The Great Ride

"The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail" NEW Documentary

The Great Ride is back with more exploration of one of America's most treasured biking destinations – the Great Allegheny Passage, known as the GAP. WQED will premiere The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail on Thursday, June 16 on WQED-TV. The documentary will also be available online or the PBS Video App.

The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail focuses on the 150-mile GAP, beginning in Pittsburgh, and ending in Cumberland, Maryland. In the new 2022 program, bikers and hikers get a more personal, up-close look as the producers identify key landmarks on the trail, exploring the significance, history, and appeal of each stop.

The Great Ride is available to order on Blu-Ray and DVD. It includes the full documentary and 11 short features showcasing landmarks along the trail.

Watch the Documentary Online Order Blu-Ray Order DVD

Voice of the Arts Podcast: Beth Dolinar and Bryan Perry

Original airdate 
Jun 2, 2022

Emmy Award winning producer Beth Dolinar joins Bryan Perry, Executive Director of the Great Allegheny Passage and Jim Cunningham to discuss events relating to the screenings of the new documentary "The Great Ride Landmarks Along the Trail," which airs on WQED June 16th at 8pm. Recently praised by the New York Times and other national media, the trail continues to generate tourism in the bicycle route from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. Three screenings with questions and answers from the principals will celebrate the film closing with Confluence, PA and Frostburg, Maryland.

Landmarks Along the Trail

Enjoy these short videos featuring some of the GAP and C&O Canal Towpath's popular stops.


Winter on the GAP

GAP Mile 110

Many hikers and cross-country skiers enjoy snowfall on various sections of the trail between Pittsburgh and Cumberland.

The Narrows

GAP Mile 1

This natural landmark cuts through two mountains, and allowed early travel between Cumberland, MD and the western United States.

Dead Man's Hollow

GAP Mile 129.2

Nature is now reclaiming the site where ruins remain of a pipe factory and quarry. The hollow has conjured many legends.


GAP Mile 15.5

This trailhead is known for its switchback bike path, which gives cyclists a route to the town and the opportunity to admire unique sculptures.

The Eastern Continental Divide

GAP Mile 23.7

This stop marks the point that separates U.S. waters flowing to the Atlantic Ocean from those flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.

Mason and Dixon Line

GAP Mile 20.5

The GAP cuts through the line which formed the boundary demarcating the North from the South after the Civil War.

Cumberland Mule Statue

GAP Mile 0

This statue honors the families who lived and worked on the boats that carried coal and other cargo up and down the C&O Canal.


GAP Mile 137

The GAP runs right past the historic West Mifflin amusement park that dates to 1898.

Youghiogheny River Lake

GAP Mile 61.4

The flood control reservoir - formed in 1944 - has become a tourist attraction and popular fishing spot.


GAP Mile 104.1

This former "coal patch" town is located steps from the GAP Trail. The houses were built by the coal company for the families of men who worked the mines.

Dravo Cemetery

GAP Mile 122.4

This cemetery in Elizabeth Township dates back to the 1800s. Local legend says it's haunted.


GAP Mile 71.9

Extremely popular with bikers, hikers and tourists, this state park offers beautiful scenery and outdoor activities along the Youghiogheny River.

Pump House

GAP Mile 139.5

This relic of the Western Pennsylvania steel era marks the site of the great Battle Of Homestead in 1892.

The Hot Metal Bridge

GAP Mile 144

A vibrant piece of Pittsburgh's industrial history carries the Great Allegheny Passage over the Monongahela River.

Hays Eagles Nest

GAP Mile 141

A sycamore tree that draws crowds of cyclists and marks the place where bald eagles are thriving near downtown Pittsburgh.

Red Waterfall

GAP Mile 117.8

Sightseeing attraction or eyesore? Cyclists have their own opinions of this popular stop.

Darr Mine Memorial

GAP Mile 105.2

Pennsylvania’s worst mining disaster. A memorial for all that were killed in 1907.

The Ruins Project

GAP Mile 104

Created in an abandoned coal mine, the art installation features mosaics assembled from local rocks.


GAP Mile 32

Known for its Maple Festival, the town provides cyclists with a friendly and charming place to break from the trail.

Bollman Bridge

GAP Mile 30.5

Saved from demolition, this historic bridge is now a trail treasure.

C&O Lockhouses

C&O Mile 5-109

Stay the night in a C&O Lockhouse and be immersed in the rich history of the canal lockkeepers and their families.

Mountainside Ad

C&O Mile 61

The famous view overlooking the Potomac and Shenandoah River Valleys in Harpers Ferry contains a unique image from the past.

Great Falls

C&O Mile 14

Just a few minutes walk off the bike trail lies Great Falls, MD, one of the most spectacular views in the region.

Life on the Canal

C&O Mile 14

Experience the life of a "canaler" - the people who carried goods along the historic C&O Canal Towpath.

WQED's "The Great Ride" initiative explores one of America's most treasured biking destinations. Cyclists from all over the world are enjoying 335 miles of breathtaking scenery and fascinating history on two connecting trails: the Great Allegheny Passage (Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD) and the C&O Canal Towpath which continues to Washington, DC, The multiplatform initiative includes a 60-minute documentary, complementary short videos that highlight some of the trail's treasured landmarks, and educational resources for teachers, students and families.

Download "The Great Ride" Educational Resources

About the Trails


The Great Allegheny Passage
From mile marker zero in Cumberland, MD, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage crosses splendorous valleys, snakes around mountains, running alongside three rivers (the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongahela) on its nearly level trail of former railroad lines.  Cyclists pass through the Cumberland Narrows, cross the Mason-Dixon Line, breeze through the Big Savage Tunnel and top the Eastern Continental Divide at 2,392’. They weave through the lush Laurel Highlands, pedal next to the roiling white water of Ohiopyle State Park, journey through Western Pennsylvania's mining and steel-making corridor - to end at Pittsburgh’s majestic Point State Park.

The C&O Canal Towpath
Cyclists go back in time - biking where mules once trudged a 185-mile path next to a canal, pulling goods-laden barges between Washington, DC and Cumberland, MD. When railroads made the canal obsolete, the C&O Canal Towpath was preserved as a national park. Today, bikers travel the forested, level trail that hugs both the remnants of the canal and the panoramic Potomac River. Quaint lock keeper houses, picturesque stone aqueducts, the glorious Great Falls in Maryland and the rustic Paw Paw Tunnel are among the many attractions along the C&O trail to its end in Cumberland - where the Great Allegheny Passage trail beckons.

WQED thanks these funders for their generous support of our Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath documentary and multimedia initiative.

Pro Bike + Run Golden Triangle Bike Rental MarylandOPEN | RuthRauff Services, LLC RuthRauff Services, LLC RuthRauff Services, LLC

Allegany County Maryland
Allegany County Tourism
Allegheny Trail Alliance
Aurora Electrical & Data Services
C&O Canal Association
Destination DC
Hagerstown Convention and Visitor's Bureau
The Inn at Lenoras
Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society
Resolution Rentals
Wabtec Corporation