Maryland & Penn.: A Bike Trek in the Great Allegheny Passage

Get ready for a week of bicycling, trail towns and outdoor adventure as you join local experts to cycle the Great Allegheny Passage, learning the story of the Laurel Highlands.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22004RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The Great Allegheny Passage stretches 150 miles across some of the most beautiful scenery in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Join us for a biking adventure along this famed route as you cross the Mason-Dixon line with local experts who share their knowledge of the rich history and natural resources of the Laurel Highlands. Over the course of a week, cover the passage from Meyersdale to Pittsburgh, and discover the region’s flowing rivers, noted landmarks and historic small towns.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Biking up to 32 miles a day on flat, packed limestone trails.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Join a local environmental educator for an introduction to the flora, fauna and history of the Laurel Highlands.
  • Ride through Ohiopyle State Park, the historic coal patch town of Whitsett and the 3,294’ long Big Savage Tunnel.
  • In Pittsburgh, ride the Duquesne incline to the top of Mount Washington for a spectacular view of one of the country’s most beautiful skylines.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room.
Featured Expert
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Gabi Hughes
Gabi Hughes has been an environmental educator with Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania for 19 years where she has worked with all ages, both indoors and out. She finds great wonder in everything from bugs to birds, and especially loves the intricate ways in which ecosystems function. Through her work with Audubon, she gets to share the idea that it is good to get dirty, that scientists say “Oh, interesting” instead of “Eww, gross,” and that there is always one more fascinating thing to learn.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Gabi Hughes
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Kimmie Stradling
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Great Allegheny Passage Companion: Guide to History & Heritage Along the Trail
by William Metzger
A mile-by-mile guide with maps, illustrations, and historical photos. The most comprehensive guide to the rail-trail on the market. Available at www.amazon.com.
An Uncommon Passage: Traveling through History on the Great Allegheny Passage
by Edward K. Muller and Paul G. Wiegman
An Uncommon Passage guides readers through the fascinating story of this trail, as a critical link in the western expansion of colonial America, and a pathway to the development of the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. The book explores the British outposts and forts, early settlers and frontier life, developing towns and cities, rise and predominance of industry, later environmentalism and preservation, natural resources, rivers, flora and geological features that comprise the trail and its environs. The engaging narrative is complemented by an extensive selection of historical illustrations and the contemporary photography of Paul g. Wiegman, all of which reveal the stunning scenery and pictorial history of the region. An Uncommon Passage offers a journey through both time and space to capture the heritage and surroundings of a region that would grow to prosper and help build a nation.
TrailBook 10th Edition
by Allegheny Trail Alliance
TrailBook is the only authorized guide for the Great Allegheny Passage. The official guide to the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage, 335 miles from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA. Includes Linking Up! planning guide; weatherproof, full-color map is folded into the back pocket; contains 232 pages of trail information; plus maps and information on 15 key trail towns. It's loaded with pictures of what you will see as you experience what the National Geographic Adventure calls an American Classic.

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