Riding the GAP Trail
Rob and Nikki Fleming came with friends from Tarpon Springs, Florida. Tom and Carolyn Cassell made the trip from Tucson. And Jeremy Cline travelled from Connecticut. Each year, bicyclists come to Pittsburgh from across the country and beyond to ride the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP).
Last year, that number reached 1.4 million, according to an analysis by Dr. Andrew Herr of St. Vincent College. And the GAP’s 2019 economic impact was $121 million for the five counties it passes through:
Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette, Somerset, and Allegany, MD. It’s estimated that $75 million of the $121 million is direct spending by tourists, who come from all 50 states and 35 countries.
The GAP trail begins in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park and goes east through Pittsburgh’s South Side, Homestead, McKeesport, West Newton, Connellsville, Ohiopyle, Confluence, Rockwood, Meyersdale, Frostburg, MD, and Cumberland, MD. In Cumberland, it connects with the C&O Canal Towpath through Hancock, MD, Williamsport, MD, Shepherdstown, WV, Harpers Ferry/ Bolivar, WV, Brunswick, MD and Washington, D.C.