Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

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IF YOU GO: Great Allegheny Passage

141-mile (227-kilometer) rail-trail between Homestead, Pa., near Pittsburgh, and Cumberland in Western Maryland,


• Starting at the Cumberland end, as many do, gets all climbing out of the way the first day, though it’s a slog for nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers). One cheat: Old-time steam and diesel trains operated by Western Maryland Scenic Railroad run 16 miles (26 kilometers) up the mountain and accept bikes. Schedule at

• Some B&Bs are flexible for bicyclists who want to reschedule in bad weather, others lock you in as soon as you book or as many as 30 days ahead, so inquire.

• The Big Savage Tunnel’s giant doors shut for the winter, usually December through March or April, and the road detour is not recommended.