For Immediate Release
Bryan Perry, Allegheny Trail Alliance
Ashli Workman, Allegany County Tourism
TrailGuide Unveils 14th Edition Guide Featuring Cumberland, Maryland, on Cover
Newly-Released, Official Planning Guide to C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage
Homestead, PA – (May 22, 2018): The City of Cumberland, Maryland, is featured on the cover of the 14th edition of TrailGuide, the Official Guide to the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage. The colorful shot, looking up downtown Baltimore Street, through the outdoor Farmers’ Market, and up to the historical Emmanuel Episcopal Church, captures the spirit of Cumberland, a bike-friendly, historical, and arts-rich city. Known to travelers as “the connection,” Cumberland is the meeting for two trails – the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and C&O Canal Towpath, which connects Pittsburgh, PA, and Washington, DC, over 333-miles of a non-motorized corridor.
“We think that Cumberland’s reputation as a world-class trail town makes it worthy of representing the best of the C&O Canal Towpath and the GAP, which is one reason why it was selected as the cover city,” said Doug Riegner, Director of Community Relations for the Allegheny Trail Alliance. “We’re also pleased that TrailGuide features maps and directories for all cities along the trails, and helps thousands of travelers explore trail town communities.”
Ashli Workman, Director of Tourism in Allegany County, MD, added, “Being a cover feature could not have come at a better time for our community. Cumberland was recently named a ‘Top Adventure Town’ by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and we credit the abundance of outdoor adventure within our region, including the GAP Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath, to our award.” Workman also shared, “The GAP and C&O Towpath are tourism assets that drive visitors and economic growth to our region.”
The Allegheny Trail Alliance produces the 240-page TrailGuide annually, distributing over 7,500 copies, and uses proceeds from its sale to repair and maintain both trails in conjunction with local trail groups like Mountain Maryland Trails and the C&O Canal National Historic Park. TrailGuide is available at www.GAPtrail.org, Amazon, and at many local bike shops or visitor centers. The cover photo was taken by We are the Richards photography, based in Homestead, PA.
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About the Allegheny Trail Alliance
The Allegheny Trail Alliance is a coalition of trail owners and trail groups that built and now steward the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile rail-trail connecting Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD. The Great Allegheny Passage is the longest rail-trail in the eastern U.S. and welcomed over a million visits in 2016. It connects with the historic C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, allowing cyclists and hikers to complete a 333-mile journey to Washington, DC. For trip-planning ideas, visit www.GAPtrail.org.
Allegany County Tourism
Allegany County Tourism is the official tourism office for Allegany County, Maryland. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging options, and community events can be found at www.mdmountainside.com. Tourism supports 3,600 jobs in Allegany County, generates $160 million in visitor spending and $47 million in tourism tax revenues. Source: Tourism Economics
Continuing to celebrate National Bike Month, Allegany County Tourism asked avid local cycler, Larry Brock, “Why do you enjoy cycling in Mountain Maryland?” Here is what he had to share…
I have had the privilege of riding my bikes in all 50 states of the United States. When people find that out, I am often asked, ‘Where is your favorite?’ My comment is the routes of my home in Allegany County, Mountain Maryland. Because of my passion for biking, you will usually find me Downtown and on our trails, talking to and assisting fellow riders. Touring cyclists share their love for our region and my hometown of Cumberland, Maryland, as they ride the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), the favorite cycling route of many locals and tourists alike.
The road riding here is even better. We have short 20-mile routes like our Mt. Savage Loop, and we have more challenging routes like the Martin’s Mountain Loop. If you are looking for a challenging yet meaningful ride, I suggest the 911 Memorial Ride, which starts in Frostburg, Maryland, and continues into Pennsylvania to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
These routes have low traffic with reasonable surfaces, which makes them appealing, plus the great scenic views and a collection of places to stop and resupply with food and often fresh spring water cannot be missed.
Just last week I rode 22 miles on the Lake Loop and was passed by only 19 cars. And let me just tell you, the views of Lake Gorden and Lake Koone are spectacular.
Redbuds in the Spring, coolly shaded roads in the summer, and beautiful colors in the fall, make any season worth exploring.
A little secret… when I return from any route and make my way into Cumberland, Maryland, I like to stop downtown for something to eat and drink. Uncle Jack’s Pub features a great selection of beer and pizza, and the Queen City Creamery is a great treat, with homemade custard and adult milkshakes. Starting the course? Well, then a breakfast and coffee at Cafe Mark can make for a good start. Dinner? May I suggest the newly opened The Manhattan Social, which features a deli, steakhouse, and whiskey bar. It is a special treat. These are just a few of the many places to eat in Downtown Cumberland. Spending the night? Well, we have you covered there too!
