Volunteer event coordinator Ken Medved said the Sept. 17 ride will be 4 miles for families and will include longer options for more experienced riders starting at the trailhead access in Boston and s’ extending into Westmoreland County along the Youghiogheny River. The hike and the “Party on the Trail” that follows are fundraisers for the group.
“(The money raised) helps us advertise, helps us promote, helps us maintain, helps us make things better,” he said, adding that the board has about 30 dedicated volunteers.
The group formed in 1991 when volunteers were mobilizing along what is now the Great Allegheny Passage with the aim of turning sections of the old railway line into walking and cycling trails. The various sections were eventually completed and connected, and officially named the Great Allegheny Passage in 2001.
Mon/Young Trail Council volunteers are responsible for a 15 mile section between McKeesport and the Allegheny and Westmoreland county border. They mow grass, clear trees, brush and repair landslides, among other maintenance tasks.
“Youough-N-Roll” and Family Fun Ride riders can set their own pace and distance from the Boston trailhead. There are 40 and 20 mile options that turn around at Cedar Creek Park in Rostraver or Sutersville, respectively. Rest stops along the way will be filled with refreshments and snacks. The cost is $20 per rider and $10 for children under 10.
On-site registration will take place between 7-8 a.m. for the 40-mile ride, 8-9 a.m. for the 20-km ride and 9-10 a.m. for the family ride. The pre-registration deadline is September 3.
There will be a free community party at the Boston Access from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with food, music, raffles, bike safety seminars for kids and local artists, and more activities. Old bikes will be accepted during the event through a partnership between the council and Red Lantern Bike Shop, Medved said.
“They refurbish them and they distribute them to the underprivileged,” he said.
More details are available at thebostontrail.com.
The trail is a 150-mile link from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland that crosses Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette, and Somerset counties. In 2020, the Grand Passage of Allegheny was visited by approximately 1.4 million peopleup about 50% from 2019. An estimated 117,000 users were considered “thru-riders,” or those who traveled multiple days on the pass.