Credit: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail trail offers 141 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, Maryland and Point State Park. In Cumberland, the GAP joins the C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous trail experience, 325 miles long, to Washington, DC. The ten-foot wide multipurpose trail is built on railroad corridors of gentle grades, sweeping curves, large bridges and tunnels that pass through mountains, not over them. The terminus of the GAP is at the Forks of the Ohio marker near the fountain in Point State Park.
The trail system links the Cumberland and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas, providing visitors with an opportunity to travel through and learn about a region important to the development of national culture and politics. George Washington envisioned the Potomac River as a trade route linking the Atlantic Ocean and the upper Ohio River Basin. The history of the region and the tangible character of the trail corridor itself highlight the concept of “the frontier” in American culture and the westward migration of Anglo-American society into the trans-Appalachian region of the continent.
The Great Allegheny Passage is a part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which is a diverse network of trails and routes running between Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Point Lookout in Maryland. The Fort Pitt Museum is an official National Park Service Passport stamp location for the trail.