Biking and Trails
More people get on and off the Great Allegheny Passage at West Newton than at the many other locations along the trail, and there’s a reason why! West Newton provides the perfect connection between recreation, shopping and dining, and has everything to offer that you could ever need when planning a biking excursion.
The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is a 150-mile nearly level trail that stretches from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, and continues even further to Washington D.C. along the C&O Canal towpath (for a total length of 334.5 miles). The trail has a limestone surface and is great for biking, hiking, walking and jogging. It is the longest multiple-use trail in Pennsylvania.In the winter months, this is also a fantastic spot for cross-country skiing.
Built in the days when coal was king, this PA rail trail once rumbled with heavy freight trains, and was a key artery of commerce well into the 20th century. Because rail traffic required gentle grades, Great Allegheny Passage cyclists and hikers never faces inclines of much more than 1 percent. Recreationists enjoy a smooth, virtually-flat pathway that meanders through picturesque peaks, traverses rich, fertile pastures, bridges sparkling streams, passes through river gorges and tunnels beneath tall Pennsylvania mountains. Truly one of the most beautiful trails in PA. Depending on the time of year, Great Allegheny Passage cyclists and hikers will be rewarded with gorgeous, sweetly-scented spring wildflowers, towering green forest stands and tufts of wild columbine, a blaze of autumnal red, orange, and gold or the silvery glint of frost and snow on stark winter branches. Always, the air is bracing and clean. Always, the experience is unforgettable.
The Great Allegheny Passage is ideal for anyone on a bicycle or foot who wants to blend adventure with breathtaking scenery and journey through the region’s rich history on your own power and at your own pace. There is little wonder, then, that this trail is included in the national Rails to Trails Hall of Fame. Whether you are a biking enthusiast and want to start your 150-mile journey to conquering the trail, or you just want some quality outdoor recreation, West Newton has everything you need to get started.
West Newton Trailhead
DWNI is proud to provide a connection between recreation and lifestyle for our Great Allegheny Passage visitors, and is a proud partner with the Regional Trail Corporation, which manages the Southwestern PA portion of the GAP. The Westmoreland Yough River Trail (WYRT) is the volunteer organization that maintains the West Newton of the GAP. The WYRT also operates the West Newton Station, our regional visitors’ center.
Whether you’re into “rough & wild” or “meek & mild” the Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-gay-nee] River has something for every river enthusiast. Known locally as the Yough, this river is naturally divided into three sections including one of the most popular whitewater sections in the country called the Lower Yough. This seven-mile stretch of river offers seven Class III and IV rapids exciting enough to take you to the edge without throwing you over.
Descending rapidly from the Laurel Mountain, the Yough carves a magnificent ravine known as the Youghiogheny Gorge that reaches depths as large as 1,800 feet. This gorge cuts through the 20,000-acre Ohiopyle State Park, which also features the picturesque Youghiogheny Falls that drop 18-20 feet. These falls are regulated so that kayakers can only run it once a year during the “Over the Falls Race” in September.
The most docile stretch of river called the Middle Yough is great for families and novices. This gently flowing section offers Class I and II waters. This stretch of river is also home to some of the best trout fishing in Pennsylvania.
For the gnarliest waters, kayakers head to the Upper Yough about 45 minutes south of Ohiopyle. This challenging stretch of whitewater includes nine miles of 11 Class V+ rapids with one section dropping over 115 feet per mile.
No matter what kind of river experience you ‘re after, the Yough, located within a day’s drive of more than 40% of the country’s population, has it all. Overall, visiting the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania is a great excuse to refresh your lungs and your attitude.
West Newton has everything you need in one place!
From the charming Victorian homes that have been lovingly restored and transformed into bed-and-breakfasts, to riverside decks and restaurants with a beautiful view of both the Passage and the Youghiogheny River, to canoe and bicycle shops, it’s no wonder that West Newton is the second most frequented stop along the trail.
106 W Main St
108 W Main St
106 Collinsburg Rd
100 Riverside Drive
226 1/2 Collinsburg Rd
123 N Water St
127 Jefferson Ct.
101 S Water St