Trail Alerts

NOV 19 2018 | Big Savage Tunnel Seasonal closing scheduled for December 6.

Big Savage Closing 2017 

Here a young "volunteer" looks on as he "manages" the project of closing the tunnel doors.

Winter reminds us to temporarily close #BigSavageTunnel until spring. The nearly 3300 ft long tunnel at mile 22 is scheduled to close on the morning of December 6th, reopening in spring 2019. The rest of the trail remains open year round for people whom enjoying snowy sports like XC skiing, as well as the growing popularity in fat biking.  These bikes with 3-4" tires allow cyclists to ride more comfortably over soft terrain of snow.  XC skiers have long enjoyed the flat straight trails.  The courtesy is always for walkers, hikers, pets, and winter cyclists to avoid interrupting their skinny ski tracks.  Many trail town businesses remain open to serve their local committees year round and different trail towns celebrate a colorful variety of holiday festivals ! ...Happy trails & holidays!

Bst 3 26 18 2 

Big Savage Tunnel is a beautiful year round site, closed it offers a good turn around point to walkers, hikers and xc skiers whom enjoy the trail between Meyersdale (mile 32.5) and Big Savage Tunnel (mile 22).


*Start early, grab your calendars, and plan 2019 trail day trips and overnight tours!

OCT 28 2018 | Big Savage Tunnel - winter closure December 6, 2018

Big Savage Tunnel will be closed for the winter on December 6, 2018 and will remain closed until the first week in April 2019. There are no safe road detours around this tunnel.

SEP 19 2018 | Trail Conditions are Good

The Great Allegheny Passage is open and clear from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md. Some sections between McKeesport and Sutersville are soft and bumpy because of the extensive rain 11 days ago and emergency vehicles having used the trail surface to reach residents flooded out by high water in several adjacent hamlets. However, the leftover rain from Florence was inconsequential and it's sunny and 80F today. 

Regarding the C&O Canal Towpath from Cumberland to Washington, D.C., we recommend that you contact the National Park Service and/or check out https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

SEP 11 2018 | Take Caution Near Boston, Pa., and Pittsburgh

Heavy rain the last three days has meant high river levels, and as a result, there is standing water on the Great Allegheny Passage near the Boston, Pa. Trail Access Area, and near the Hays eagle viewing area, as well as at Point State Park, where the western terminus is underwater.  In addition, a section of paved trail between mile markers 128 and 129 has collapsed, and although it's passable, riders may wish to divert to the McKeesport Loop Trail between the Boston Bridge and 15th Street Bridge for a less adventurous ride.  Crews from the Mon/Yough Trail Council will address repairs when the weather breaks.

Many thanks to crews from Somerset County for rerouting the Great Allegheny Passage a few feet around a fallen boulder, and for removing a large tree at mile marker 52, within hours of the issues being reported.  Thanks also to crews from Ohiopyle State Park for removing 42 fallen trees yesterday, also in short order.  Moreover, volunteers from the Yough River Trail Council were out dealing with fallen trees and debris even as many of their members faced flooding and fallen trees on their own personal property.  Volunteers from the Steel Valley Trail Council walked two miles of the GAP in Duquesne during heavy rain to remove fallen trees and make sure culverts were draining properly.

SEP 10 2018 | Boulder, mile 58 has been cleaned up

Trail crews (Somerset County) acted swiftly and safely in clearing a path around the boulder and debris that largely blocked the trail at mile 58.

Sonte

Have fun, keep alert, and ride on!

SEP 8 2018 | Large boulder and fallen rocks near Mile 58 on GAP trail.

Over the weekend heavy rains helped cause a rockfall near mile marker 58.  This is just a few miles east of Confluence Pa.  

Please use caution and your best judgement in passing the affected area.  (Trail user submitted photo below from 9-8-18.)  Anyone who doesn't feel safe passing the affected area can contact local shuttle Rock City Shuttles and arrange to have shuttle ($$) take you around that section.  

Imagejpeg 0001002 Seen here, trail users navigate through the debris.

 .  Screen Shot 2018 09 09 At 6.02.02 Pm Rock slide area (red icon).

Somerset County Trail crews have been notified and will be onsite Monday 9-10-18 to evaluate and mobilize a cleanup.  We appreciate everyone's patience while workers are on the trail.  

** Please yield to them the right of way and obey any safety instructions they may have, flaggers, etc while they remove the boulder and other debris.  

Please keep up to date here on this alerts page or also through our Facebook page.  

JUL 20 2018 | Catoctin Aqueduct- Brunswick Family Campground (MP 51.5- MP 54)

This is the latest update on the Brunswick culvert detour: 

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park will install an interim low water crossing over Little Catoctin Creek at the site of Culvert 82. Culvert 82, which supported the canal towpath, was destroyed by a flash flood in May 2018. Subsequent additional flooding of the Potomac River caused further damage, which left a 60-foot wide and 20-foot high gap in the towpath without a safe crossing over the creek or a viable bypass detour. The low water crossing will provide safe detour until a long term repair can be implemented. (7/13/18)

MDE has approved the design plan for the temporary repair and materials have been ordered to complete the work.

