Travel Channel: By Lynn Coulter

Converted railways lead to outdoor fun.

Many railroads have fallen into disuse. But some of their old rail beds have been remade into pathways that are great for walking, biking and rollerblading. Many of these popular rails-to-trails are situated in the heart of the city and are wonderful places for urban adventurers to get back to nature. 

Great Allegheny Passage, Maryland and Pennsylvania

Starting in the 1880s, this rail line moved coal and coke to the Pittsburgh steel mills. A century later, freight traffic dried up, and now the Great Allegheny Passage connects McKeesport, Pennsylvania (south of Pittsburgh) to Cumberland, Maryland. At 150 miles, it's the longest rail-to-trail east of the Mississippi River. Look for signage and industrial artifacts on the portion that overlaps with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. If you’re into whitewater rafting, continue to the Youghiogheny River and the town of Ohiopyle. There’s stunning scenery to enjoy as you cross the Eastern Continental Divide. 

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