PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Festivities in Point State Park on Saturday afternoon will mark the completion of a bike trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.
The final stretch of the Great Allegheny Passage, past Sandcastle Park, completes an unbroken trail of 345 miles.
Tinsy Labrie, of VisitPittsburgh, says trailside businesses are already see an up-tick.
“Hotels, particularly, are starting to see people they’ve never seen before. Bikers who have particular needs,” said Labrie. “You’ve got to have a pump at your front desk now.”
VisitPittsburgh’s marketing director adds that bike rentals are booming at shops like Golden Triangle Bikes on First Avenue.
“They have every kind of bike for every sort of family activity,” she says. “They can connect you, and you can get all the way along. They’ll actually take you to DC, and bring you back.”
Bikers like John DeRigga say the passage improves safety for cyclists.
“It’ll save some lives because you don’t want to get off the trail. And you can get into really downtown now without ever getting on a highway,” he said.
Brian Davis and his family prefer hiking to biking.
“It’s a great opportunity to bond with your kids, and just really talk and have fun,” Davis says. “Laugh, play games along the way.”
Trail visitors are also likely to see a bald eagle family, nesting on a wooded ridge across Route 837.
Saturday’s celebration begins at the Sandcastle location at 10 a.m. Saturday. Bikers will then proceed to Point State Park where a plaque will be commemorated at 1 p.m.
“It’s been a long time coming,” says Labrie, “and we’re so excited to say it’s finally finished.”