If weather cooperates, this temporary detour will most certainly be in place by September when Adventure Cycling is passing through along the towpath. I think staff is hopeful to have the low water crossing in place by mid-August, but with this week's new washouts and minor flooding, there may be some delay in completing the work at Culvert 82.

We have urged visitors currently to contact shuttle providers like Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle or River and Trail Outfitters to get around the detour. The road route in this area is terrible. The railroad is off limits. People using the railroad could be fined $400 for being on the track area in this location.

Visitors last week reported fording Catoctin Creek in the area as the water levels were very low. With this week's heavy rains, that may no longer be a safe option for anyone.

The low water crossing they install may be something like the detour over the canal upstream of Paw Paw Tunnel

By the way, we are still hearing mid-August for work to resume at Paw Paw Tunnel. As of now, the towpath below the tunnel remains OPEN to through hikers and bikers.  (Tentatively to close for more repair work 8-15-18)

JUL 5 2018 | Great Allegheny Passage is Reopened for Travelers

Thanks to an all-hands-on-deck effort from staff at Ohiopyle State Park, and reinforcements from nearby Laurel Hill State Park, the GAP has been reopened between mile markers 62 and 88.  In addition, power has been restored inside Big Savage Tunnel and trees cleared from the bridge near Harnedsville, Pa., thanks to crews from Somerset County.  Do take caution as there is still debris on the trail surface from the storms and the clean-up efforts, which will continue throughout the week.

JUL 5 2018 | Great Allegheny Passage CLOSED within Ohiopyle State Park

Heavy thunderstorma with severe winds moved through Fayette and Somerset Counties the afternoon and evening of July 4.  Confluence, Pa. is without power, and scores of trees are down and are blocking the Great Allegheny Passage.  Ohiopyle State Park has CLOSED the Great Allegheny Passage between mile markers 62 and 88, considering it impassable, and estimates that it will be a several day job just to clear the trail for cyclists.  All available park staff have mobilized to begin clearing the trail and parking areas.  

JUL 5 2018 | Storms Pose Barriers to Trail Travel

Overnight reports from the Confluence, Pa., area indicate that microbursts have felled scores of trees along the Great Allegheny Passage in Somerset County.  Heavy rain and thunderstorms all along the trail began July 4 and continue this morning along the entire 150 mile corridor.  The lights in Big Savage Tunnel are out; please walk your bike through that tunnel.  Crews are en route to address that issue.

We will update this page as reports come in from our trail owners and volunteer trail groups.  Take caution if you are on the GAP today.   

JUL 3 2018 | Storm Damages Boston, Pa. Visitor Center

A significant summer storm through Western Pennsylvania last night damaged the visitor center in Boston, Pa., operated by the Mon Yough Trail Council.  Volunteers from the MYTC are assessing the building's safety.  Hours will be curtailed.  Please watch for downed trees along the Great Allegheny Passage in this area, as well.

JUN 19 2018 | GAP reopened at Mile Marker 123-124; Landslides Cleared

The entire Great Allegheny Passage is fully open. Please use caution in the sections that are still wet and muddy.  We're pleased to announce that the mudslides in Elizabeth Township (between mile markers 123 and 124) and in Fayette County (between mile markers 96 and 97) have been significantly cleared, thanks to quick work by the Yough River Trail Council, Mon/Yough Trail Council, and Whitsett-Fayette Yough Trail Council, volunteer trail partners along the Great Allegheny Passage.

MAY 31 2018 | C&O Alerts & Closures - several major washouts

ALERT - TOWPATH CLOSURES: Towpath at C&O miles 52.5 and 64.2 are completely washed out, with no easy detour.  The towpath sustained considerable damage due to recent flooding. These portions of the path are closed:

•  Between Catoctin Aqueduct and the Brunswick Family Campground (Mile Marker 51 - 54) Due to bridge failure Through hikers and bikers (west bound) should exit Lander Lock (MM 50.9) or Brunswick (east bound) (MM 55). We don’t advise the road detour for inexperienced road cyclists.

• Update on washout near Harpers Ferry Area between Weverton and Huckleberry Hill Hiker Biker Campsite (Mile Marker 58 - 62.9): Temporary bridge in place at C&O mile 64.2 - Thank you NPS!

Please check the C&O's website for up to date details.      The park’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/chesapeakeandohiocanal/, is the best place to check current conditions.

APR 5 2018 | Big Savage Tunnel is Open!

Volunteers from the Somerset County Rails-to-Trails Association and staff from Somerset County opened the Big Savage Tunnel today for your traveling pleasure.  It's cold and windy but sunny on Big Savage Mountain.

APR 2 2018 | Take Caution -- Standing Water on GAP Near Eagle Viewing Area

Please take caution when riding between Sandcastle and the Hot Metal Bridge.  Standing water is gathering on the trail near the viewpoint for the Hays eagles.  Trail groups and nearby landowners are trying to address the issue and apply a long-term solution.

AUG 10 2017 | Detour for Conococheague Aqueduct (mm 99.8) project to start this week

UPDATE: The detour won't start until Thursday, Aug. 17, said Joe Reed, civil engineer for the C&O Canal.

