A Celebration of Trails and Trail Building
First launched in 2002, the annual Rail-Trail Sojourn is more than just a ride; it’s a powerful way to highlight the impact trails have on local communities along the route and, more importantly, demonstrate to these communities the benefits of completing their unfinished trails and biking routes.
Each year, we make the case for connected trails and trail networks by drawing attention to gaps in systems and providing input and benchmarks—including real-world examples and user surveys—of how future improvements might increase local bikeability and walkability.
Our ability to influence trail development is due in large part to the evidence we provide of the significant local spending generated by RTC and our participants in just a few days. To capture this direct economic impact, we compile data that communicates our combined spending on food, supplies, rentals, equipment and other sojourn-related services. The information is shared with our hosts to inspire future trail building and enhancements.
The 2014 sojourn’s positive economic impact to the region through which we traveled was $211,000. More and more, the communities we visit know that trails can play a large role in revitalization!
2015 Rail-Trail Sojourn Details
Returning to the Montour Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage, the 2015 Sojourn continues the trailblazing tradition of previous sojourns.
This year’s ride will visit new communities and utilize new camping and accommodation sites. Not only does this provide fresh attractions for returning riders, it also continues the sojourn’s theme of helping more communities boost their local economies through trail tourism.
Registration opens Friday, Jan. 9. The 2015 Sojourn is limited to 300 riders, and space will fill up fast, so be sure to act quickly to claim your spot!
Dates: June 21-26
Location: Approximately 200 miles along the Montour Trail and Great Allegheny Passage, from Coraopolis, Pa., to Cumberland, Md.
Capacity: 300 Riders
Registration: Opens Friday, Jan. 9
Sojourn participants have the opportunity to explore communities and attractions along routes spanning hundreds of miles. We design each trip so that individuals can ride at their own pace, which makes the events appropriate for people of all ages.
Here, the ride passed through Allegheny and Washington counties, south and southwest of Pittsburgh. From the Montour Trail, the ride connected to perhaps the most famous rail-trail in the world, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), for the journey south to Cumberland, Md.
For the 2014 sojourn, RTC partnered with the region's most experienced outdoor adventure company (with 50 years of guiding experience), Wilderness Voyageurs.
The 2013 ride began in Cumberland, Md., and focused on the many attractions both on and off the trail along the GAP. As well as covering the 150 miles into Pittsburgh, Pa., this Sojourn incorporated time to stop and explore natural and cultural attractions, with highlights including a rafting trip on the Youghiogeny River and a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater.
Our ride returned to two of the most famous long-distance trails—the GAP and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park (C & O Canal towpath). On this memorable adventure, sojourners pedaled 335 miles from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, Pa.