Peace and Quiet on the Great Allegheny Passage

Nature is a wonderful thing.

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to get away from the stresses of everyday life that is not too far away, look no farther than the Great Allegheny Passage. Located just off of Main Street on Depot Street, where the old rail station is, you will find just one section of the Allegheny Passage. It stretches one hundred and fifty miles from Cumberland to Pittsburgh with many stopping locations along the way. There are many attractions to the Allegheny Passage, but the main purpose for a lot people is the scenery, which is beautiful this time of year.

Setting foot on the Allegheny Passage on a cloud-covered, misty morning, not seeing or hearing another human soul for a long time, feels strange at first, considering its close proximity to Main Street. The farther you walk down the path in either direction, the quieter it becomes. At first, the sounds of cars, the rumble of tires, and a dog barking are crystal clear. But, after walking for a while, just stop, look around, and listen.

Silence. Except for the sounds of nature.

Insects chirping, the trickle of raindrops falling off leaves and the soft ‘pat pat’ of them hitting the ground, a bird calling out in the distance – those are the sounds of nature. As you begin to walk, the only human sound you hear is the crunch of gravel beneath your shoes.

The leaves have started to change on the trees that line both sides of the pathway. Down the path a ways, they fill a forest, denser than on the hilly slopes at the trail’s Frostburg entrance. Leaves cover the ground, which is a mixture of asphalt and crushed stone depending where on the trail you are. Logs lay scattered on either side of the path, which is well maintained for bikers. Plants and flowers, more specifically black-eyed Susans, line both sides of the path. Looking in any direction, different shades of green surround the path, with the exception of the few leaves that have begun to change color.

You may pass people on the trail, or you may not encounter anyone. Either way, it is pleasant. When asking various people either walking or biking on the trail how they felt about the Allegheny Passage in general, many people had the same reaction. One man, who was biking along the trail in the direction of Pittsburgh, said he has been biking on this trail for years now. “I like it because it’s so close to home,” he said. “I also like it because it’s quiet and peaceful. Not many people in this area know about the trail. ”

When asking two other bikers, a mother and daughter, how they first discovered this trail, the mother said that when her daughter was still in a stroller, she wanted a quiet place she could take her during the day, and a friend of hers recommended this trail. She has been coming here ever since.

Further down, the trail passes under two railroad bridges, which you can see off to the right of the path through the trees, leading back to the railroad station. There is old graffiti art on the pillars supporting the bridges you pass under. The further you go on the trail, the quieter it becomes, with interesting rock formations to see and bridges to walk over.

The Allegheny Passage is a trail that you can walk or ride your bicycle on and notice new things every time you go. As one rider said, “It’s just a great place to go and relax, whether you’re riding your bike or just taking a walk.” So, if you are looking for a good bicycle path to ride on or a quiet, pretty place to walk, especially in the fall, the Allegheny Passage is a great place to start.

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