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Overview

Western Maryland officially starts at the massive stone conformation of Sideling Hill in the narrowest part of the state, barely two miles across. Neat farms spread over ridges and valleys tended by descendants of the first Anabaptist settlers; farther west on the old National Road (Rte. 40), hilly terrain convolutes into rugged forests, rushing streams and lakes the color of strong tea. Here, the Allegheny Mountains beckon hikers, cyclists, water-sports enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers. This long arm of land embraces those who seek a slower, more relaxed pace, with plenty of shopping, antiquing, and history quests. Cumberland, the area’s ...

Western Maryland officially starts at the massive stone conformation of Sideling Hill in the narrowest part of the state, barely two miles across. Neat farms spread over ridges and valleys tended by descendants of the first Anabaptist settlers; farther west on the old National Road (Rte. 40), hilly terrain convolutes into rugged forests, rushing streams and lakes the color of strong tea. Here, the Allegheny Mountains beckon hikers, cyclists, water-sports enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers. This long arm of land embraces those who seek a slower, more relaxed pace, with plenty of shopping, antiquing, and history quests. Cumberland, the area’s largest city, powered the Industrial Revolution with its rich natural resources. The C&O canal, a marvel of engineering for the time, brought goods to market; it's now a 184-mile-long park. Much as it was in the 1800s, western Maryland continues to be a special destination for those who love the outdoors (including former U.S. president Warren G. Harding, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford).

Joanne Miller
About the Expert

Joanne Miller is the author of several Moon guidebooks, including Pennsylvania Handbook, Chesapeake Bay Handbook, and Maryland/Delaware Handbook.

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Joanne Miller for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Fantastic outdoor recreation: swimming, fishing, boating and more in summer. The lake is especially languid in August and September.