Author Topic: Allegheny Mountains Loop?  (Read 4021 times)

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Offline jscotkey

Allegheny Mountains Loop?
« on: May 09, 2010, 10:33:32 pm »
After months of planning (at at least 20 plan changes a day, meaning I'm on at least Plan #3500), I've decided to eschew ACA maps for much of my tour, but will want to have the Allegheny Mountains Loop map (despite it's sizable price tag).  The big hang-up is that I see very, very little about this route.  That's good in one way..I don't mind low popularity along with low traffic, but I've found so little (one CGOAB report..and that's on a road equivalent) and three skinny threads here.

Anybody ridden this thing?  Anybody used the ACA map in doing so?  Anybody got their used Allegheny Mountains Loop map to sell me?

Any info most welcome...


Offline chipcoutts

Re: Allegheny Mountains Loop?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 06:52:19 pm »
Three of us recently rode (most of) the Allegheny Mountains Loop.  We are experienced cycle tourists, and generally recommend this route, but only to experienced cycle tourists.  Without detailing the entire trip, we note the following: 

1. The maps are well worth the price. The the information is helpful. Support the organization.
2. We recommend against riding the Mountain Lake alternate (Map 1). We pushed our bikes three miles up a gravel road we would not want to have ridden down.  While this would entail riding back down the same Stony Creek/CR 635 you rode up, enjoy the ride.
3. We recommend against riding CR 600 between SR 311 and US 60 (Map 3). We are not adverse to gravel nor steep inclines, but we found the combination treacherous. If we were to ride again, we would consider SR 311/SR 159 as an alternate.
4. Due to the low population, there is a dearth of services on this route. Plan well. (Get the maps.)
5. We particularly enjoyed Paint Bank (Map 2/3) (General Store, Swinging Bridge Restaurant, The Depot Lodge), Gap Mills (Map 2/11) go about ½ mile off route on SR 3 for General Store and Bakery), Cass (Map 8) (Scenic Railroad State Park), Green Bank (Map 6) (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, off route)

I hope this helps.  Enjoy the Alleghenies!  Chip.


  • Guest
Re: Allegheny Mountains Loop?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 09:17:28 am »
(despite it's sizable price tag)

Map of the route at your fingertips:  $14.75.  Information it contains:  priceless.

Offline BJacobs

Re: Allegheny Mountains Loop?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2010, 01:56:06 pm »
I did this route last week, mid-September.  Gorgeous scenery and the beginning of fall colors.  The weather was perfect, too -- generally warm and dry during the day, cool at night for camping.  Many of the details have been covered elsewhere in the forum but some things I think worth mentioning:
1.  The ACA maps are awesome!
2.  Yes, some of the road are windy and narrow, but traffic was sparse and I wouldn't have changed a thing.
3.  The hills.  I mean HILLS!  A little background: I love to climb.  I'm no racer, but I train with some.  They might get me on a sprint, but not on a hill.  I've done the Rockies, the ACA Green Mountains Loop, Mt. Mitchell, Mont Ventoux -- and loved every minute of it.  That said, I was surprised by the hills on this route.  There are few single climbs on the route that stick out in my mind as being especially onerous, on an individual basis.  But it was more the entire package -- except for the rail-trails, it seemed that every turn revealed yet another climb.  My only regret is that my average speed was a little slower than expected, and I felt like I was rushing to get to camp or didn't have time to check out some local things.  I completed the route as published in 7 1/2 days of riding.  Should have planned maybe 9 or 10 days at a more leisurely pace.
4.  The dirt.  I rode all the gravel/dirt roads on the main route.  Most were in pretty good shape, ie., not sandy or with huge, loose gravel.  BUT . . . I run 700-35Cs on my Surly LHT with beefy mountain bike hubs and 36 spokes (still broke one, though, five miles from the end in Blacksburg!).  I wouldn't have wanted to try some of those areas, like CR600 on map 3, or most of map 7, with anything less.  Actually, I managed to leave my panniers in Bartow and ride map 7 unloaded, which really helped. Some of the dirt stretches, though, were the most scenic -- like Richardson Gorge Rd. on map 4.  And, of course, the two rail-trails.  The West Fork Trail was overgrown and very remote feeling; the Greenbrier was well-maintained .

So . . . allow plenty of time to enjoy it, go with fatties, and bring plenty of supplies.  PopTarts and chips were easy to find; fresh fruits and vegetables less so.  (HINT: There was a farmer's maket in Marlinton this past Saturday morning.  Might be a regular affair, in season, and it was a great find!).