This 153-mile spur connects Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route at Erie, Pennsylvania. The route begins at the Senator John Heinz History Center and quickly crosses the Allegheny River to the 3.5 mile North Shore Trail. Across the water, cyclists have a view of Point State Park, the tip of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle" where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join. Cyclists continue along the North Shore trail which borders the shores of the Ohio River and takes them through the most urban section of the route. Underground Railroad sites, historic markers and museums dot the route with the highest concentrations in Pittsburgh and Mercer. Rolling hills make up the terrain in western Pennsylvania but most of the route is on fairly low-level traffic rural roads and highways.
NOTE: This map is presented in a slightly different format from the others we produce. It is available as a pdf or physical copy. The physical copy is printed on standard 8 1/2" x 11" weatherproof paper with pages stapled together at the top left corner. Map panels are similar size to other maps (1/3 of page height).
The reviews listed here all mention State Route 51 north of Pittsburgh. This routing is a challenge because there are no other roads to use and not many bridges to cross the Ohio River to avoid the highway. State Route 65 on the other side of the river is no better. We are investigating trying to route farther away from the river.
Good map, questionable route
Colin O on 4/22/16
The map itself was helpful and accurate. My huge concern is that it led me on to a portion of SR51 that had 4 lanes of traffic, 55 mph speed limit and no shoulders whatsoever. Cyclist deaths have occurred on this segment just last year. In my blog post I describe the unpleasant experience riding on sr51: http://www.memybikeandacamera.com/blog/2016/4/18/pittsburgh-to-ellwood-city-sucked I strongly urge ACA to find an alternate to this segment. Just because Penn DOT includes it on their PA bike rope A does not make it safe.
A customer from Charlottesville, VA on 6/29/10
95% of this map was excellent but there were several sections that were very difficult. The map would benefit from a more detailed description of the route within Pittsburgh. My partner and I came onto the route from the Allegheny Passage and had a very difficult time finding the route. A section connecting these trails or providing a more in-depth description would be great and I think the Allegheny Passage is traveled enough to justify it. The other problem with this route was the first 7.5 miles of Map 2 in the Northbound direction on SR 51. The route was basically an interstate for these 7.5 miles. The road was enclosed with concrete dividers and no shoulder plus there was a drainage grate every 100 yards or so. This portion of the ride was extremely dangerous as cars would drive past at 50+ miles per hour. The route would definitely benefit from a detour at this point. The rest of the map was great, easy to follow, and told us everything we need to know.
Pittsburgh spur route
A customer from Langley, WA (Whidbey Island) on 8/4/09
The map quality was excellent, but the part of the route that is on route 50 north of Pittsburg - was dangerous. It's a fast hwy - not sure what options exist other than this road, but I would never ride this part of the route again. Not only was it a FAST 2 lane hwy, but there was NO SHOULDER for most of this section. Other than that, it was a nice route. I chose it because I was in Pittsburgh on business and had a few days in between work. The section past New Castle was the best.