Y2K Trek


The Second
Yokatomac Trek

a Rail-Trail and Towpath Ride


Pittsburgh PA 
to Washington DC

June 17 to June 24, 2000


New Y2K Trek trip information! 
This page has been updated on 4-28-00. Please note the following changes:

There will be a festive sendoff on Saturday, June 17 at 9:30 in McKeesport.

Connellsville lodging will include the Melody Motor Inn on Rte. 119.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad does not operate on Mondays. Sorry! 
     We will arrange suitable shuttling from Meyersdale to Cumberland.

Due to construction in Harpers Ferry, we cannot safely get to the Comfort Inn.
    We'll be staying at the Cliffside Inn, a bit of a climb, but not too hard.

We have found a way to spend Friday morning exploring Harpers Ferry.
    There is an optional on-road route that cuts about 15 miles from the day.
    Rolling country roads will take you through the scenic hamlet of Waterford, VA.

On Friday night, instead of Leesburg, we'll be staying at B&Bs in Hamilton, VA. 
    Hamilton's about seven miles west of Leesburg on a paved trail, the W&OD.
    And speaking of OD, there's a great place for dinner: the Planet Wayside.


Ride for a week with LITTLE TRAFFIC
  Forty-mile days allow time to explore
  Bags transported for you each day
  Choice of camping or indoor lodging

The trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC is nearly finished!

Come journey by bicycle along the completed trails of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, along western Pennsylvania rivers, from Pittsburgh's Point into the Allegheny Mountains. Crossing into Maryland, we descend into the Potomac valley at Cumberland. Following the Potomac River, we'll pedal the length of the C&O Canal Towpath to Washington DC.

Eight Days            Ten Trails            Five States


Cycle the Trails Through the Mountains

We will travel the flattest route ever built between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, for about 300 miles. By taking eight days, there's lots of time to appreciate the river scenery and spectacular mountain gorges. Explore the remnant structures of railroad and canal that line this now-sylvan corridor. Lodging will be close to the trail, so we'll bike right to the door of most of the motels and B&Bs.  Choose the indoor lodging option or the mostly-camping option; campgrounds are right along the trail. Lodging capacity is what limits the size of the trip, so we will need to make full use of rooms. Plan on sharing rooms. 

The Y2K Trek reverses the route of last year's inaugural Yokatomactrek '99. There will be a van to carry bags and camping gear each day. Bill Metzger has once again volunteered to drive it for us. But only very limited support is possible on these remote trails. Plan to carry, with you on the bike, those things you'll need for each day's ride. Be ready to help a fellow rider, if a problem should occur.

The entire Y2K Trek is being undertaken in the same spirit of cooperation which built the trails it traverses.  We're organizing this as a cooperative, self-supported trip with a group of people interested in trails and history. We'll work together with you to coordinate some of the logistics effort. 


Day by Day on the Y2K

We will gather at the McKee's Point Marina in McKeesport, at 9:30 on Saturday morning June 17, and ride the Youghiogheny River Trail North to Connellsville. Sunday we bike on up the Youghiogheny River Trail South, through Ohiopyle and on to Confluence. We'll then get shuttled around the construction area of the Allegheny Highlands Trail, rejoining it at Fort Hill to cycle to Rockwood.

Monday morning we ride up the trail to Meyersdale, where you will have two options. One is to get shuttled down the mountain to Cumberland. We may have an opportunity to explore some of  the route of the soon-to-be-built Allegheny Highlands Trail of Maryland. The other option from Meyersdale is to ride along a not-yet-developed Pennsylvania section of trail to near the PA/MD state line, then get shuttled to Cumberland.

On Tuesday we leave the trails and get on the much less smooth C&O Canal Towpath, headed for Little Orleans. We have an option the next day for the paved Western Maryland Rail-Trail, then jump back on the Towpath to Williamsport. We'll stay on the Towpath on Thursday to Harper's Ferry. There will be two options on Friday; one is to stay on the Towpath to White's Ferry, then ride roads into Leesburg and the W&OD trail into Hamilton. The other option is to spend the morning in Harpers Ferry, then take an on-road shortcut to Hamilton. Saturday we ride the Towpath to the origin of the Canal in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC.

Washington, DC has an extensive network of bike trails, which some riders may wish to explore on their own on Sunday June 25, possibly staying a second night in Georgetown. Please note that getting to the start of the trip, as well as getting home afterward, is your responsibility. We will try to help organize carpools, for transportation before and after the trip. There are other transportation options, too.

Be aware that the C&O Canal Towpath is much rougher than our fine crushed limestone rail-trails. In the rain the towpath puddles up, becoming slippery. A decent mountain bike, with good tires and shocks, is recommended. However, some hybrid riders have done well on the towpath. If you're inclined toward skinny tires, we suggest you take a day trip on the towpath ahead of time, perhaps out of Cumberland. See the bicycle and tire suggestions in Linking Up.


