Rail-trail from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh Completed

Completion expected to generate economic activity in trail towns and in Pittsburgh

13 Jun, 2013, 14:32 ET from VisitPittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After decades in the works, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail is complete! The final segment of the trail between Homestead, Pa., and Pittsburgh will officially open on Saturday, June 15.

The GAP is a 150-mile rail trail that connects with the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Md., to create a 334.5-mile route between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.  Allegheny Trail Alliance President Linda Boxx says, "The completion of the GAP marks 35 years of work by hundreds of volunteers to connect Pittsburgh with Washington, D.C., with the longest multi-use trail system in the United States, as well as the most-accessible great trail experience in the world."

"This opens up a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts from Maryland and Washington, D.C.," says Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh. "What better place to start such a beautiful trail than in Point State Park? Cyclists, hikers and runners can enjoy spectacular views of the city from it. And, it is one more feather in the cap of Pittsburgh for being healthy, clean and green."  Restaurants, bed and breakfasts, hotels and other establishments along the trail and in Pittsburgh are gearing up for increased business from cyclists traveling on the trail.

Point Made! community celebrations on June 15 will be held in Homestead, Pa., and in Downtown Pittsburgh. This will be preceded by an eight-day bicycle ride from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, as well as a 24-hour relay that will leave Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 14. Both rides will join together in Homestead on June 15 for the festivities.

The Point Made! event will begin with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting at Sandcastle Waterpark, followed by a community bike parade on the final section to Point State Park – the only state park located within a city – where the party and dedication ceremony will take place.               

The Allegheny Trail Alliance (ATA) is a coalition of seven trail organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania and western Maryland, building the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile multiple use rail-trail system between Cumberland, Maryland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the 52-mile Montour Trail to provide a connection to the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Passage is now connected to the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland and provides a non-motorized, nearly level trail system between Washington, DC and Homestead, PA. www.GAPTrail.org

As the official tourism and promotion agency for Allegheny County, VisitPittsburgh is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region. www.visitpittsburgh.com

SOURCE VisitPittsburgh