Allegheny Trail Alliance News

The Sixth Yockatomac Trek
June 20 to June 27, 2004

Washington DC to Pittsburgh PA

June 20 to June 27, 2004

Final Itinerary now available

Celebrate inter-city trails on the C&O Canal Towpath
and the rail-trails of the
Allegheny Trail Alliance
by riding the length of the nearly-completed trail



Ride for a week with LITTLE TRAFFIC


Bags transported each day to indoor lodging

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

Come journey by bicycle along the C&O Canal Towpath and the completed trails of the Allegheny Trail Alliance. We'll ride from Washington DC to Mckeesport PA on nearly-level trails that once served canals and trains. We will travel through four gorges (Great Falls, Cumberland Narrows, Yough, Cedar Creek) that Gorge Washington traveled through.

Cycle the Trails Through the Mountains

We will travel for about 300 miles along the flattest route ever built between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, . By taking eight days, we'll have 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 our motels and B&Bs.  Lodging capacity in some of the smaller towns is what limits the size of the trip, so we will need to make full use of rooms. Plan on sharing rooms. 

There will be a van to carry baggage and it will meet us at lunch time. 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 except that if you plan to meet the van at lunch, you can leave it in the ice chest. Be ready to help a fellow rider, if a problem should occur.

The entire Yockatomac 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 including helping you find a roommate if you need one. 

Be aware that the C&O Canal Towpath is much rougher than our fine crushed limestone rail-trails here in Pennsylvania. In the rain the towpath puddles up, becoming slippery. We recommend a decent mountain bike, with good tires and shocks. However, some hybrid riders have done well on the towpath, as long as they have tires with good tread. 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 has been finalized. See 2004 Itinerary for details

You're pretty much on your own for getting to Washington DC, but we'll try to match up carpools or a limited number of seats are available in the outfitters van. We hope that an assortment of family members and friends will want to drive to DC for the weekend. Amtrak is scheduled at 4:41 in the morning and is scheduled to arrive at 12:24 in the afternoon for $45 coach. A rental car from Pittsburgh to Washington with drop off charges would be about $70-$90 plus gas. Prices are March price's with minimal search and no discounts applied.

By arrangement a very limited number of seats are available in the outfitters van for the shuttle to Washington, DC. The Shuttle will leave from the McKeesport Marina on Saturday June 19 at 12:30 PM. The cost for this is $25.00 per person. Please contact Steve Wershbale to request space on this shuttle Seats will be made available on a first come basis. Free parking is available for the duration of the trip at the marina.

If you wish to have your bike transported to Washington for you by the outfitter, you will need to drop it off at Wilderness Voyageurs, Inc., in Ohiopyle, PA, between June 13 and June 18, 2004. 

If you don't have your favorite list of things to pack for a week-long bike trip, see the one from Linking Up

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 $200 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 "Steve Wershbale ", and send it to 3765  Coventry Court, Allison Park PA 15101

Equipment, lodging costs, and meals are each participant's own responsibility. Bring your credit card! You must  make all of your own B&B and motel reservations, once the itinerary is available (about March 1, 2004).  We will work to match roommates if you have not already found one.

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
Expenses of food and lodgeing for the driver of the van
Scenic railroad ticket and ferry fares 
Shuttle service for getting us around trail gaps 
Insurance and other shared costs
Telephone, postage, copying
Arrival celebration at McKeesport on Sunday June 27  

Estimate of total shared costs


Individual costs

The above shared costs per rider, based on 20 people  200
Indoor lodging - estimate       Full occupancy required! Lodging space is limited. 400
Meals and Snacks -  250
Bike maintenance 25
Unique commemorative polo shirts, if you would like one 25
Miscellaneous personal expenses 50
 Outfitter tip your discretion 
Estimate of Total Individual Cost (Indoor Lodging) $950


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, relying on mutual support of all the riders, and is NOT a fully-supported outfitter tour!

This estimate is based on sharing expenses for the support services and for organizing the ride (supplies, postage, telephone, mileage, etc.) equally among all participants proportional to the number of days each participant plans to ride.  For planning purposes, the daily fee was conservatively established based on an estimated 20 riders.  The final cost will be equitably adjusted if more or less than 20 persons participate.  

Polo Shirts

Light Blue polo shirts (not a tee shirt) embroidered with the logo, may be purchased for $30 per shirt, by sending a check, payable to Allegheny Trail Alliance.

Shirts will be delivered no later than June 20, 2002, in Washington DC

Deadline for ordering shirts is May 20, 2004

Allegheny Trail Alliance
419 College Ave
Greensburg PA 15601


Want to go on the trip?

Fill out the Registration and Release Form and send it with your check to:

Steve Wershbale
3765 Coventry Court
Allison Park, PA 15101

Need more information?

Explore the detailed itinerary.

Explore the Allegheny Trail Alliance website at 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 Yockatomac trek in 2003, Yockatomac trek in 2000 and the original Yockatomac trek in 1999

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 will use email for most communication about the trip.  Join our e-mail list to receive more information as it becomes available by sending email to:  If you have specific question contact the trip coordinator -  
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You are visiting The Yockatomac Trek, copyright 2006 by Mary Shaw and Roy Weil. We encourage you to link to these pages or print copies for personal use. However, if you want to copy the material for any other use, you must ask us first. Other outdoor publications by the authors.

Page updated 20-Apr-2007 01:18:40 by Roy Weil     Comments to maintainer.