Overnight rides around Pittsburgh
While I wait for my frame replacement to arrive (cracked chainstay, luckily under warranty) I’m scoping out a future 2 or 3 day ride. I’m looking to camp in one of the parks so I’ll be taking tent/bag/stove/etc. A S24O shakedown (bike+equipment+ me) from Sql Hill to Cedar Creek on the GAP yielded mixed results which I figure I can definitely improve upon.
One idea is to go west starting w/ the Panhandle to an Ohio state park. Another is do a ride up to Erie, but camping would need to be stealth (I won’t do the ‘family’ campgrounds).
Or just ride to DC & take the train back (I’d done Cumberland to Pittsburgh 2 yrs ago).
Looking at my post a second time, it occurs to me that many Western PA rides have been probably been part of larger tours like the Underground. But which are the more scenic, back-roads with lower traffic, etc. The GAP is a no brainer but it can be boring too.
My son and I did the ride out cedar creek and we had a good time.
depending on how far you want to ride, the rivers edge near connelsville would be good for an overnight stay. it is a family campground but if you are only staying overnight it isnt that ‘family’ camped there are well and it was a good place
You might look into the “Adirondack style” shelters or campgrounds on the Baker Trail. Its a hiking trail but some of its sites might be accesible by bike. It looks like it says to “refrain from bringing dogs and bicycles on the trail” … it sounds like maybe its not totally disallowed.
some of my fave overnights:
1. West Newton to Rockdale, return next day
2. Ohiopyle to Cumberland, return next day
3. the Montour Loop camping at MP 25.5
4. From Groveton, Montour Trail to MP17, Panhandle Trail to Wierton, Wheeling Trail to Wheeling, return next day
Boazo – I think that the Baker Trail looks very promising, a nice off road option and I’ll end up near ANF!
Vannevar – I like the idea of just going west-ho. Option 4 Groveton to Wheeling is interesting. Groveton is adjacent to McKees Rocks I take it?
dBacklover – That campground is one that I didn’t see on any GAP list. Riversedge?
Groveton is between Coraopolis and McKees Rocks, closer to Cory; from Cory take 51South, if you get to I79 you went too far. It’s where MP0 on the Mountour Trail is.
Got that. I’m going for the MP0 to start once my new frame arrives….waiting, waiting…
As for the GAP ride Pgh to DC: has anyone done the boxed bike return yet?
@meaculpa I’ve boxed my bike on Amtrak a couple of times. *Make sure to leave plenty of time* for boxing at DC Union Station. It is much more hectic and disorganized than smaller stations like Pittsburgh. Otherwise it is a pleasant experience and a taller human like me who enjoys reading LOVES taking the train.
Mick – I am thinking of @ 60 miles. I’d do much more distance on a rail trail due to the simplicity plus lack of climbing.
Really its mostly about getting some experience from self-contained short trips. Up till now, its been drive to a state park, set up camp and do rides from there. I’ve set out on a camping overnight only once. That was Cedar Creek and back.
For me the next step is to plan an overnight trip with ordinary roads that will be okay for riding a fully loaded rig.
dmtroyer – I’ve read somewhere that Amtrak has its own bike boxes for you to buy…then there’s another fee to bring it on the train back to Pittsburgh. Was that your experience?
It is a great campground with spots right on the river. http://www.campriversedge.com/ they used to give you half off first night if you biked in off the trail.
AT 6-0 miles, a lot of the state parks in theis map would be good
Crooked Creek Reservoir – up near Ford City and Vandergriff – would be a good 60 mile ride and has camping.
Oscar Swan’s book has pleny of good exits from Pittsburgh. You could find one in the general direction of any of those parks. I know he has a ride that goes near Crooked Creek.
Oscar’s links to his book seem to be dead. Is this a harbinger of the arrival of a new edition?
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