A new watershed welcome


The Eastern Continental Divide is the highest point on the Great Allegheny Passage.  

At 2392' above sea level, the point, or maybe it is a line, marks the division between waters that flow to the east, Laurel Run, Wills Creek, the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic.  On the other side of the line water has a longer route to the sea via Flaughtery Creek, the Casselman River, Youghiogheny River, Monongahela River, Ohio River, Mississippi River and finally the Gulf of Mexico.  

This stretch of trail is a bit different than when the WMdRwy was here.  The trains had a slight climb to under a wooden trestle carrying McKenzie Hollow Road.  When the Rwy was abandoned the PADot replaced the wooden trestle by filling the railroad cut and putting the road on solid ground.  Once the trail was intended to follow this path the fill was partially removed, a pre-cast underpass put in place and the road fill replaced.  The trail is about 1/3 of the cut higher than the railroad, but this raises the prominence of the point and makes it a milestone from cyclists traveling the whole route.  

In the fall of 2006 temporary signs were placed on the wing walls of the underpass.  These announced the passing into and out of the continental watersheds.  Over the past couple days muralist Wayne Fettro has been installing painted aluminum panels on the wing walls and over the arch.  The scenes on the panels portray stories of the Passage and the C&O Canal, including coal and coke workers, a WMdRwy train, volunteers on the trail, and of course, George Washington.  

The project is funded by the Southwestern PA Heritage Commission.  

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