Pittsburgh to DC: GAP and C&O Bike Tour

Ride Car-Free From Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC on the famous GAP and C&O Canal Rail-Trails

Pittsburgh to DC on the Famous GAP & C&O Canal Rail Trails

Conde Naste magazine included this unique trail system in its “most beautiful rail-trail list” and you’ll quickly see why. On your way from Pittsburgh, PA, to Washington, DC, the multitude of natural, cultural and historically significant sites will astound you.


The initial 125 miles of this tour are on the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, located on abandoned railroad beds. The final 184 miles from Cumberland, MD to downtown Washington, DC, are on the C&O Canal Towpath, which is the heart of the C&O Canal National Park. You will not believe the tranquility and the beauty of this park; located in the middle of the suburban east coast. Read our in-depth blog post on the C&O Canal Towpath History here. 


Talk about bucket list opportunities! Your journey will visit three states- PA, MD, WV and will visit the District of Columbia, and will pass through four national parks – C&O Canal, Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry and Rock Creek Park.


Your 300+ miles of car-free rail trails begin just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. It won’t be long until the buildings are exchanged for a canopy of trees. We start at 761 feet in elevation, cross the Continental Divide at 2,932 feet and end at sea level. Along the way, we will ride past remnants of the early 1900s industrial revolution when Pittsburgh Steel was king. All of this happens with a maximum grade of 2% with only a very few exceptions.


While the grade is quite friendly, keep in mind that the daily mileage averages 50 miles a day.  To maximize your enjoyment of the tour, riders will want to average 9 miles an hour.


Custom bike tour departures available for groups of 6 or more.

Tour Highlights

Descend the Allegheny Front of the Appalachian Mountains

Ohiopyle Falls

Cross the Youghiogheny River on a 100'-tall railroad bridge

Ride over the 101' high Salisbury Viaduct

Lodging Options

Historic Summit Inn

Fairfield Inn Cumberland

Country Inn at Berkeley Springs

The Bavarian Inn

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Day 1: Meet your guides in Boston, PA and take your first ride on the Great Allegheny Passage into Ohiopyle, PA and Wilderness Voyageurs headquarters.


Day 2: Wake up at the Summit Inn, where you can see the entire way to Pittsburgh on a clear day. Today you will tackle a 73 mile ride through three rail tunnels (don’t worry 23 miles is downhill) and over the Eastern Continental Divide.


Day 3:  Todays ride entails 60 miles from Cumberland to Hancock, MD along the Allegheny Front through Cumberland, MD and the beginning of the C&O Canal Towpath.


Day 4: Ride past scenic dams and over aqueducts, making a stop at historic Fort Frederick before coming into your lodging at the Bavarian Inn. Enjoy riding over the smooth, newly constructed towpath at Big Slackwater and an optional trip to Antietam National Battlefield. 


Day 5: Follow the Potomac River down to historic Harper’s Ferry, and end your day with a ferry ride to its far shore.


Day 6: Pass the Great Falls of the Potomac into urban Georgetown, D.C. End your ride at the Thompson Boat House and Mile 0!

See More GAP Bike

Tour Options

“The scenery, the terrain changes, the breaks at points of interest were all well orchestrated to make this trip a fun adventure! We had the best guides ever, Heather and Ralph, who pointed out all the interesting aspects of the trail, the safety issues to take note of and managed all the details to make this trip completely amazing!”

~Shannon H., St. Charles, IL

Top 3 Blog Posts For Pittsburgh to D.C. Bike Tour

The historic Great Allegheny Passage isn’t just a path through the woods. The 10-foot-wide multipurpose trail is built on railroad corridors constructed to heavy-duty standards of gentle grades, sweeping curves and major bridges and tunnels that take you through the mountains, not over them.  Read more…

The bridges and tunnels between Pittsburgh and Cumberland were all built in this short span of 2 years!  This was an amazing industrial feat, considering the rough terrain and numerous river crossings that were required.  Most of the original bridges are still in use by the trail… read more.

One of the best things about bike touring is eating food. Lots and lots of it, without consequence! The Great Allegheny Passage is one of the best touring routes because it goes through many different towns. Your journey along the GAP trail can be a food tour through the Allegheny Mountains! Read more… 

Trip Information


Trip Length - Days

Tour Type
Rail Trail
Difficulty Level 4
Tour Rating
Bike Tour - National Parks - Wilderness Voyageurs
National Parks Visited
New York Finger Lakes Bike Tour Elevation
Route Overview

Daily Mileage

Check In Location
Boston, PA
PA bike tour map
Tour Area
SAG Vehicle New York Finger Lakes Bike Tour
Support & Gear Vehicle

Minimum Age


5 Breakfasts | 6 Lunches
2 Dinners

  • PP Double Occupancy

  • Single Supplement*

  • Standard Bike Rental


*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require seperate beds


Select your departure date and click to reserve your bike tour!

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