GAP Day 4 - Pittsburgh

Series: Greater Allegheny Passage
Published: Aug 04, 2021
Updated: Jun 08, 2022

Hoping to beat the traffic home, we got an early start to the day. Riding in the cool morning air felt great, and seeing the landscapes during the morning hours was a treat. There was fog, wildlife, and beautiful scenery as we continued into ever more suburan stretches of the trail. While we made good time, this was by far my least favorite part of the trail. Long stretches of the trail went through industrial sections of the outlying portions of Pittsburgh. There was little cover from the sun, and you could start to smell the smog from the warehouses. It's no wonder REI didn't show this portion of the trail in their Youtube series!

There's not much to say about the ride, we were all feeling a little tired at this point, and just wanted to get to the finish line. Which we did!

gap trail finish point

This was actually my first time in Pittsburgh, and I would like to come back -- via car -- to spend some time in the city. The verticality of it was interesting, especially when compared to Philadelphia which is incredibly flat. I got a nice parting gift in the form of a bee sting that had snuck inside my helmet just as we had stopped at the finishing point.

So, what are my thoughts on the trail? It's great! I think anyone interested in bikepacking should consider doing it. It's well maintained, easy to follow, and offers views of Pennsylvania -- and parts of Maryland -- that I never would have gotten to see otherwise. Other than the achievement of doing the trail, and the views that come with, I actually really enjoyed the slow-paced lifestyle of the trail towns themselves. They were quiet in a calming way, and knowing you have achieved your only goal for the day when you arrive is freeing. It leaves space to do whatever you want with the rest of your day. We all packed lightly, and aside from a Switch that we barely used, we didn't bring any extra entertainment with us. This was also a good decision, as we didn't feel pressed to do anything other than hang out, relax, and enjoy the weather and crisp air.

I also want to point out how friendly everyone on the trail is. Almost everyone waved and said hello as we passed them. We ended up talking to a few strangers along the trail and learned more about the area and the people. I can't wait to go on our next trip!

Here's the Garmin activity: