Road Scholar Programs at Laurelville
Weave together travel with learning opportunities during a Road Scholar program hosted at Laurelville. Road Scholar is the not-for-profit leader in educational travel and learning vacations for adults from Alaska to Italy.
Laurelville has served as Road Scholar (formerly called Elderhostel) host for two decades, facilitating cycling tours on the Great Allegheny Passage, hiking treks through the Laurel Highlands, and visits to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
Maryland & Penn.: A Bike Trek in the Great Allegheny Passage
Tour 100 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage on your bicycle and discover its history, culture and natural beauty. Learn history dating back to the 18th century along the trail and absorb the beauty and charm of Pennsylvania’s most traveled bike route.
2020 and 2021 Dates:
June 7-13, 2020
Aug 16-22, 2020
Sept 13-19, 2020
April 16-22, 2021
June 6-12, 2021
Aug 22-28, 2021
Sept 12-18, 2021
What’s involved in Road Scholar: Biking the GAP?
A 5-day, 150-mile trip from Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Great Allegheny Passage is described as “the ride of your life”, and for good reason. The trail is comprised of fine crushed limestone and never ascends or descends beyond a 2% grade, making it a terrific bicycle trail for experienced and more recreational cyclists alike. The gorgeous scenery and trail culture found on the Great Allegheny Passage are treasures you simply must discover and enjoy.
Return to Laurelville or a local hotel after each day’s ride for an evening of rest and relaxation.
How far will we ride each day?
Rides cover 30 to 40 miles per day. See the Road Scholar website for more details.
The Great Allegheny Passage runs on an old railroad route, meaning that the average grade is never more than 2% (a 2% grade means you ascend or descend 2 vertical feet over the course of 100 linear feet of riding). The trail is comprised of crushed limestone, a relatively fast surface.
Our initial ascent out of Frostburg is the most difficult stretch of riding, but once cyclists reach the Continental Divide outside of Deal, PA, the trail is almost entirely a gentle downhill or flat grade.
While it’s preferred that you bring your own bike, bicycles are also available for rent (by prior arrangement only, please).
What kind of bike/tires are recommended?
The Allegheny Trail Alliance recommends using either a mountain bike or hybrid bicycle (cross between mountain and road bicycle) to enjoy your ride on the fine crushed limestone surface. For experienced cyclists who prefer to use their road bikes, we suggest you use wider tires. Kevlar tires have proved to be useful in avoiding flat tires.
It’s also important to find a seat that will be comfortable for longer periods of riding.
We ask that you bring two spare inner tubes that will fit your bicycle tires. While flat tires aren’t commonplace on the trail, they do occur from time to time and we cannot provide spare inner tubes to match the tire sizes of all our participants. It’s also recommended that you travel with your own tire repair kit.
We will provide additional tools for seat adjustment, tire alignment, etc.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Revolutionary Contributions to Modern Architecture
Sept 20-24, 2020
April 4-8, 2021
May 16-20, 2021
Sept 19-32, 2021
Explore the architectural brilliance of Frank Lloyd Wright, including Fallingwater, one of his finest masterpieces.
Some consider Frank Lloyd Wright to be the greatest American architect, and some of his finest work is preserved here in the Laurel Highlands. During this Road Scholar program, you will explore the inner workings of Fallingwater—Wright’s essay on the harmony between architecture and nature—as well as Kentuck Knob and Duncan House.
In addition to the guided tours of these three Frank Lloyd Wright homes, you will enjoy a series of lectures, presentations and workshops that will give you even greater in-depth knowledge of Mr. Wright and his revolutionary contributions to modern architecture.
Note: This program is facilitated by Fallingwater staff.
How will I learn about Frank Lloyd Wright during this program?
This Road Scholar program is extremely hands-on; you will visit three of Wright’s homes in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands—Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, and Duncan House—as well as participate in lectures, presentations and workshops facilitated by Fallingwater staff. Visit the Road Scholar website for more details.
View a video about this program:
How do I register?
To register for a Road Scholar program, you will need to visit www.RoadScholar.org. To register for Biking the Great Allegheny Passage in the Laurel Highlands, click here. To register for Frank Lloyd Wright: Revolutionary Contributions to Modern Architecture, click here.
What if I need to cancel my registration?
How do I get to Laurelville?
Laurelville is located 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. For GPS coordinates and driving directions, click here. We also arrange for transportation for guests who are arriving by plane ($50 each way to/from Pittsburgh International Airport) or train ($25 each way to/from Greensburg/Connellsville Amtrak stations). If you are planning to travel by plane or rail, please call our office at 1.800.839.1021 with your travel plans or provide your information here so we can arrange transportation for you.
Some Road Scholar participants seek to carpool with others traveling to Laurelville. While we cannot coordinate these efforts or give out contact information for other guests, we recommend you post your query on the event page on Facebook. Also, you can sign up to join the Road Scholar Connection, an online social network designed to connect Road Scholar participants.
What are the lodging accommodations like?
Road Scholar participants generally stay in the Solarhouse or Guesthouse at Laurelville, depending on availability.
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Thank you for your interest in our Programs. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon to respond to your questions. If you have a question about reserving your own retreat at Laurelville, please use this separate form.