Riding the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to the Laurel Highlands

The Great Allegheny Passage is a rail-trail leading out of Pittsburgh that can only be described as a gem. This 150-mile path connects downtown Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, and links up with the C&O Canal trail which spans all the way to Washington DC.

While we are working our way up to the multi-day bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, we have been exploring the sections of the GAP closest to Pittsburgh in numerous outings. In this one, we wanted to share some of our favorite highlights and what you can expect when getting out on the trail for a ride!

This guide covers the first 40-miles of the Great Allegheny Passage between Pittsburgh and Belle Vernon, PA. As we explore further sections of the trail we will update this guide accordingly.

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10 Great Bike Trails in Pittsburgh to Go for a Ride

Although Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania is quite hilly, we are fortunate enough to have a number of fairly flat trails to go biking. Many of these trails are found on former train lines (rail trails), which thanks to their restricted grade makes for prime biking conditions.

In this one, we wanted to share a few of our favorite spots to bike in and around the city. So whether you're simply wanting to take a quick ride around the North Shore River Trail, ride the GAP, or go out for a few miles on a rail trail, this one is for you!

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Exploring the Butler-Freeport Community Trail by Bike

The Butler-Freeport Community Trail is a converted rail trail that opened in 1992. The trail spans approximately twenty miles between the outskirts of Butler and Freeport and offers a great opportunity to surround yourself with nature on an easy-to-navigate path.

We took our bikes out on this one and did an out-and-back ride on the entire trail, and in this one we wanted to share a bit more about what it is like!

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Hiking Dead Man’s Hollow for Factory Ruins and Nature

Dead Man's Hollow near McKeesport is a 450-acre park with approximately 8 miles of hiking trails. While this one could be considered a beautiful green space on its own right, there are actually a number of highlights you can see here when hiking as well!

We visited this one on a beautiful spring day and had a rather amazing time out in nature.

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Rafting the Lower Youghiogheny with White Water Adventurers, Inc.

Ohiopyle State Park is Pittsburgh's nature hub. There are so many options to get out and explore, be it for hiking, outdoor adventure activities, and more. But of those, there is none that we love more than white water rafting in the Laurel Highlands.

We're no stranger to rafting the Middle Youghiogheny's Class I and II rapids (an easy trip out on the water), but what we really love is getting out on the Lower Youghiogheny's Class III and IV rapids for some excellent white water!

Recently, I was invited back down to the Laurel Highlands to be a guest of White Water Adventurers, Inc. in order to check out their new Taste of the Yough tour and catch some white water in a day trip from Pittsburgh. In this one, I wanted to share a bit more about what the experience is like. 

Note: Select photos and video clips in this article were provided courtesy of White Water Adventurers, Inc. I was joined on the outing with I've Been Bit travel blog and the Laurel Highland's Visitor Bureau. (Angie sadly missed this one.)

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Camp Life at Bear Run Campground Near Moraine State Park

Camp life near Pittsburgh is a cherished thing. Everyone knows someone with a camper, and virtually every camp is about an hour away from home (at least, every camp we've ever heard of through friends and acquaintances).

We, unfortunately, never got to experience camp life until only recently, and our first outing brought us to Bear Run Campground near Moraine State Park as guests of the Butler County Visitor's Bureau. After spending two days at the property, we now fully understand why camp life is so popular!

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A Guide to the Best Pittsburgh Parks, Trails, and Green Spaces

When it comes to parks in Pittsburgh, hiking trails, and other green spaces, we certainly have a lot to choose from.

In fact, it seems like you can pick any direction, drive a few minutes, and find yourself surrounded by beautiful nature. So if hiking near Pittsburgh (or even in the city limits) is on your radar, you are really in luck here!

In this guide, we wanted to share some of the best Pittsburgh parks, trails, and hiking options nearby for those who want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

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A Break in Nature at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Latrobe

We're not used to thinking about nature reserves as being “new,” but the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe is just that.

The 50-acre nature reserve came about after many in the area expressed displeasure in the development of nearby Route 30. To ensure that the land near Saint Vincent College was not over-developed, and protect the beauty of nature that the land held, the reserve was ultimately incorporated in the year 2000.

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