On September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, crashing two aircraft into New York City’s World Trade Center Twin Towers; another aircraft plunged into the Pentagon, and the heroic passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 stopped a fourth airliner from striking the nation’s capitol by forcing it to crash land in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Several days later, just blocks from the Pentagon, conservation and recreation leaders from across the country convened to attend the Mid-Atlantic Governors Conference on Greenways, Blueways and Green Infrastructure.
In the planning stage for nearly a year, it was decided that the conference should go on. The conference attendees envisioned a multi-use trail as a perpetual remembrance, starting from the Pentagon, proceeding to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, then across to New York City and back down to the Pentagon.
Today that vision is a reality The September 11th National Memorial Trail.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail uses the East Coast Greenway Route between the Pentagon and New York City, and the C&O Canal towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage for most of the route between the Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial, with closed point being in Garrett, PA*.
From Garrett to New York City, the third leg of this triangle route officially announced in 2015, using many existing trails, and connecting a variety of historic and patriotic locations along the way. Whether you are a long distance biker looking for your next long adventure, or a casual rider looking for a day trip, the Garrett to New York City route has something for everyone. This portion of the ride stretches from Garrett, PA through to Harrisburg.
Here is a 3D simulation of the ride.
Some of the highlighted rides are included below.
Segment 1: Garrett to Johnstown
Segment 2: Johnstown to Hollidaysburg
Segment 3: Hollidaysburg to Huntingdon
If you'd like to look at some of the magic trails, you can see them here.
* Some localities are improving the route in their jurisdictions; the map may lag behind some of these update.
256.445 km / 159.348 mi
2,547 m / 8,357 ft
3,029 m / 9,939 ft
822 m / 2,698 ft