Referred to as the Mountain Side of Maryland, some of Allegany County’s greatest assets are open space and the great outdoors. With over 60,000 acres of public land, world-class trails, and access to the Potomac River, you can rest assured that Mountain Maryland is a safe place to enjoy outdoor recreation. Whether it’s through fishing, paddling, hiking, or biking, you will surely find your favorite way to connect with nature.
With access to two world-class trails, the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal Towpath, and ideal road riding conditions with low traffic, cyclists love the routes available in Mountain Maryland. Routes will take you into rural areas that showcase the natural beauty of the region. Be sure to explore their road routes on the Ride with GPS app as well as the abundance of mountain biking in Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest.
When it comes to hiking and exploring parks and forest, your choices range from mild to wild. Mountain Maryland boasts three state parks – Rocky Gap State Park, Wills Mountain State Park, and Dans Mountain State Park; one state forest, Green Ridge State Forest– Maryland’s largest contiguous state forest; and one national park – C&O Canal National Historical Park. Throughout the parks and forest, you will find 100+ miles of hiking trails that range from beginner to advanced, mountain biking trails, awe-inspiring overlooks, plus water sport and paddling opportunities.
From the Potomac River to Lake Habeeb and all the creeks in between, Allegany County is home to many fishing hotspots for rainbow and golden trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and various species of sunfish. Work with an outfitter for a fly-fishing excursion or intel on the best boat fishing, or bring along your own equipment and tackle for a trip you plan yourself.
Rivers, lakes, and stream – if you crave water, then head to the mountains. The Potomac River, which winds through Cumberland, Little Orleans, and Green Ridge State Park, and Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park, are access points for kayaking, canoeing, and float trips. Both the Potomac River and Lake Habeeb are stocked throughout the year with a variety of fish for an angler’s delight, so be sure to bring your pole and tackle.
Mountain Maryland is home to three of Maryland’s Scenic Byways systems that offer inviting views, magical main streets, enduring history, and engaging places. Home to America’s First Roadtrip, you will find Mile Marker “0” of the National Road, America’s first federally-funded highway, at the National Road Monument at Riverside Park in Cumberland. Beyond the scenic byways, Mountain Maryland has many driving tours available to explore culinary delights and craft beverages through the Ice Cream Trail and the Mountain Maryland Tap and Pour Tour.
Whether your idea of camping is for relaxation or for one unforgettable adventure, you’ll find lots of options in Mountain Maryland. There are plenty of public and private campsites to choose from between Rocky Gap State Park and Little Orleans Campground. Or, if rugged is more your style, Green Ridge State Forest offers 100 designated primitive campsites available throughout the year by permit, and cyclists along the C&O Canal Towpath are welcome to the primitive spots along the trail.
With so much to choose from, it is no wonder Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland has been recognized as a top Adventure Town, twice by Blue Ridge Outdoors readers. So when the time is right, and when you are ready to safely travel again, look to Mountain Maryland. Their arms are open, ready to welcome you to the mountains like a long lost friend.