General Discussion / Re: National Park Service proposes charges for the C & O Trail (incl. camp fees)« on: January 14, 2015, 10:55:16 am »
I'm working on alternative routing in case this proves to be a problem. This would put me on country roads through small towns, but in Pennsylvania and Maryland instead of Kentucky and Missouri.
If you are not set on starting in D.C. or can get yourself up to it, you might consider signed PA Bike Route S to get around the C&0:
Heading west, Route S joins the GAP at Rockwood, PA. However, you can take U.S. 220 from Bedford, PA to Cumberland, MD if you want to pick up the GAP from the beginning. I did the reverse when I rode from PGH to Philly in 2013. I picked up U.S. 220 north of Cumberland by following smaller roads out of town. The road has a decent shoulder and traffic was not that heavy on a Monday afternoon. Let me know if you want the exact routing between Bedford and Cumberland. Personally, I found the portion of the GAP between Rockwood and Cumberland to be the most interesting so I wouldn't miss that portion if possible.
Also, if you pick up Route S anywhere east of Hustontown, PA and have a strong from light or headlamp you can take an easy detour from the route and ride a stretch of the abandoned portion of the PA Turnpike. Very neat ride (It was used in the filming of "The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen), but there are two long tunnels that are not lit, hence the need for a good light. At the western end of the rideable portion you will find yourself back on Route S at Breezewood, PA.