The past several days I’ve been planning a 334.5-mile ride from Washington, DC to Pittsburg PA. The ride starts with 184.5 miles on the towpath along the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal. Then the route continues on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail to trail for 150 miles to Pittsburgh, PA. I have ridden this wonderful traffic free route approximately 12 times in the past and it’s always an adventure that I would highly recommend to cyclers of all skill levels.
While I’ve ridden the COGAP without advanced planning, whenever I have, I’ve paid the price for it with missed meals because food wasn’t available on the section of the route that I was riding. As a result, I’ve learned that a little planning goes a long way toward making the ride that much more enjoyable.
There are several websites that offer a wealth of resources for planning a COGAP adventure:
National Park Service – A wealth of information about the C&O. Check for alerts when planning a trip.
Bike Washington’s C&O Canal Bicycling Guide – A mile by mile guide and maps of the C&O including camping, lodging, food, water, parking and more.
Great Allegheny Passage – A mile by mile guide, printable and interactive maps of the GAP including camping, lodging, food, water, parking and more.
Trail Town guide – A guide to the towns along the GAP
Trail Link – Downloadable GPX files for GPS with trail information