Lodging along the Gap and C&O trail
I and a friend are cycling from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. next April. We’re going to be doing approximately 60-70 miles/day.We don’t want to camp out.Can anyone give us advice on where there are B&B near the trails??
definitely recommend stopping by a local bike shop and picking up a physical copy of the “linking up” booklet. was definitely a good resource to have on the trip. it gives you some basic info on where lodging is, where there are bike shops along the way, and where you can find food and other services.
Some of it will depend on how far off the trail you’re willing to go. The Shaw booklet has good information. I’d also check Trip Advisor. They won’t have listings on all of the little places, but comments on the ones they do list can be useful. Some include information specific to how good a choice they were for the trail users.
We stayed here at the Meyersdale Hostel for the first night on a trip from Little Boston to DC. Very friendly people ran the place. That was way back in 2003. It looks like it has been renovated since then. At only $15 it was a great value.
I like the River’s Edge in Confluence, the Rockwood Hostel, the trailside Marriot in Cumberland, the Red Roof Inn at Williamsport, Days Inn at Shepherdstown.
I avoid the Parker House in Confluence.
I also stayed at the Meyersdale hostel about a decade ago on a trip to D.C. I was actually the hostel’s first guest. The ladies who ran it were really excited to have their first guest; they had another lady from the local paper stop by to take a few pictures and interview me before I left the next morning. I will say, though, it was more than a little creepy to be the only person in the basement of an old school building – on some level it reminded me of a Scooby Doo episode.
We took the Pittsburgh-DC trip last fall at this time. We took 5 days with a goal of 60-70 miles a day, with a first-day push to Ohiopyle (75 miles). Three things we learned: 1) Identifying lunch is key; err on lunch early rather than late; 3) You should add on about 5 “extra” miles each day for trips to lunch, dinner, getting lost (I know, how can you get lost on a straight-trail?); 4) After being out later than you want riding trails in the dark, it’s really difficult to beat a pair of grandparently B&B owners welcoming you with warm towels for both you _and_ your bike.
I don’t know what your budget is, but if you’re looking for nice B&Bs, I would specific highly recommend the 1828 Trail Inn (in addition to the aforementioned towels, and a convenient hose for bike washing, they have a protected shed for your bikes) and the Laurel Lodge in Harpers Ferry.
Ohiopyle Guest Houses
Trail Inn & Campground
1828 Trail Inn
DC is expensive – sorry, no good recommendations here. We stayed with friends.
In Connellesville, I’ve stayed at the motel 2 miles out of town – up the daugting Rt 119. Not great – I think they might have a B&B in town by now, though.
I’ve wondered about a route from the Rt 199 motel down to the trail – when goihng east on the trail, you still have to 2 or 3 miles west to get back on the trail. Has to be a way to just go down that hill.
I find the town of Ohiopyle to be a little unsettling. Seems the town folks don’t like the tourists too much and there are plenty of arrogant, wealthy tourists to justify that.
I like staying at the River’s Edge in Confluence.
In Rockwood, I highly reccomend the Gingerbread House – About 200 feet to the right up Rockdale Rd (the first road you come to).
Clean. Friendly. Elegant. Cheap. GREAT morning breadpudding/French toast.
I ask personally that you NOT patronize the Rockwood Trail House. When I came into town one evening at 8 pm, you turned me away (which is OK). When asked if there were other B&B’s or motels around, he told me “NO.” (There is one 200 feet up the road, jerk!).
I had planned to camp that night, but a thunderstorm was coming in.
When I stopped in his shop the next morning to ask about it, he was gruff and hostile.
Rockwood Trail House. Here’s your recommendation to the Pittsburgh Bike Community, dude! It’s true. It’s accurate! You earned it! I sure hope you like it!
In Frostburg, the Trail Inn has very nice clean rooms. Their food is dreadful and you should climb the hill to town for dinner. (although the breakfast with the room is OK)
If you get a chance to get the proprietor to talk about the history of the trail, do it! Wonderful Raconteur.
The Holliday Inn in Cumberland is really bike friendly and they have a swimming pool.
There *IS* a B&B in Little Orleans and One in PawPaw WV, but neither of them made it to the Trail Book. The one in Little Orleans has been recommend to me by reliable sources, although I haven’t stayed there. The one in Paw Paw is OK at best (cheap thought).
In Hancock, I stayed at teh 1828 B&B. I got in late and left early and dont’ recall much. There were aquaintences of mine staying there, so that overwhelmed other impressions.