The Itinerary at a Glance



The Day's Ride

Indoor Lodging


Sat 6-17


to Connellsville
on Yough River Trail North.
A number of trail folks may join us and ride for all or part of this day.

Melody Motor Lodge, Rt 119 south. 1mi south of Connellsville.724-628-9600 4 rooms
Newmyer House B&B, 507 S. Pittsburgh St, Connellsville. From trail, cross Yough R, up to Pittsburgh St, turn right, go 4 blocks south. 724-626-0141. 5 rooms, ~$40/person, brkfst incl

River's Edge Campground, Adelaide. Adjacent to the Yough Trail

Sun 6-18


to Rockwood
on Yough River Trail South, Alleg. Highlands Trail of PA. Shuttle from Confluence to Fort Hill

Rockwood Trail House, at trailhead, Rockwood. 817-926-2231. 5 rooms, ~$40/person, brkfst incl      In Town Inn B&B, 906 E. Main St, Rockwood, From trail, cross Yough R, right on Main, go 5 blocks S. 814-926-4131, 4 rooms, ~$35/person, brkfst incl

Adjacent to the Rockwood
Trail House

Mon 6-19

plus optional

Rockwood to Cumberland Rockwood to Meyersdale on Alleg. Highlands Trail of PA. Shuttle from Meyersdale to Cumberland. 
Ride 9 mi. Meyersdale to PA state line. Shuttle to Cumberland

Inn at Walnut Bottom, 120 Greene St, Cumberland. From train station, cross tracks and Wills Creek, go about 6 blocks. 301-777-0003. 13 rooms of various sizes and configurations, ~$45/person, brkfst incl 

No convenient camping, but there's lots of room at the Inn.

Tue 6-20


to Little Orleans 
C&O Canal Towpath

Through the
Paw Paw Tunnel!

Town Hill Hotel, National Pike, top of Town Hill. We'll call them from Bill's Orleans Grocery. Hotel will shuttle us, and bikes, 8 miles to the top. 301-478-2794. 8 rooms, ~$40/person, brkfst incl

Town Hill Hotel camp on lawn
Fifteen Mile  

Wed 6-21


Little Orleans
to Williamsport
C&O Canal Towpath
Western Maryland Rail-Trail

Red Roof Inn, 310 E. Potomac St, Williamsport. From towpath, skirt Cushwa basin, go 5 blocks. 301-582-3500. 10+ rooms, ~$35/person, NO brkfst

NPS Jordan Junction
Yogi Bear

Thu 6-22


to Harpers Ferry

C&O Canal Towpath

Cliffside Inn,  US 340, Harpers Ferry. From towpath, cross pedestrian bridge over Potomac R, Shenandoah St to Park road, left on US 340. 304-535-6302. 12 rooms, ~$35/person, brkfst not incl 

Huckleberry Hill
Harpers Ferry

Fri 6-23



Towpath and Roads

Harpers Ferry
to Whites Ferry,
 on Towpath,
then 12 miles road/trail to Hamilton 
OR road shortcut:
17 mi Towpath and rolling roads to Hamilton

Ivy Hall B&B, Burke Circle, Hamilton VA.
540-338-7426. 4 rooms, ~$50/person, brkfst incl 
Stonegate B&B
, Old Rt 7, Hamilton, VA.
540-338-9519. 2 rooms ~$50/person, brkfst incl From towpath, cross Potomac R on ferry ($1), up road, left onto US 15, (LOTSA TRAFFIC!) straight on Bus 15, W&OD Bike Trail to Ivandale Rd, Hamilton. Shortcut: Towpath to Brunswick, cross Potomac R, back roads through Waterford, VA to Hamilton. 

Marble Quarry
Turtle Run

Sat 6-24


Hamilton 12 miles on trail/roads to Whites Ferry, then C&O Canal Towpath to Georgetown.

Georgetown Inn,1310 Wisconsin Ave, Georgetown. From towpath, up Wisconsin Ave (TRAFFIC) 4 blocks. 800-368-5922. 12 rooms, ~$70/person, brkfst not incl No
convenient camping

Sun 6-25

optional riding in DC area

to Georgetown
Capital Crescent or
Mt Vernon Trails
 or return to Pittsburgh

Georgetown Inn,1310 Wisconsin Ave, Georgetown. 800-368-5922. 5 rooms, ~$70/person, brkfst not incl No
convenient camping

Indoor Lodging and Camping Options

You need to tell us whether you're interested in the indoor lodging option or the camping option. Note that with the indoor option, you'll sleep every night in a B&B, inn, or motel. The camping option offers either primitive or other type camping for six of the eight nights, and indoor lodging the other two nights. 

Indoor capacity is limited, so we need to share rooms. The rates quoted in the table above are less taxes, and are based on full occupancy. Couples will room together, so tell us the name of your roommate. In some places a few single men may have to share one room, and single women another.

