Pennsylvania-Maryland Rail-Trail Sojourn participants enjoying a relaxed ride during the 2014 Sojourn. | Photo by Cleo Fogal

Demonstrating the Powerful Benefits of Trail Networks

RTC Rail-Trail Sojourns are more than just rides; they’re powerful “trail-building tools” that highlight the incredible impact of long-distance trail routes on America’s communities.

Since 2001, sojourns have brought together hundreds of riders on multi-day trips that celebrate open trails and draw attention to gaps in would-be regional trail systems that, if completed, could result in innumerable local benefits.

Our Influence

Our sojourns unite a selection of trails for a short period of time—ultimately serving as unique “dry runs” designed to benchmark—through real-world examples and user surveys—how trail-system improvements could increase local bikeability and walkability.

Photo by Cleo Fogal

Over the past decade and a half, Rail-Trail Sojourns have helped influence the creation and/or growth of multiple regional trail alliances. This influence is due in large part to the evidence we provide of the significant local spending generated by sojourn 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!

By participating in our Rail-Trail Sojourns, you can make a lasting impact as a trail advocate—helping to inspire the creation of regional biking/walking networks that boost our local economies and our quality of life.

2015 Events

Pennsylvania-Maryland Rail-Trail Sojourn

Returning to the Montour Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage, the 2015 sojourn continues the trailblazing tradition of previous sojourns.

View Registration Information

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 Monday, Jan. 12. This 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, 2015
Location: Approximately 200 miles along the Montour Trail and Great Allegheny Passage, from Coraopolis, Pa., to Cumberland, Md.
Cost: $690 Adults, $590 Youth (Under 16)
Capacity: 300 Riders
Registration: View Registration Information →

West Virginia Rail-Trail Sojourn

RTC is excited to be launching the first ever West Virginia Rail-Trail Sojourn in April 2015!

The 2015 sojourn in West Virginia will center on the city of Morgantown, home to West Virginia University and the burgeoning Mon River Trails system, 48 miles of rail-trail in the north central part of the state, connecting Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties. 

With Morgantown, as the hub, riders will take a full day each to explore the region’s three premier rail-trails: the Deckers Creek Trail, the Mon River Trail North (including the Sheepskin and Cheat River trails) and the Mon River Trail South.

West Virginia has taken great strides recently toward developing a rail-trail system that complements its wonderful natural landscape of the Appalachians and its historic small towns and cities. The inaugural West Virginia sojourn will highlight key gaps in the Mon River Trails system that, if completed, would result in a 142-mile rail-trail system and unite with the Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania to create an unrivaled two-state network.

Dates: April 24 – 26, 2015
Location: 122 miles beginning in Morgantown, W.Va., and including the Deckers Creek Trail, the Mon River Trail North (including the Sheepskin and Cheat River trails) and the Mon River Trail South.
Cost: TBD
Registration: Registration will be announced soon.

Recent Sojourns

Photo by Cleo Fogal

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.

Sojourn 2014

This ride began on a section of the beautiful Panhandle Trail in West Virginia. Participants then crossed the border into Pennsylvania and connected to the newly expanded Montour Trail.

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.

View photos from the 2014 trip