Our weekend getaway came to an end today. It was a spectacular ending. The wind died, sun shone brightly and the temperature rebounded to the 60s. Our destination for the day was Cumberland, Maryland and the Great Alleghany Passage. On our way from Hagerstown we stopped at the Sideling Hill Pass visitor’s center in the Alleghany Mountains. The view was spectacular on this clear day.
The ride into Cumberland is some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. Mountains, rolling farmlands with picturesque buildings dotted the landscape. We found the Cumberland trail visitor center with no problem; right at the foot of the expressway exit
Cumberland has a rich railway history. Trailwise it is the end of the C&O Canal Trail coming from Georgetown, Virginia and the beginning of the Great Alleghany Passage headed to Pittsburgh. We decided to cycle the Great Alleghany Passage mostly to ride through the first of many tunnels on the trail.
The ride west out of Cumberland was constantly uphill. It was gentle at about 1% but still an uphill cycle. Since we were anxious to return home we decided to cycle the 7 miles out and through the tunnel and turn back. The ride back was such a breeze… downhill all the way. This was nice trail to end our cycling weekend.
We spent some time exploring the area surrounding the visitor’s center. We had a late lunch at the Crabby Pig, a quite tasty BBQ and seafood restaurant. We shopped the bike shop where I bought a cool jersey with logos for both the trails. The GPS took us across I-68 and then on some state routes before we hooked up with the PA Turnpike in Somerset. We saw dozens of wind turbines on the ridges during this drive. It was pretty neat to see them up close.