Pgh-Montour Trail-McKeesport-Pgh ride report.
Highly recommend a trip like this when you have a day. Started off on the Jail trail then made our way to McKees Rocks bridge, Neville Island, Coraopolis, onto the Montour Trail at mile zero. The trail was in excellent shape and we veered off at mile 8 for the Airport connector. Did that 12 miler and returned to the trail. The tunnel at mile 25 was closed due to piles of ice as high as two feet. We moved the barriers and walked the bikes through. Had a awesome lunch at Tandem Connection (mile 27). Highly recommend the pulled pork sandwich. After that it got interesting with some on the road adventures in the areas where the trail is incomplete. The route is pretty well marked though but we did learn that if it says Detour it’s best to mind the sign. As a result of ignoring one of the signs we ended up doing some cyclocross type carrying bikes up a steep hillside to get back to the trail. Very easy to follow signs as you make it to Clairton and the Steel Valley trial heading into McKeesport. A funny one when you hit Rt 51. Sign says take a right then left at the light….if you want to be safe walk your bike on the grass. Ignored that one too and rode the quarter mile on the road without any problems. Hit McKeesport and hooked up easily to the Gap trail and headed back to the Burg. All in all somewhere in the 95 mile range. You can save 12 mile by skipping the Airpot Connecter.
Again….quite an interesting ride and fun to hit all different types all surfaces.
In summer you just ride over the grass and it’s ok. The trail does have some non-obvious bits, but it’s still the most interesting and variable trail in the district.
Last year was my first time doing the Montour/Gap “Loop”. It’s a longer ride but a great ride. I have ridden the entire Montour trail about 4 times. My first was in 2008 it has gotten easier and easier as more little bits of trail keep getting finished. Last year was certainly the easiest I remember. Only the Crossing 51 part is confusing. I recommend timing the the light by the Large Hotel and gunning it for the turning lane to the park and ride (or riding in the grass if you are going the opposite direction).
We did the time the light and gun it manuever and that worked fine for the crossing. It’s probably 200 meters tops to the the left hand turn lane. I can see why the grass would be the best option going the other way.
That is very cool, thanks for the report.
I am so far from anything like a hundred mile day, I rode 25 yesterday and it was a death march on the homeward leg, so depressing.
I’ve been doing similar distance ride to start traing for a GAP trip, with similarly discouraging results. (shrug).
I guess I might get into shape sometime. Maybe.
A modified version would be to put your bike on the bus 21A to Coraopolis, ride a 1/2 mile to the trail, hit that till McKeesport and then hop on another bus back to the city. Not sure what bus that would be. The trail also runs past a couple Park and Rides and it seems that they would provide additional ways to get back to town.
Anyone out there have any experience with bus/trail adventures?
You could also take a T from the station at Library, near the intersection of the Montour Trail and Library Road Or the 55 Glassport (among others) from Clairton. That’s a bit you get to South park, heading eastbound. http://www.portauthority.org
I rode from town to the trail via mckees rocks bridge and neville island, rode to library, and then took my bike on the T to get back downtown and then a short ride home. If I were to do it again I’d probably hop off at station square instead of having to navigate the stairs in the underground stations downtown.
Anyone have any better suggestions of where to get off the T at ground level?
^if you get off at the First Ave. garage (first stop after crossing the river) you can exit into the parking garage and take the ramps down to street level. And there are rest rooms at that level as an extra bonus (and a railing to lock to).
My riding buddy has been trying to encourage the idea of riding the T out to the Montour trail.
So, it’s a 40 minute ride on the T. Each way. Plus time waitng.
I doubt that I’ll ever do it. The hour and a half spent messing with transit could be used riding.
A buddy and I did a loop ride, starting at Riverview Park, last year. There is some road riding between South Park & Clairton but other then a short iffy stretch on Rt51 it was okay. I know that there are several projects underway (one completed in that area)
I did this loop two weekends ago to break in my new GT Grade. My strava showed the loop being 90 miles from parking lot at the end of the jail trail. I looped the city for 10 to make a little over 100. I like to start in the morning by aiming up to Corapolis to cross the Rocks bridge early. Plus it’s downhill that way and easy to take the lane in the morning. Coming back from Glassport is cake and I like that better in the late afternoon when returning.
I enjoy Peter’s creek Road. It is a nice road ride but very tame.
I also do similar loops when not feeling like a near century. I will go down to Clairton and then head the Mon to the Pan handle and back through Carnegie on Noblestown. That is about 80.
I work till lunch on Fridays and do my Friday loop of being Greenfield>Gap>Steel Valley to Clairton>Mon>South Park>up Baptist road >18th street home. That is like a half loop of 50.
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