I am going to be in the area riding in on the GAP and staying one night at a hotel on the river in Homestead and I just wonder is the area on the GAP and other cycling trails safe to simply be in after sunset or should at least some parts be avoided. Is the area say between Homestead and the Point well lit or would I need my own lights.
I think of riding to the Point after dark just for a different look of the area.
On a different subject are there trails or bike lanes that connect the Amtrak Station to other trails. What is the best route say between the Amtrak Station and the GAP.
This time of year the trails will be mostly empty at night and you will probably see more bunnies than people, but that can make for a very nice ride. The rivers and city look great at night and I recommend going over the Hot Metal Bridge (part of the GAP) for a great photo spot of the city.
As for safety, I’ve been following this message board for almost a decade and I can only remember three or four minor incidents of ANY kind on our bike trails – so they are safe. You will definitely need to bring lights, however, because the trails are mostly unlit coming in from Homestead until you reach the city.
I mainly booked a room in Homestead to get a much cheaper price than downtown but I plan to spend a lot of time in the downtown area and checked prices again and just got a somewhat cheaper price by PNC park so I should be easily able to tour the area even by walking after dark now. I hope to rent a kayak for a different view of town and I am sure the inclines would be interesting after dark.
I am doing a 4 day casual trip taking 2 days from Connellsville camping the first night and then doing things in Pittsburgh the next day and then heading back to camp toward Connellsville one more night.
I live in northern WV and have visited Pittsburgh numerous times and twice taken my bike to ride the trails around town and across numerous bridges but have never been between Homestead and Cedar Creek Park and plan to take lots of photos and my new experience of videos of my trip. I am a big history buff and riding into town for the first time and to the point will be quite interesting. I love the point. I hope to do the ride from my home sometime and looking to do Pittsburgh to DC next fall. I did Cumberland to DC this past April and loved it and had not been to DC for 40 years and road Amtrak back for a different view of the route.
If you’re going to ride that section between Homestead and the Point in the dark, have good lights. Not “good enough” lights, parts of that section can get really dark at night. +1 on watching out for rabbits, small mammals.
Kayak Pittsburgh at their North Shore location (6th St Bridge) is, in October, only open on weekends, according to http://www.ventureoutdoors.org/kayak-pittsburgh-north-shore/ . Seeing the city from the river is, indeed, cool.
For history, see Heinz History Center, Fort Pitt Museum, some historical photos on display at top of the Duquesne Incline. For steel & labor history, try the Bost Building in Homestead: https://www.riversofsteel.com/about/visit-the-museum/
Sunsets over downtown viewed from the Hot Metal Bridge can be pretty. Similar for sunrise viewed from the West End Bridge. More nice views of downtown can be had from the trails of Emerald View Park: http://mwcdc.org/park/ (on the north slope of Mt. Washington).