Tourism in Cumberland, Maryland

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The downtown historic district of Cumberland, Maryland is an attraction for locals and tourists alike. The heart of the downtown area is Baltimore Street. Formerly the main thoroughfare through the city, Baltimore Street is now a brick pedestrian mall. The street is lined with large multi-story commercial buildings, most of which were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These buildings, which were formerly banks, hotels, and department stores, are a relic of the city's former wealth and importance during the industrial age. They now contain more tourist oriented businesses such as sidewalk cafes, antique stores, boutiques and art galleries. Baltimore Street hosts some of the city’s biggest sidewalk festivals and block parties. In the warmer months the weekly Farmers Market will draw hundreds downtown and often evenings there will be activities such as outdoor dining with live music or block parties.

Western Maryland Railway Station[edit]

A block west of the downtown pedestrian mall is the Western Maryland Railway Station. This early 20th century train station is home to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, known regionally as "Mountain Thunder". The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad offers three hour round trip tours from Cumberland to Frostburg using restored 1916 Baldwin Steam Locomotive Number 734 or "Mountain Thunder". The Western Maryland Railway Station is part of the.[1] Canal Place Heritage Area, the first in the State of Maryland. More information can be found at.[2]

Arts & Entertainment District[edit]

Downtown Cumberland’s Arts & Entertainment District is home to the Allegany Arts Council and its Saville Gallery, the Allegany Museum, the Cumberland Theatre, the Arts at Canal Place Cooperative Gallery, the New Embassy Theatre, the Cumberland Music Academy, MettleArts Studio & Foundry, the Arteco Gallery and Institute for Creative Enterprise, Windsor Hall (a multi-purpose performance venue), the Gilchrist Museum of the Arts, the Gordon-Roberts House, the Graphicus Atelier print-making studio, and a variety of retail and specialty stores. In addition to these cultural assets, and the many visual artists, musicians, performers and writers who live in our community, Downtown Cumberland's Arts & Entertainment District can also boast of a variety of restaurants and bars that feature live music and outdoor dining, a coffee shop, a creamery, a charming Farmer's Market every week during the summer and fall months, and a full schedule of seasonal events that include the Friday After Five music series, Saturday Arts Walks, and the annual Mountain Maryland Artists’ Studio Tour. More information can be found at.[3]

Canal Place Heritage Area[edit]

Canal Place is located at the western terminus of the C&O Canal. A national park has been created in the city center at the intersection of the railroad, C&O Canal, and Allegheny Highlands Trail of Maryland at Canal Place. While at the Heritage Area, visitors can ride the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, tour a full-scale replica canal boat, visit the C&O Canal National Historical Park Cumberland Visitor Center, get information about attractions and events in Allegany County, hike or bike ride on the canal towpath, or attend unique festivals and events like C&O CanalFest. A re-watering project is underway which when completed will allow visitors to ride in replica canal boats through a portion of the old canal.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is 184.5 miles (296.9 km) following the Potomac River from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. to Cumberland. Its towpath is extremely popular with runners, hikers, and bicyclists. There are campsites approximately every five miles along the trail. Wildlife is abundant as are opportunities to explore the past.

The Great Allegheny Passage[edit]

The C&O Canal has its Western Terminus at Canal Place, and it is possible to travel by foot or bicycle from here to Washington, D.C. along the canal towpath - a distance of roughly 185 miles (298 km). In addition, The Allegheny Highlands Trail of Maryland is a 21-mile (34 km) section of an expansive hiking/biking trail starting in Pittsburgh and ending in Cumberland where it connects with the C&O Canal towpath and onto Washington DC. Together, the C&O Canal towpath and the Allegheny Highlands Trails are part of the 315 Mile Great Allegheny Passage.

Rocky Gap Resort and State Park[edit]

Just outside Cumberland, the Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort sits in the valley between Evitt's Mountain and Martin's Mountain. The resort is located on the shore of the 243-acre (0.98 km2) Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park, and boasts Maryland’s only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.

Allegany Museum[edit]

Located on the Downtown Cumberland Pedestrian Mall, the Allegany Museum [1] exhibits the local history and architecture of the Allegany region and Cumberland area. Some of the exhibits include: The history and architecture of Allegany County, the history of Kelly Springfield Tire Company, MeadWestvaco, prehistoric life, the Cumberland glassware industry, fire prevention, folk art, the Cumberland brewing industry, and more. Open May to December.

The Narrows and Lovers Leap[edit]

The Narrows is a compact notched valley that Wills Creek has carved into Wills Mountain. Inventor Frederick John Bahr bought Wills Mountain and built his log cabin on top.

The National Road (U.S. Route 40) and numerous railroad lines pass through this steep, narrow, and rocky river valley on the edge of Cumberland. On the northeast side of Wills Mountain, sits a rocky outcropping known as Lover's Leap. The name comes from a Native American Romeo and Juliet legend. The tale tells how a jilted lover met his end by jumping off this ledge. Today, the rocks high above the water provide one of the most breathtaking views in the Allegheny Mountains. Lover's Leap has been frequently romanticized by postcard pictures of this valley. The most famous post cards were taken by George Steward in 1950 and published in the 1953 book, "U.S. 40".

Lover's Leap is 1,652 feet (504 m) above sea level and made up of oddly squared projectories of rock, from its top, all the way down to the National Highway (U.S. Rte. 40) below. The City of Cumberland and the surrounding states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia may be seen from this point.

Other attractions[edit]

Nearby attractions and points of interest[edit]

  • The Thrasher Carriage Museum, in Frostburg, Maryland, is one of the nation's top collections of horse-drawn vehicles, representing every walk of life from the milkman to the wealthy. Pleasure vehicles, funeral wagons, sleighs, carts, and more are on display in the renovated 19th century warehouse. Housed in a renovated warehouse opposite the steam train depot in Frostburg, this museum houses an extensive collection of late-19th- and early-20th-century horse-drawn carriages, featuring more than 50 vehicles from the collection of the late James R. Thrasher. Highlights include the inaugural coach used by Teddy Roosevelt, several Vanderbilt sleighs, elaborately decorated funeral wagons, formal closed vehicles, surreys, and open sleighs.
  • The Paw Paw Tunnel is one of the world's longest canal tunnels and was one of the greatest engineering feats of its day.
  • The Sideling Hill road cut is a 340-foot (100 m) deep road cut where Interstate 68 cuts through Sideling Hill. It is notable as an impressive man-made mountain pass, visible from miles away and one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and indeed in the entire northeastern United States. Almost 810 feet (250 m) of strata in a tightly folded syncline are exposed in this road cut.
  • Dan's Mountain State Park

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canal Place
  2. ^ The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
  3. ^ Allegany Arts Council