PITTSBURGH – WQED is back with more exploration of one of America's most treasured biking destinations – the Great Allegheny Passage, known as the GAP. WQED will premiere The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail on Thursday, June 16 on WQED-TV. The documentary will also be available at www.wqed.org/ride or the PBS Video App.
Prior to its TV premiere, WQED is inviting bikers, hikers, lovers of the trail and history buffs to attend one of three exclusive FREE community screening events. The one-hour documentary will be screened, followed by a panel discussion and Q/A session led by WQED Producer Beth Dolinar, key members of the production team, GAP trail representatives and volunteers. The event venues are on the GAP, or a short distance away.
June 7 at 6:30 pm – Rivers of Steel: The Pump House
GAP mile marker 139.5
880 East Waterfront Dr. Munhall, PA 15120
June 9 at 6:30 pm -- Tissue Farm
GAP mile marker 61.5
446 Latrobe Ave. Confluence, PA 15424
June 10 at 7pm --The Palace Theatre
GAP mile marker 15.5
31 East Main St. Frostburg, MD 21532
The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail focuses on the 150-mile GAP, beginning in Pittsburgh, and ending in Cumberland, Maryland. In the new 2022 program, bikers and hikers get a more personal, up-close look as the producers identify key landmarks on the trail, exploring the significance, history, and appeal of each stop.
In-depth story segments include: Point State Park’s majestic fountain; Kennywood Park, where its roller coasters nearly touch the trail; nature reserve Dead Man’s Hollow; historically-significant Dravo Cemetery; Darr Mine Disaster memorial site; Eastern Continental Divide watershed; breathtaking Salisbury Viaduct; Big Savage Tunnel; the Boy and Mule Statue that greets bikers in Cumberland, and many more treasures along the trail.
June 9th marks the 44th birthday of the GAP Trail. On that day in 1978, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy handed the deed for 26.75 miles of the Western Maryland Railway’s abandoned corridor to the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks, and the first section of what would become the Great Allegheny Passage was laid down between Ohiopyle and Confluence.
The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail is a sequel to WQED’s The Great Ride, which premiered in March 2018 with an exploration of one of America’s most treasured biking destinations. The documentary and accompanying online vignettes covered the entire 335-miles of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) (Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh) and C&O Canal Towpath (Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD). The documentary was also recognized with a Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award.
Recently, the GAP earned a USA Today Reader’s Choice Award for one of the top ten recreational trails across the country. This follows Bicycling magazine including it on their 2022 list of “dream rides.”
The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail is made possible with funding from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. Additional support is provided by Golden Triangle Bike Rental, Ruthrauff Services, Pro Bike + Run, Red Lantern Bed and Breakfast, VisitPittsburgh, and the Maryland Office of Tourism.
WQED was an experiment in educational community-supported television that was the forerunner to PBS. Today, WQED is a multimedia powerhouse that is as much a part of Pittsburgh as the three rivers. WQED is WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; streaming and apps, and WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org).
WQED is a premier leader in education programming and resources (www.wqed.org/edu). Its Learning Neighborhood creates an education continuum serving early learners in the Ready to Learn program -- to creating a pathway from education to employment through the Steeltown Film Academy.
About Rivers of Steel: The Pump House
Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.
About Tissue Farm
Tissue Farm is a dynamic multi-use space featuring an espresso shop, guest rooms, and gallery space in the former Mountain Chevrolet in Confluence PA, the original Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town. Owned and operated by Suzanne Ragan Lentz and Jeffery ‘Pope’ Pankey, an artist couple, who have been recognized regionally for their vision to transform an old building into a community hub.
About The Palace Theatre
The Palace Theatre, a non-profit organization, is an all-volunteer-run venue that shows a mix of classic, independent, documentary, and foreign films, and hosts live music, plays, and speakers. The Palace Theatre is located at 31 E. Main St. in downtown Frostburg.