The routes linked above are all part of an extensive group of beautiful, low-traffic road routes that Allegany County Tourism, Mountain Maryland Trails, and Western Maryland Wheelman are partnering to create for riders. Download our routes, Here.
In honor of National Bike Month, Allegany County Tourism welcomes quest blogger Brett Showalter to answer the following question:
We all love riding our bike, but what is it about Allegany County that makes riding so much better?
I will begin with the variety of riding terrain you can find along the way. From the ever-popular rail-trail routes along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal to the cross country mountain offerings at Rocky Gap State Park, and my personal favorite, the phenomenal rolling road riding a la pavement, stretching throughout the land.
Speaking of the incredible road riding, my second reason Allegany County is a cycling haven is the scarcity of vehicular traffic. Once you leave any of our cityscapes, you spin into the arteries that used to be bustling with vehicular traffic but have since slowed to local residents due to I-68 carrying the transportation load for us.
Riding along the pavement will carry you to my third reason on the list, which is the beautiful scenic routes introducing you to amazing views. In the valleys, you will find busy streams occupied with fisherman, a wide array of friendly critters, and plentiful vegetation. The true show stealers are the summits that you arrive upon after putting in many pedal strokes of hard effort. Wills Mountain, Dan’s Rock, and Iron’s Mountain are a few of my favorites along the journey. I enjoy hopping out of the saddle for a few moments to hydrate and breathe in the amazing scene that you have just put yourself in the middle of.
Quenching my thirst brings me to my number four reason on the list, which is the convenience of nutrition along the way. While pedaling throughout Allegany County, there are locations along the way with natural springs to drink cold, clean water. In the middle of a long, hot summer ride, it is nice to have an oasis to reach for while watching the pavement bubble. Spread throughout the hills are also many convenience stores, both small and large. Grabbing a drink refill and snack can be a real ride saver if you miscalculate what you need for the day. There are plenty of hidden places for amazing baked goods, refreshing adult beverages, and shade scattered amongst the land. My personal hotspots are Baltimore Street Grill for the outdoor dining and post ride recovery meals, the Frostburg Freeze for ice cream and fried anything, and the Corner Tavern and Café for post ride rehydration of the caffeine and adult blend.
My final and most important reason to cycle in Allegany County is…..mountains; they just make everything better! After the hard effort, you put into every climb, you reach a picturesque vista, followed by a long and winding descent to catch your breath. Allegany County has cycling clubs and teams to ride with, thoughtful motorists who acknowledge cyclists, and friendly faces to greet you during and after your ride. This place that I call home is truly the cycling haven that no one knows about unless you are in the know.
Meet the Guest Blogger!
Brett Showalter, Cumberland, MD
Brett Showalter was born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland, where he spends most of his time taking advantage of the wildly beautiful outdoor surroundings. He works for IBM during the day and crushes children’s dreams as a USSF and NFHS soccer referee in his leisure.
Tags: Allegany County, Allegany County Maryland, Allegany County Maryland Cycling, Cycle Friendly Cities, Cycling in Maryland, Maryland Cycling Routes, Mountain Maryland, Outdoor Travel in Maryland, Western Ma
Mom… we know what you need, what you really want this Mother’s Day. It is some YOU time. Some rest and relaxation. Time to get away from it all.
Psst! Hey, Mom, we got 60,000 acres of majestic nature, famous bike trails, historical sights, a diverse food, brewery, and winery scene, and the peace and quiet with your friend Mother Nature.
Say no to fighting the crowds, the lines, and the bumper to bumper traffic. Instead, say yes to birds chirping in the background, cool breezes, and stars that fill the night sky. Say yes to a Mountain Maryland getaway.
Wine… need we say more? Allegany County, Maryland, features two locally-owned wineries, The Toasted Goat Winery in Frostburg, MD, and Charis Winery in Cumberland, MD. Both feature a tasting room and wines produced with bottles depicting local ties. The Toasted Goat Winery features artist showcases and many “Made in Maryland” retail items, and Charis Winery sells oils and even distills brandy.