Weaver’s Diner and Bakery in Hancock is really good. (Try their Blueberry pie. Trust me.) It might be worthwhile to stay at the Motel (cheap) and eat breakfast there.
Once, in Hancock, after gorging myself with Cheerios peanut butter and banannas in my hotel room, I discovered they ahd asome civic pancake “all-you-can-eat” breakfast in the park that morning. Shame I missed it.
There was an OK B&B in Williamsport directly accross from the wonderful Desert Roase Cafe, but Google isn’t helping me find the name.
If there is still the detour, I say skip that sectionof teh trail and ride from Williams prot on Speilman Rd (Rt 63), Bakersville Rd, and Sharpseville Pike (Rt 65) through the ghost-filled Antietam Battlefield. Plenty of (fairly pricey) B&B’s in Shaprsburgh, then Harper’s Ferry Rd out of town the next morning.
The Norris House in Leesburg, VA was really nice in every respect, lovely room, great food. – but a bit pricey. To get there you pay $1 for a ferry across the Potomac that is cool and a few miles of trafficy road.
There is a paved rail-trail from Leesburg to DC- but you miss Great Falls on the Potomac. It it’s been raining, it’s worth it for sure.
Hope this all helps.
I had a weird experience in Rockwood, too. We’d stopped there in the afternoon to rest and asked about local accommodations at the little visitor center they had next to the trail — I think it was in an old railroad car. The guy there said we should ride on to Meyersdale. We even asked about the B&B next to the trail, which I guess is the Rockwood Trail House you’re talking about, and the guy warned us away from it. So we rode on, and found nice accommodations in Meyersdale.
It didn’t make sense at the time, but sort of does, now.
+1 Trail Inn at Frostburg.
I’m not sure that the Meyersdale Hostel is still in operation – I’ve heard that it’s shut down, nothing authoritative.
Lenny and others contemplating the trip, depending on the weather, even in April lodgings can book up. I’d make sure to make reservations in advance. That said, folks pretty much covered a lot of the lower end options. If you’re looking for a hostel in Meyersdale check out Morguen Toole Company; they have hostel rooms and private rooms plus they’re a restaurant.
I own a company that organizes trips for folks on the GAP; we make all the reservations, itineraries, etc. and you just enjoy the ride. I have info about what we do and also just some basic tips at http://www.bike-the-GAP.com.
@sarapgh2 even in April lodgings can book up
This may be true, but the 2008 and 2009 June trips I took, the only times I ran into trouble was when I started looking for lodging as the sun was setting – and even that worked fine more often than not.
Thanks everybody for the great advice!! I will take all the ideas you gave me into careful thought and consideration.This will be a great help on my trip to D.C. next April
i don’t know anything about lodging cause i’ve camped along the trail, but there is a little breakfast-y place in myersdale and the woman there is totally awesome. i went in one morning and she brought me back in the kitchen with her to chat while she made me amazing french toast, and gave me fruit for the road. she was really nice and all i remember about it’s location is that you go down the hill and turn right it’s little, and more of a coffee shop than a diner.
i’ve led trips on the GAP + C&O for the past 4 years and there are a couple of standouts that I’d recommend:
C&O: any of the lock houses that you can find space in (the park lets you sleep in the lock houses… it’s fun)
harper’s ferry: laurel lodge (very woodsy feel, seculded, amazing wrap around porch)
little orleans: little orleans lodge (not so fancy, good food, nice people)
frostburg: the gunter hotel (great old hotel, don’t miss the museum in the basement!) we have had negative experiences with Trail Inn and their food is kinda trashy.
meyersdale: levi deal mansion (beautiful old house, great food)
rockwood: gingerbread house (or the other B&B that is right across the street, the name is escaping me, I’ve stayed at both several times)
have fun! the trail is scheduled to be completed by june 15 next year but I bet it will be done by the time you start.
@mark — second on the Gunter hotel in Frsotburg. I stayed there when I rode the GAP. The museum is really neat, including the jail call. Got to sit on the balcony porch overlooking the street and watch a summer thunderstorm roll through.
The Deal Mansion was not quite ready to open when I was there, but the wife of the husband/wife who owned it gave me a tour of the place. During conversation it turned out she has a cousin who lives here in Butler and I was acquianted with him. Small world. They knew what they were doing with the house restoration, so I imagine the rest of what they have done is high quality, too.
I didn’t know the NPS lets you stay in the lock houses. I will have to file that away for future reference.
Thanks for the information.
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