Dave McMillion Aug 7, 2017

Starting late Tuesday or early Wednesday, a section of the C&O Canal near Williamsport is expected to be closed for more than a year to allow for an estimated $9 million project that federal officials say will transform the canal visitor experience in the area of Cushwa Basin.

Img 1532 (rendering) 

Img 1534 

At the project kickoff event May 5, 2017, Members of Allegheny Trail Alliance, Doug Riegner (red) Bryan Perry (blue) stand next to National park service and C&O Canal Don Briggs, Superintendent (far right), Michael Reynolds, Acting Director of National Park Service (far left).

Read Full article HERE...

JUN 30 2017 | Conococheague Aqueduct Restoration Construction & Detour (mm 99.7)

By Linzy French

 Assistant to the Superintendent, C&O Canal National Historical Park

Williamsport, MD – The National Park Service (NPS), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) awarded an $8,997,112 contract for the restoration of the Conococheague Aqueduct to Corman Construction, Inc. of Annapolis Junction, MD on June 5, 2017. The next phase of the restoration project for the entire Williamsport interpretive complex will return the Conococheague Aqueduct to its 1920s appearance and create the first watered, operational aqueduct along the C&O Canal since 1924. During construction, visitors will be directed to follow a detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct located near Williamsport, Maryland between milepost 99.75 - 99.60.

20170620 Conococheague Bypass Plan   

Construction is anticipated to begin in late July 2017 and extend approximately 18 months, weather dependent, until December 2018. During this time visitors will be unable to travel over the aqueduct and through the construction area and will be directed onto a 1.1 mile long detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct. The upstream end of the detour departs from the towpath near milepost 99.75, travels along Fenton Avenue, an alleyway, state Route 68, and U.S. Route 11 until rejoining the towpath near milepost 99.60 (directly adjacent to the Cushwa Basin). Prior to closure of the towpath, signage will be posted to clearly mark the detour route.

Fenton Ave  Redland Brick Alleyway Bypass Route Details  Screen Shot 2017 06 30 At 4.54.53 Pm

The Conococheague Aqueduct is one of eleven aqueducts on the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 97 years ago, in April of 1920, the upstream wall of the Conococheague Aqueduct gave way, crumbling into the creek below. The C&O Canal Company temporarily repaired the aqueduct with a wooden wall, but the canal only operated for three more seasons before being closed in the spring of 1924.

The project will restore the aqueduct to its appearance in the early 1920s, with a new upstream wall designed to appear as the wooden temporary replacement wall. More importantly, the aqueduct will be restored to the condition where it can once again hold water, the first C&O Canal aqueduct to be restored to full operation. When complete, Williamsport, Maryland will be the only place in North America where visitors can ride boats across an aqueduct and through a working canal lock.

For more information about the project and the park, call 301-582-0813 or please visit www.nps.gov/choh. Follow us on Facebook at chesapeakeandohiocanal and on Twitter @COcanalNPS

MAY 10 2017 | Repairs Close Olmsted Island Bridge and Overlook mile 14.1 on C&O Canal

by Pete Peterson 

Potomac, MD- The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) will temporarily close the Olmsted Island Trail and Great Falls Overlook on or about March 1, 2017 for repairs that will improve visitor safety and better protect park resources. Construction on the bridges is anticipated to last 90-120 days with completion and re-opening in late June 2017. Completion of construction may be impacted by weather conditions.

Read the official postingFor more information on the project and Great Falls, please visit their website HERE

 Great Falls Map   Olm2

Great Falls overlook 3: photo by Dave Adams http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2907060

NOV 1 2016 | Ohiopyle State Park (GAP mile 63)

Updates and photos of the new Visitors Center are available on ‘Ohiopyle State Park’ Facebook page.

Additional Ohiopyle State Park information can be found on the PA-DCNR website.

NOV 1 2016 | Montour Trail (City of Pittsburgh to the Airport)

For complete details on all construction notices for the Montour Trail please Visit the Website

NOV 1 2016 | Three Rivers Heritage Section (GAP mile 139)

PITTSBURGH, PA: *To get answers to specific questions concerning the Three Rivers Heritage Trail detours, please join one of their Social Network sites: Visit the Website.

NOV 1 2016 | Brush (GAP mile 6) & Borden Tunnels (GAP mile 17.5), MD

The Brush Tunnel (GAP mile 6)  is lighted. 

The Borden Tunnel (GAP mile 17.5) is NOT lighted - For your safety, PLEASE DISMOUNT & WALK through this tunnel.

SEP 20 2015 | Pinkerton Tunnel (GAP mile 52)

Pinkerton Tunnel - ridersPinkerton Tunnel is now open!

You still have the option to take a 1.5 mile detour around the restored Pinkerton tunnel, near mile 52 in Somerset County. Besides shortening the distance, fixing the tunnel has create another spectacular feature along the trail. Located between the Pinkerton Low and High Bridges, the "bridge-tunnel-bridge" in quick succession is a marvel. It's also make a great way to create a loop ride, using the tunnel and the detour trail. Thanks to all of the donors and supporters who made it happen! 

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The Great Allegheny Passage ® (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh,PA.

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