911 National Memorial Trail: Garrett to Harrisburg

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.

Trail map

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256.445 km / 159.348 mi

Total Distance

2,547 m / 8,357 ft

Total Ascent

3,029 m / 9,939 ft

Total Descent

822 m / 2,698 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: Multi-day
Fitness Level: High
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Trail Signage: Average
Mobile Coverage: Excellent
Estimated Distance: 304.0
Elevation Gain: 2586
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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