We have bike trails, but did we mention they are internationally known? The Great Allegheny Passage, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer, is a 150-mile rail trail from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, and has been recognized by National Geographic and as a “Top Bike Trail, Everyone Must Ride” by Bicycle Magazine. The C&O Canal Towpath, which stretches 184.5 miles from Washington, DC, to Cumberland, MD, is rich in history and heritage and is part of the National Park Service.
Hop in a car and let the roads lead you. Green Ridge State Forest boasts seven breathtaking scenic overlooks with views as far as the eye can see. Stop at the Visitor Center when you enter the forest for a self-guided driving map. Town Hill Overlook in Little Orleans, MD, is home to Town Hill B&B, the first tourist hotel built in the state of Maryland. The scenic overlook features three states and seven counties and has become known to the locals at the “Beauty Spot of Maryland.”
Both Frostburg and Cumberland feature boutique shops, owned by our local community. Antiques, record stores, gourmet foods, bookstores, clothing boutiques, and more line our small-town streets. It is a unique experience filled with one-of-a-kind retail items and welcoming people. Besides, when you shop small, you help the local economy.
Spa & Wellness
Time to take advantage of some much-needed rest and relaxation with one of the many spa and wellness partners in Allegany County, Maryland. The Spa at Rocky Gap Casino Resort is a full-service facility offering a variety of services including classic massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Plus, when the service is through, find your self a cocktail and chair beside Lake Habeeb. Looking for something a bit out-of-the-box? Meditation is an important part of our wellbeing, and the Serenity Garden and Labrinth at Allegany College of Maryland is a peaceful place for reflection and meditation.
Happy Mother’s Day!
We are an uber-connected society. Texting, Facetiming, Following, Tweeting, InstaStoring – if it is a digital connection, our nose is to the grind or pointed towards the phone. No wonder one had to create a National Day of Unplugging to force us to re-focus and detox from the constant technology that surrounds us all.
Welcome to Mountain Maryland, where disconnecting is all about reconnecting. Here, we encourage you to put your phone down, get outdoors, explore, reconnect with nature and ultimately yourself.
1. Take a Scenic Overlook Drive – Green Ridge State Forest features multiple scenic overlooks throughout the forest. Stop by Headquarters to pick up a self-guided tour map, hop in your car, and drive. We promise the views are worth the gas expense.
2. Experience History – Did you know that the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, Maryland, served as a hub for the Underground Railroad? The church features a series of underground tunnels, which escaped slaves would use on their route to Pennsylvania. Learn more.
3. Breath in the Fresh Mountain Air – Cumberland, Maryland, features the connection of the Great Allegheny Passage, a rail trail connecting Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, and the C&O Towpath, a 184-mile trail which continues to Washington, DC. If you need a bike or riding equipment, visit one of our local outfitters for riding needs. Turn off the phone, and hit the great outdoors! PS – Picture above is not reflective of the current season. Pack your bike, but also warmer gear.
4. Come to Dine – Entrepreneurs have set Allegany County up for a great location that appreciates the food and beverage culture. We have farm-to-table restaurants, bars with live entertainment, specialty coffee shops, fine dining locations, and so much. Grab your loved one, call up a friend, and go enjoy a meal and have a meaningful conversation.
5. Get Creative – Put down the phone and pick up a paintbrush! Allegany County features many opportunities to let your artistic side shine through. Mr. Toad’s Pottery features a pottery studio and MountainShine Creative hosts a variety of artistic workshops, both located in Downtown Cumberland. While in Frostburg, check our Sadie’s a rotating gallery or make reservations for one of the Toasted Goat Winery’s many paint and sip classes.
As John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” The mountains are calling.
Plan For Vacation Day is here, January 30, 2018. While we know you are daydreaming about your next getaway, have you actually started planning? If not, let us help you narrow down the choice for your next mountain escape – choose Allegany County, Maryland’s Mountain Maryland!
1. Bike the Great Allegheny Passage
150-mile bike trail from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, featuring trail towns – Frostburg and Cumberland along the way. Learn more.
2. Enjoy the water on Lake Habeeb
Rocky Gap State Park and the 243-acre Lake Habeeb is the ideal location for year-round outdoor recreation. Enjoy kayaking, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking trails, and camping. Insider secret: Rocky Gap State Park features dog-friendly beaches and an Aviary program featuring a Bald Eagle.
