PASSAGES OF THE WESTERN POTOMAC HERITAGE AREA

 The story of America’s early transportation milestones is told in our RIVERS, RAILS & ROADS.

Beginning in the early 1800s, Allegany County served as a vital hub for the coal and other industries as well as the staging and outfitting point for westward migration. Where the C&O Canal, the Western Potomac, major roads and railroads converged, the western region of America connected to the Eastern Seaboard. The very first portion of the National Road, the first federally funded highway that stretched through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, began construction here in 1811 and eventually became known as “The Road that Built a Nation.”

At the same time, a budding railway system began to take shape here in the very nascent days of canal and railroad transportation. The story of this area’s role in the history of the railroad is legendary. While the early railroad mainly transported coal and occasional passengers, another major passageway transported people in a different way: below ground, the original Fort Cumberland tunnels provided refuge and escape for slaves on their journey towards freedom just across the Mason Dixon line a few miles away.

These stories, and others, await you in the numerous attractions here in the PASSAGES OF THE WESTERN POTOMAC HERITAGE AREA.

The area’s two largest cities, Cumberland and Frostburg, have many interesting and exciting things to do…

…and they can be done on foot!

Click on either map to DOWNLOAD.

The area’s two largest cities, Cumberland and Frostburg, have many interesting and exciting things to do…

…and they can be done on foot!

Click on either map to DOWNLOAD.

A major shipping route in its heyday,

Maryland’s most-visited National Park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, features a Visitor’s Museum at Canal Place with a life-size replica of a canal boat and extensive interpretive exhibits on the canal’s construction, locks, aqueducts, mules, and crews. The park is home to the connection between the two internationally-recognized bike trails; the C&O Canal Towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage, part of a system of bike trails that stretch 333 miles from Washington, DC, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A major shipping route in its heyday,

Maryland’s most-visited National Park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, features a Visitor’s Museum at Canal Place with a life-size replica of a canal boat and extensive interpretive exhibits on the canal’s construction, locks, aqueducts, mules, and crews. The park is home to the connection between the two internationally-recognized bike trails; the C&O Canal Towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage, part of a system of bike trails that stretch 333 miles from Washington, DC, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hop aboard a time machine when you take a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad,

one of the few passenger rail lines still in operation since the 1860s. Roll past stunning mountain vistas, waterways, and picturesque farms on the daily 16-mile round trip between Cumberland and Frostburg. Or, stop by Riverside Park where you’ll find the National Road Monument commemorating Mile Marker “0” of the nation’s first federally-funded highway, the National Road, and the 1755 cabin that served as George Washington’s headquarters during his time spent here as commander during the French and Indian War and later as president of the United States during the Whiskey Rebellion. Be sure to stop by Allegany Museum to learn more about the National Road in the newly-constructed “Crossroads of America” exhibit, highlighting the region’s transportation story with state-of-the-art exhibits, vehicles that travelled the National Road, and videos.

Hop aboard a time machine when you take a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad,

…one of the few passenger rail lines still in operation since the 1860s. Roll past stunning mountain vistas, waterways, and picturesque farms on the daily 16-mile round trip between Cumberland and Frostburg. Or, stop by Riverside Park where you’ll find the National Road Monument commemorating Mile Marker “0” of the nation’s first federally-funded highway, the National Road, and the 1755 cabin that served as George Washington’s headquarters during his time spent here as commander during the French and Indian War and later as president of the United States during the Whiskey Rebellion. Be sure to stop by Allegany Museum to learn more about the National Road in the newly-constructed “Crossroads of America” exhibit, highlighting the region’s transportation story with state-of-the-art exhibits, vehicles that travelled the National Road, and videos.

Wander down historic Main Streets and immerse yourself in a vibrant arts scene,

when you explore Downtown Frostburg and Historic Cumberland’s City Center. Explore unique shops, specialty boutiques, and restaurants reflecting architectural styles ranging from Italianate and Romanesque to Georgian Revival and Art Deco. Both Frostburg and Cumberland’s Arts and Entertainment districts are lively destinations with live music venues, performing arts spaces, museums, galleries, and historic theatres.

Wander down historic Main Streets and immerse yourself in a vibrant arts scene,

…when you explore Downtown Frostburg and Historic Cumberland’s City Center. Explore unique shops, specialty boutiques, and restaurants reflecting architectural styles ranging from Italianate and Romanesque to Georgian Revival and Art Deco. Both Frostburg and Cumberland’s Arts and Entertainment districts are lively destinations with live music venues, performing arts spaces, museums, galleries, and historic theatres.

Need Info? Drop us a line or give us a call!

Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority

Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority
Western Maryland Railway Station, Room 301
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD 21502
Telephone: 301-724-3655
Fax: 301-724-3659
Web: passagesofthepotomac.org