Tag Archives: rail trails

Explore Ohiopyle State Park & the Great Allegheny Passage by Bike… Virtually!

Cucumber Falls, Ohiopyle State Park, one of the many highlights of the bike tour along the Great Allegheny Passage. Wilderness Voyageurs is offering a virtual tour as well as a painting class online (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

If you can’t get out of your house right now, Wilderness Voyageurs has the solution for your cabin fever! Join Colleen from Wilderness Voyageurs Headquarters for a virtual tour of Ohiopyle and the Great Allegheny Passage by bike.  You’ll explore all the iconic spots in Ohiopyle State Park, ride on the GAP, a rail trail system that links Maryland and Pennsylvania, and check out some spring blooms.  You can also join her on Facebook or Instagram forlive painting of Cucumber Falls, a favorite Ohiopyle landmark, on April 24 at 4PM EST. Then send in a photo of your finished masterpiece and it will be posted on Instagram for the world to admire!

Wilderness Voyageurs has also partnered up with Mountain Khakis to say an extra special thank you!  Now through April 20, every person who purchases a Wilderness Voyageurs gift card will be automatically entered to win a $100 Mountain Khakis gift card.  Mountain Khakis is a small business with only 20 full-time office employees so they understand the importance of shopping small and local and they want to support their retailers.(Your chances of winning are looking good!)

The winner for the drawing will be randomly chosen at the end of the promotional period (April 20).

“We feel honored during these uncertain times to have such supportive customers and to work with brands that support small business, environmental stewardship, and a quality product,” writes Eric Martin, Wilderness Voyageurs owner. 

Support Small Business with Online Shopping – “During this difficult time we are offering 20% OFF site wide and free shipping on orders over $30! Even though our brick and mortar store is temporarily closed, you can still gear up for those future adventures in our online shop. Your support means the world to our small, family owned business.”

LIVE Painting of Cucumber Falls: 4/24
Savage River Releases: 7/5, 9/26
Stonycreek Rafting: 6/30, 7/14, 8/25 
Colorful Colorado Bike Tour: 9/20
Georgia Gold Coast Bike Tour: 10/6, 10/12, 10/18
Kentucky Bike and Bourbon: 10/5, 10/12, 10/18
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bike Tour: 10/6, 10/11, 10/18

Wilderness Voyageurs started out as a rafting adventures company 50 years ago, but has developed into a wide-ranging outdoors company with an extensive catalog of biking, rafting, fishing and outdoor adventures throughout the US and even Cuba, many guided and self-guided bike itineraries built around rail trails like the Eric Canal in New York, Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania, and Katy Trail in Missouri.

Wilderness Voyageurs, 103 Garrett St., Ohiopyle, PA 15470, 800-272-4141, [email protected], Wilderness-Voyageurs.com

See our series on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Sojourn on the Great Allegheny Passage, operated by Wilderness Voyageurs and our series on Wilderness Voyageurs six-day “Badlands and Mickelson Trail” bike tour of South Dakota at www.goingplacesfarandnear.com.

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Rail-Trails Conservancy Taking Registrations for 3 Remaining Sojourn Bike Tours

Riders on Rail-Trails Conservancy's Sojourn on the Great Allegheny Passage pass through the Eastern Continental Divide. This year, RTC has expanded the Sojourn series to four hosted bike tours (photo courtesy of Rail-Trails Conservancy).
Riders on Rail-Trails Conservancy’s Sojourn on the Great Allegheny Passage pass through the Eastern Continental Divide. This year, RTC has expanded the Sojourn series to four hosted bike tours (photo courtesy of Rail-Trails Conservancy).

For the first time in the 14 years of hosting a Sojourn bike tour showcasing a rail-trail, the Rail-Trails Conservancy has expanded the series to four rides: the first, in Florida, was held in February. The next, on the popular Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania, is scheduled May 6-8, the third is a four-day/three-night North Bend Rail Trail out of Parkersburg, West Virginia (June 19-22 and the last is four-days/three nights from Cleveland to Columbus on the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, Ohio in September (date to be announced). 

“The Sojourn Series is much more than just a bike ride. It’s a trail building tool for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and allows us to pull advocacy into participants’ trail use experience.”

The sojourn rides are crafted to weave experiences that go beyond simply riding from point A to point B. Each sojourn aims to transform trail users into advocates and create the economic case for trail networks nationwide.

For example, the West Virginia Sojourn is being held on the North Bend Rail Trail out of Parkersburg WV. It is an incredible trail but does not yet connect to the two communities on either end, Parkersburg and Clarksburg. This ride serves to bring attention to those gaps and advocate for their completion. The corridor is also part of a much larger trail development effort being undertaken by the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition.

“The West Virginia ride will allow you to get on a new trail and take part in some of the advocacy that our organization is known for.”

The May ride is on a 120-mile section of the Great Allegheny Passage, to allow for a short, three-day excursion (a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend). from Meyersdale to Pittsburgh.

The ride features gorgeous mountain vistas and relaxing river scenes, historic bridges and tunnels that showcase the GAP’s railway heritage. Highlights include Historic Pump House (Homestead), Salisbury Viaduct, Casselman River Valley, and Great Allegheny Passage Trail towns: Meyersdale, West Newton, Confluence and Ohiopyle

Repurposed from a rail line, the Great Allegheny Passage is one of the most popular trails, and was the first inductee in Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail “Hall of Fame.”

Since 2001, more than 3,000 riders have joined RTC’s sojourns—many of them on the GAP. These rides not only highlight incredible trails, but they also help empower communities to complete trail networks that will benefit the entire region.

Equally importantly, they highlight the economic benefit to communities, particularly those who have seen older industries shut down, along with the rail lines.

RTC’s 2015 Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn brought visitors from 35 states and had an economic impact of more than $245,000 – something significant for a town like Dunbar, Pennsylvania, which once depended upon mining.

The rail-trail could be an engine for a new economy fueled by lodging, restaurants and gear shops. In fact, RTC estimates that the trail would generate more than $40 million in direct spending from trail users annually.

“The Sojourn Series is a real-world example that show how trails can provide an economic boon to local economies,” says Liz Thorstensen, vice president of trail development for RTC. “By providing these rides, we’re creating more opportunities for people to experience and advocate for these trail networks.”

For more information about the rides and to register, visit railstotrails.org/sojourn.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation’s largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.railstotrails.org.


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