New Pittsburgh Hostel Targets GAP Bikers/Hikers

PITTSBURGH (February 2, 2018)- You’ve probably heard of the Great Allegheny Passage trail. It runs 150 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, where it connects with the C&O Canal trail which continues the 185 more miles onto Washington, DC. It winds through historic steel and coal country, including four national parks, the Mason-Dixon Line and the Continental Divide. Conde Nast has called the trail “one of the most beautiful rail-trails.” A new Pittsburgh hostel offers a place of rest for those who choose to hike or bike this trail.

How long does it take to bike 335 miles?  Or 150 miles? Experts say to plan on 50 miles a day. Hiking takes about two and half times as long. Which begs the question: where will you stay?

When the GAP trail was completed in 2013, tourist services for bikers and hikers began to populate the areas around the trail.  Food, shelter, showers/restrooms, bike repair—all needs that have to be met on the trail.

But what about when you start on your adventure or you finish it, in Pittsburgh? Where do you stay that’s convenient, caters to your needs and the spirit of biking/hiking the trail?  Where you can service your bike, get some rest and engage with fellow adventurers?

How about a hostel designed to accommodate GAP trail travelers?

“There are no other hostels” notes Mary Beth Karabinos. “My husband and I were looking to start a new venture. We had traveled quite a bit and have had a lot of great times at hostels.  Also, we own and operate a fleet of bikes for commercial use—pedicabs and event grounds keeping. It seemed a natural to open a hostel at the beginning/end of the trail that is popular with bikers.”

The hostel, South Side Traveler’s Rest, is located on the corner of 6th and Bingham, on Pittsburgh historic south side. The building dates back to 1883, originally an office building for A.M. Byers Wrought Iron Pipe Co., an industry powerhouse at the turn of the century.

“The location, just half a mile from trail access, is perfect for the GAP biker or hiker”, says  Karabinos. “Repurposing great old buildings is part of what sets Pittsburgh apart. We wanted to maintain that tradition, plus give travelers a taste of the history of the region”.

While Pittsburgh has seen robust growth in hotel rooms recently—the number of rooms in the Pittsburgh MSA has increased by 12% in the last 5 years — South Side Traveler’s Rest will be the only hostel in the city limits.

“Ultimately, we’ll be able to accommodate up to 35 guests”, added Karabinos. The hostel will have dorm-style and private rooms, as well as shared bath and kitchen areas. Another highlight is the Byers Suite, a spacious private room and bath for up to 6 people named for the builder’s original owner. The opening is planned for April 2018. “We encourage everyone, not just bikers and hikers, to visit and see what a unique and engaging experience a hostel can be: a haven for travelers of all budgets.”

And coming soon to Pittsburgh!

Email for more information.

Media Contact: Mary Beth Karabinos, 412.623.9343