(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pittsburgh and Maryland will be connected once again by trail for people to walk or ride through picturesque towns and across a variety of different landscapes. The Big Savage Tunnel is getting ready to open for the season to connect the two areas once again.
The Great Allegheny Passage connects Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 150 miles of trail that runs through valleys, mountains, alongside rivers, tracing old footpaths and railroad corridors. It travels through the Cumberland Narrows, crosses the Mason & Dixon Line, tops the 2,392-foot Eastern Continental Divide, travels through the Laurel Highlands, bisects the Ohiopyle State Park, ending at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh.
Doors securing the Big Savage Tunnel close every winter as cold temperatures, winds and freeze/thaw cycles threaten to crack the tunnel’s lining. The Somerset County tunnel, which closed Dec. 1, 2022, will reopen for the season on March 31, 2023. There is no detour offered while it is closed.
The Great Allegheny Passage follows the path of the Western Maryland Railway and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad through Maryland’s mountains and Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands.
The C&O Canal Towpath also connects, making long-distance travel possible between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.
The Great Allegheny Passage was completed in 2013.
You can find a list of places to visit along the trail online, how to prepare for your trip and where you can stay along the way. There are also recommended trips already put together you can take advantage of.