3. Ride the Rails
Enjoy a train ride from Cumberland, Md, to Frostburg, Md, with the historical Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Year-round programming features Moonshine Trains, Beer Dinner Trains (yes, they have a Chef and kitchen on board!) and the ever-popular Fall Foliage excursion. Insider Secret: The Hands on Throttle is an experience not to be missed. Guests 18 years and older can experience what it is like to handle the locomotive.
4. History Comes Alive
Allegany County, Md, is rich in history and heritage. In fact, our region features three centuries of American history including the start of the National Road with mile marker zero and the Tollhouse, George Washington’s headquarters, C&O Canal, coal and railroad heritage, and much more. Insider secret: Gunter Hotel in Frostburg, Md, is over 100 years old and features an actual speakeasy from the 1920’s in their basement!
5. Eat, Drink and Be Mountain Merry
Breweries, Wineries, and a Distillery are all part of the growing food culture in Mountain Maryland. Our food scene is growing in reviews and accolades. Five local area food and beverage options are currently recognized at the Best of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. These include 1812 Brewery (Best Brewery), Clatter Coffee (Best Coffee Shop), Dante’s (Best Bar / Pub), SHiFT (Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant) and Toasted Goat Winery (Best Winery). Learn more.
6. The Music Scene
Mountain Maryland is becoming known as a music mecca. With DelFest kicking off the summer scene each Memorial Day weekend, to the year-round music concerts at nearby Rocky Gap Casino Resort, from hip, eclectic and up and coming music at Frostburg’s Dante’s Bar to the international acts that line-up Frostburg State University’s Cultural Event Series, we should consider renaming us Mountain Music Maryland.
7. C&O Towpath
Cumberland, Md, is the terminus for the GAP Trail and C&O Towpath. Start, end, or continue your biking journey with us. The C&O Towpath is a 184.5 miles bike trail from Cumberland, Md, to Georgetown, Md.
8. The Arts are Alive!
With two of Maryland’s 26 Arts & Entertainment Districts, Frostburg and Cumberland, an active and educational focused Allegany Arts Council, and many galleries and art exploration spaces, Mountain Maryland is a gathering space for those who love and appreciate all forms of the Arts. Inside secret: Two theatres, the Cumberland Theatre and Embassy Theatre feature performances throughout the year.
9. 60,000 Acres
Allegany County 60,000 acres of public wildlands. In fact, 1 in every 4 acres is public. Green Ridge State Forest is the largest contiguous forest in the state of Maryland and is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Hiking, geocaching, floating the Potomac River, mountain biking and more are available. Inside secret: Green Ridge State Forest includes multiple scenic overlooks with incredible views. Stop in the Park’s Visitor Center and ask for a self-guided driving map.
10. Small Town Life
Small town charm, well it is made here! From quaint shopping in Downtown Cumberland, featuring clothing boutiques like Lew Lew Belle and antique shops like Fort Emporium, to Frostburg, with its hip main street, Allegany County is filled with unique, locally owned, specialty businesses, storefronts and Made in Allegany County products.
The Mountains are calling! Start planning your next vacation and adventure. For more information, visit mdmountainside.com.
Tags: Allegany Arts Council, Allegany County, Allegany County Maryland, C&O Canal, Cumberland, delfest, Frostburg, Frostburg State University, Gordon Roberts House, Great Allegheny Passage, Green Ridge State Forest, Gunter Hotel, Mountain Maryland, Rocky Gap State Park, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Enterprise-Rent-A-Car Films Digital Content Pieces on the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath Cumberland, Md.
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Bryan Perry, Allegheny Trail Alliance – 724-309-9334
Ashli Workman, Allegany County Tourism – 301-876-9595
Greg Phillips, Enterprise Rent-A-Car – firstname.lastname@example.org
Enterprise-Rent-A-Car Films Digital Content Pieces on the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath Cumberland, Md.
(Nov. 29, 2017): Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the country’s largest transportation solutions provider, released a pair of new video shorts featuring bicyclists on the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage and 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath. Filmed in Allegany County, Maryland, in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, and in Pittsburgh, “The Cumberland Connection” videos highlight a father-daughter duo who ride the Pittsburgh-to-Washington, D.C. journey and make their return trip by renting a vehicle from Enterprise’s Cumberland location. The shorts are featured on Enterprise’s website as part of Pursuits with Enterprise, the brand’s digital magazine designed to inspire and enable more purposeful travel experiences. One of the videos is narrated by Larry Brock of Mountain Maryland Trails.
