find a route you can ride on a road bike and get diverted onto railroad ballast or worse.
It’s totally doable to get google to change the map. It’s not quick though. Not sure what your experience has been.
I got them to re-label the junction hollow trail (was improperly labeled panther hollow trail) and had them connect two non-connected parts of east st.
I say request edits!
@mikhail — That’s actually my retirement plan. Bike powered, refrigeratated cart going up and down the GAP selling ice cream and cold drinks in the summer. Hot chocolate and coffee in the winter.
Only 25 more years…..
@jonawebb, I’ve reported bad bicycle routes in the past for that exact reason… a not-maintained-in-winter road was suggested and that road isn’t passible in the summer by anything with less than a 2″ wheel at the minimum. I took the road on a 35mm tire and thought I was going to crash the entire time I was on that road. Fortunately, they did change the route after I reported it.
Weren’t you the guy that said there was no trail from Braddock to the Frick trails? It could be subjective…
@ahlir: that wormhole / spacewarp thingie was my doing.
Back in Feb. I noticed that google maps had the route of that part of the Steel Valley Trail section of the GAP wrong. I went to fix it but because Google Mapmaker is clumsy or perhaps because I’m not yet an expert at it, I was only able to edit one segment of the trail at a time, and that section involved two segments (because of the convoluted history of edits by multiple people, some of whom are probably sitting in Hyderabad, staring at satellite images). Thanks to your reminder, I just requested a second edit that should fix the trail route. In a few weeks maybe my change will be approved and “pushed” and visible.
Google Mapmaker is wonderful in theory (I’ve heard that most of Nairobi was crowdsource-mapped with it) but it’s slow and bureaucratic in practice. It seems that adding to maps is much easier than correcting errors.
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