June 9, 2014 - Greensburg, PA - Pittsburgh is a hot spot for art and cultural activities and is now one of the premier international destinations for bike riders with the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) in 2013, a 150-mile rail trail that connects with the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Md., to create a 334.5-mile route between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. This popular recreational trail welcomes nearly a million trail visits each year. The GAP is in mere walking distance of Pittsburgh's Cultural District, which offers a variety of art galleries and theaters. While the "Trail Towns," located along the GAP, offer more than two dozen displays of local art within biking and walking distance of the trail.
"This opens up a great opportunity for both art and outdoor enthusiasts from all around the Pittsburgh region, as well as into Maryland and Washington, D.C.," says Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. "Pittsburgh's art and cultural amenities are gearing up for increased business from cyclists traveling on the trail."
Murals done by local artists and local school children can be found in every Trail Town leading to Pittsburgh. In Rockwood, there is a colorful, professional mural highlighting the scenic beauty of Rockwood while honoring a long time citizen and trail advocate, Maynard, who lived to be 100 years old while manning the Rockwood Visitor's Center. In Confluence, the utility poles have a variety of mural projects done by the students at the Confluence Creative Arts Center. A variety of sculptures can be found in many of the Trail Towns, such as Connellsville.
There is a sculpture called the "Coke to Spokes," highlighting the steel industry history and the transition to bike-trail-tourism, Southwestern Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh is so well-known for. When reaching the end of the GAP near Pittsburgh, it would be a good idea to grab lunch and take a walking tour of the different train and steel monuments found throughout Homestead along historic 8th Avenue.
There are also many cultural activities throughout the Trail Towns often complimenting various Pittsburgh events. For more information about the GAP trail, the Art on the Passage, or about the Trail Towns, please visit:
VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. It is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.