Production took place during the summer of 2017, and the final cuts feature shots of the Great Allegheny Passage along the Cumberland Narrows, over the Salisbury Viaduct, through the Pinkerton Tunnel, across the Ohiopyle Low Bridge, and in Point State Park.
“We’re pleased that Enterprise highlighted Cumberland as a premier trail town along the Great Allegheny Passage,” said Bryan Perry, Executive Director of the Allegheny Trail Alliance. “For many cyclists, renting a car for a return trip is a convenient choice that makes a thru-ride seamless and attractive.”
“With our location right off the connection point of these two legendary bike trails, we’ve had the opportunity to create a bond with the cycling enthusiasts, families and friends that come through our doors before embarking on their journey,” said Conrad Suter, Enterprise branch manager in Cumberland. “These video pieces showcase what’s special about this destination – not just the beautiful countryside and picturesque views, but also the community of cyclists and friendships developed along the way.”
The video shorts are available at https://www.enterprise.com/en/inspiration/weekend-adventures/cumberland.html.
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About the Allegheny Trail Alliance
The Allegheny Trail Alliance is a coalition of trail owners and trail groups that built and now steward the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile rail-trail connecting Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md. The Great Allegheny Passage is the longest rail-trail in the eastern U.S., and welcomed over a million visits in 2016. 2 It connects with the historic C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, allowing cyclists and hikers to complete a 332-mile journey to Washington, D.C. For trip-planning ideas, visit www.GAPtrail.org.
About Allegany County Tourism
Allegany County Tourism is the official tourism office for Allegany County, Maryland. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging options, and community events can be found at www.mdmountainside.com.
The Enterprise brand – which comprises Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Enterprise CarShare, Enterprise Truck Rental, Enterprise Car Sales, the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise, Zimride by Enterprise and RideShare by Enterprise – offers customers a total transportation solution. Its flagship brand, Enterprise Rent-ACar, was founded in 1957 and is known for an extensive network of convenient locations, affordable rates, and outstanding customer service. Enterprise Rent-A-Car was ranked on BusinessWeek magazine’s annual list of “Customer Service Champs” for four years in a row. Enterprise operates not only as a key provider for insurance replacement, weekend getaways, and special occasions but also as a local transportation alternative. With more than 5,800 fully staffed airport and neighborhood offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, Enterprise can meet whatever transportation needs customers may have – renting, buying or sharing.
Cumberland, Maryland, Featured as One of Blue Ridge Outdoors’ Top Adventure Towns
The region was one of 48 contenders up for the award.
October 30, 2017 – CUMBERLAND, MD – Top Adventure Town, that has a nice ring to it and Cumberland, Maryland, earned its rank among some of the country’s very best towns in an online polling process with readers selecting Norton, Virginia, and Lewisburg, West Virginia, to round out the top three.
This is Blue Ridge Outdoors’ seventh annual Top Adventure Town contest sponsored by Blue Mountain Brewery. The contest began with 48 contenders spanning small towns to large cities. There were mountain biking meccas, paddling paradises, hiking nirvanas, and much more. Some are long established while others are quickly growing on the radar of their readers and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Previous contest champions were among the contenders, including Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hot Springs, North Carolina, and Franklin, North Carolina. Celebrated outdoor towns like Asheville, North Carolina, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Roanoke, Virginia, also received a hefty share of votes.
In the end, three towns came out on top with Cumberland snagging the 1st runner-up award.
“There is something to be said about the quality of life outdoor recreation brings to this region,” says Ashli Workman, director of tourism for Allegany County, Maryland. “We are honored that Cumberland’s many outdoor amenities are being recognized on a much bigger scale.”
Allegany County boasts 60,000 acres of public wildlands. Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest offer ample opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, and the ultimate setting for just taking in Mother Nature. The Great Allegheny Passage, which has received press accolades from The Washington Post to The New York Times, continues to rack up awards like Bicycling Magazine’s “Top Rail Trails Every Cyclist Should Ride,” and little local-area traffic, multiple cycling routes, and the C&O Towpath trail connector, make the region highly appealing to cyclists. The Potomac River provides fishing opportunities and day float options, while the region also boasts plenty of camping, cabin rentals and hotel options to promote outdoor recreation getaways.
“It’s exciting to see small Appalachian towns transforming themselves into popular outdoor destinations,” says Will Harlan, editor in chief of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. “Adventure towns are showcasing their natural beauty and abundant adventure opportunities, and folks are flocking to explore them. These towns are revolutionizing the entire region.”
The full feature is available in the November 2017 issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors.