Great Allegheny Passage Hike 23

Frostburg, MD to Meyersdale, PA

Heading out of Frostburg, the trail leaves the tracks behind for good. After a short roadwalk, the Allegheny Highlands Trail (AHT) joins the abandoned Western Maryland Connellsville Subdivision which it will follow all the way to Ohiopyle. Turning north, the trail soon passes through 945 foot Borden Tunnel. Climbing from here the vistas open up to the east as the trail crosses the Mason Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. In less than one mile the massive Big Savage Tunnel looms.

Built in 1911, it cuts dead straight for 3300 feet through the mountain. If the tunnel is closed for the winter, a service road of about 1.5 miles in length crosses the top and rejoins the AHT on the other side. Beyond the tunnel a short climb brings you to the Eastern Continental Divide at Deal, PA and an elevation of 2375 feet. The trail here is very wet for about 100 yards as the grade has been blocked by an elevated road. Future plans include a culvert for the trail. The grade continues north eventually running next to the active CSX tracks just beyond the Sandpatch Tunnel. After a curve the AHT crosses these tracks via the 910 foot Keystone Viaduct. This hike ends one mile later at the restored WMRR depot in the village of Meyersdale, PA.

 

Trip Planner

Start: Frostburg, MD
End: Meyersdale, PA
Miles: 13.0
Points of Interest: Frostburg, Borden Tunnel, Big Savage Tunnel, Keystone Viaduct, Meyersdale
Parking: Frostburg (0.0), Meyersdale (13.0 mi.)
Water: Frostburg, Meyersdale
Restrooms or privy: Frostburg, Meyersdale
Provisions: Frostburg, Meyersdale
Camping: None

 

Hike Data

Mile Navigation
0 If you've hiked in from Cumberland to the Frostburg Depot, follow the connector path to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trailhead, about 150 yards downhill. If you're starting in Frostburg, park at the GAP trailhead.
0.1 Parking area and trailhead. Turn left and follow grade.
0.4 Reach bridge over MD Route 36.
0.7 Join main grade (former Western Maryland Grade).
3.0 Borden Tunnel.
6.8 Big Savage Tunnel.
8.0 Eastern Continental Divide, Deal, PA. Elevation 2375 feet. From here it is downhill to Pittsburgh.
12.0 Keystone Viaduct. This magnificent, curving 910 foot structure is the first of several which cross Flaugherty Creek in the next few miles.
13.0 Meyersdale, PA. Turn left at the depot and you are only blocks from shops and restaurants. There are B&B's here as well.


 

Explore the PHT

Big Savage Tunnel
The tunnel and the trail over the top can be combined for a spectacular 2.5 mile hike. The views from the ridge are well worth the climb. The tunnel takes its name from surveyor Big John Savage who was stranded here in 1736. The story is that he offered himself up as food to save the rest of the party from starving. In the end a rescue team showed up saving Savage's life. His companions were so grateful that they named the Savage River and Big Savage Mountain for him. Fortunately for the traveler of today, food is somewhat easier to get now!

Keystone Viaduct
It is not very often that you can sit on one railroad trestle directly above active (and busy) tracks. This place is a rail fan's dream. The trestle itself is pretty special too as it traces a long curve across the CSX line.

Meyersdale
While here, admire the restored depot or stroll down the hill two blocks to Main Street and wander among the historic buildings. This town is very unusual in that it was served by both competing railroads. While common in a larger town, it rarely happened in a village. The depot here is newly restored to its 1912 glory.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Potomac Heritage NST Office
P. O. Box B

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Phone:

(304) 535-4014

Contact Us