Camping is limited to about 10 by the size of the hiker-biker sites on the towpath. These sites are open clearings next to the towpath equipped with a pump, chemical toilet, picnic table, and usually a path to the Potomac River. They are shared by people traveling the towpath; on weekday nights we have only rarely had company, though. The Rockwood Trail House and the Town Hill Hotel have offered showers and breakfasts to our campers. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, campers can get showers if camping at nearby commercial campgrounds.

Riding miles shown above are approximate but close. They're figured for the indoor lodging. Camping will be a few miles longer because of ride back from dinner to campsite and ride out to road in the morning to get gear to the van. We'll have cue sheets and maps, primarily for the road connections, as the trail directions are pretty simple. There will be opportunities to ride additional miles for those who so desire.


Breakfast will be where you sleep everywhere except at Williamsport, where we can breakfast nearby. Campers can choose between eating in camp and riding out to a restaurant. As for lunch, for several of the days there are restaurants and grocery stores near the trail. Elsewhere, we'll have lunch along the trail, so plan to take one or two lunches that don't need refrigeration. Dinner will be near the indoor lodging; we'll have dinner early enough for the campers to ride the couple of miles to the campsite and set up after dinner.


Good news -- Bill Metzger has volunteered to drive the support van! We'll use a personally-owned van to carry baggage during the day.

You're pretty much on your own for getting back from Washington DC, but we'll try to match up carpools. We hope that an assortment of family members and friends will want to drive to DC for the weekend. Amtrak or a rental van are other possibilities.

If you don't have your favorite list of things to pack for a week-long bike trip, see the one from Linking Up. This was drawn up for a motel-and-hostel trip, so it doesn't cover any camping equipment.
Other things to bring:
  Bike Helmet                     Biking Gloves
       Bike Lock                      Spare Inner Tubes - that fit your rims!
       Insect repellant/spray      Fels naptha soap/calamine -  for poison ivy
       Toilet paper                    Flashlight for Paw Paw Tunnel


Estimated Costs

We are asking that you send $100 to indicate your interest in the trip. This amount should approximately cover the shared costs. Reservations are being accepted on a first come, first served basis. Make your check payable to "RTC", and send it to PO Box 186, Latrobe, PA 15650. Be sure to tell us whether you prefer indoor lodging or camping, and name your roommate.

Equipment, lodging costs, and meals are each participant's own responsibility. Bring your credit card!

Cost figures for the trip are in the process of being determined. The following is only a rough estimate:

Costs to be shared by the entire group

Van for baggage transport and limited support $500
Expenses of a volunteer driver for the van 800
Shuttle service for getting us around trail gaps  300
Insurance and other shared costs 300
Telephone, postage, copying 100

Estimate of total shared costs



Individual costs

The above shared costs per rider, based on 20 people  $100
Indoor lodging - about $50 per night for 8 nights  400
Full occupancy required! Lodging space is limited.  
Camping will be much cheaper than indoor lodging.  
Meals and Snacks - about $30 per day for 8 days 240

Camp-cooked meals will be much less.

Scenic railroad ticket and ferry fares  20
Bike maintenance 30
Unique Y2K Trek polo shirts, if you would like one 20
Miscellaneous personal expenses 50
Estimate of Total Individual Cost (Indoor Lodging) $860


 Maybe the ATA will also have repeat of the Trail-A-Bration to kick off the trip; if so, it will offer food and T-shirts, for a price.

Please bear in mind that the effort of running this trip is to be shared by the participants. It is possible that other expenses may arise. Note that this is a cooperative trip by the riders, and is NOT a fully-supported outfitter tour!

Need more information?

Explore the Allegheny Trail Alliance website at www.ATATrail.org.You can explore the websites of each of the member trails from there. From the ATA site, Other Links will lead you to a wealth of information about traveling in the areas along this route.

A great source of information on trips along these trails is the booklet Linking Up, by Mary Shaw and Roy Weil. We highly recommend that anyone who is considering this trip should get a copy from a local bike shop, or from the ATA bookstore.

Mary and Roy also wrote up a trip report after they rode this trip in 1997. See also Last Year's Yokatomactrek.

Good C&O Canal guidebooks are Thomas Hahn's Towpath Guide to the C&O Canal, and Mike High's C&O Canal Companion. Read the more recent High before the trip for background, but bring Hahn in your saddlebag for an on-the-path explanation of the canal's operating features. Order through the ATA bookstore.

Sound like fun? Tell us of your interest in the trip!

We plan to do most of the communicating with trip participants via email.


Get on the list of interested folks by sending email to: Y2Ktrek@ATAtrail.org          


Trip coordinators are Ned Williams and Linda Boxx. 


The Y2K Trek web pages are hosted by the Allegheny Trail Alliance. This page last updated 02/18/06.