The Panhandle is supposedly “complete” although it needs to be completed to Carnegie. There is room alongside the active rail spur between Carnegie and Walker’s Mill but there seems to be no impetus to actually get this done. It wouldn’t connect to Pittsburgh, but it would connect to the West Busway. The Chartiers Creek Valley is also very tantalizing for a future trail.
The Montour is almost complete. They are working on the terminus at Coraopolis now, and filling in a few of the remaining gaps in South Park (a few will remain at that end).
The GAP and 3 Rivers Heritage Trail people need to start planning some long term connections to these other trails.
To connect Pittsburgh to Cleveland will the trail bypass Pittsburgh, going west from Mckeesport GAP into Clairton to Panhandle trail, or will the trail run North into Pittsburgh,then further north to Coraopolis??
The map in the article shows the route from Cleveland taking the Panhandle Trail to the Montour, the Montour north to Coraopolis, then along the south bank of the Ohio to Pittsburgh. There’s a bigger map on this page, plus a link to a detailed Feasibility Study in PDF form. The route from Coraopolis goes via Neville Island, Island Avenue, a short section of the McKees Rocks Bridge to Helen Street, River Road, and then some route following West Carson to the existing trail. They mention they’ll need to get easements along the Ohio and that there’s a CSX line there.
The section on Coraopolis to Pittsburgh in turn refers to a 2013 Three Rivers Heritage Trail Pittsburgh to Coraopolis Feasibility Study. You can find that one linked here.
Looks like 2/3rds of the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh trail is part of it. Going from Pittsburgh, the Great American Rail Trail turns near Massillon Ohio toward Columbus.
There is already a completed trail between Massillon to Cleveland (Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail), so all of the “gaps” in the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh trail are also gaps in the Great American Rail Trail.