The Great Allegheny Passage has a bike speed limit of 15 mph. This is a pretty quick pace unless you are a more experienced cyclist. You will want to work out how many miles you comfortably want to do in a day so that you can plan your stopping points. There are small towns about every 10 miles around the trail so you will never be very far away from a place to pick up supplies or find shelter. If you want to travel at a very reasonable pace you should budget for around 30 miles a day. You will have to decide how many days you can devote to biking the Great Allegheny Passage. It can be done in a weekend, but most people will want to spend more time so that the ride is not so strenuous and that they can take their time to enjoy the process.
Many people camp along the way. You do have to make sure you are camping in one of the designated areas. The only problem with camping is that the locations of the camp grounds are not necessarily the best for the trail. Many of the camp grounds are primitive and quite a way from the trail. The other thing which you have to think about is how much gear you will have to carry with you if you are camping. This can weigh you down quite a lot, so you need to take that into consideration when working out your daily mileage.
You can also consider staying in one of the local towns along the way. If you want to do that you need to plan ahead – the trail is popular and the good places get booked up fast. Some of the towns have chain hotels, but most are small bed and breakfast places. These have a very limited number of rooms and most people book ahead, so it is rare to get a bed for the night without advance reservations.
Some towns on the trail are definitely more interesting and appealing than others. You will probably not want Dawson, McKeesport or Duquesne on your list of places to stop on the trail and you certainly will not want to stay overnight. However, there are plenty of great towns to spend some time in, either just as a lunch stop or to stay overnight. Confluence and Ohiopyle are great small towns with a good selection of places to eat and stay. Cumberland will either be your starting or finishing point and it is certainly worth spending some time here. There are lots of places to stay including some chain hotels. It is always good to seek out one of the charming bed and breakfasts to make the most of your stay.
A bike ride on The Great Allegheny Passage is something that you should have on your wish list. With some careful planning you will have a great experience on this beautiful trail.