Great Allegheny Passage Economic Impact Report

This report was developed by Fourth Economy in partnership with the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy (formerly the Allegheny Trail Alliance). Research was conducted between the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

by Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy

The Great Allegheny Passage is one the country’s most popular and celebrated long-distance biking and hiking paths, winding 150 miles from Cumberland, Maryland, through tunnels in the Allegheny Mountains, across the pristine Laurel Highlands, deep into the gorges of Ohiopyle State Park, into the region’s historic Steel Valley, to Pittsburgh’s festive Point State Park. Constructed between 1978 and 2013, and maintained by municipalities and local volunteers, the Great Allegheny Passage receives over a million visits annually, with tourists from all 50 states and over 35 countries.

It does not take much experience on the Great Allegheny Passage to realize that the GAP generates significant economic impact to the communities and region through which it passes. The GAP is constantly bustling with activity, and trail users are frequently seen patronizing local businesses in communities throughout the area. But it is useful to understand specifically what that impact entails. This report seeks to do that: to quantify the specific value that GAP tourism brings to the five-county region (with estimates focused on 2019) by developing an economic impact model that measures total economic effects of GAP tourism spending.

Attached document published November 2021

About the Author


Founded in 1995 as the Allegheny Trail Alliance, the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy promotes its signature project, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage, and coordinates, strengthens, and supports the efforts of allied partners to ensure a high-quality experience for all those who enjoy the GAP.

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