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On the Trail of Adventure

Explore the mountain side of Maryland this summer where there’s a trail for every interest
By Allegany County Tourism

The heat is on this summer but there are plenty of cool things to do in Allegany County. Less than a three-hour drive from Baltimore the “mountain side of Maryland,” as the area is known, boasts beautiful vistas, cool mountain lakes, exceptional dining, adventure sports, outdoor recreation, and plenty of history. Allegany County is Maryland’s premiere outdoor destination with over 70,000 acres of public land and the state’s largest forest. And there’s a simple way to explore the abundant treasures of the area—through its many trails.

There’s no better place to get acquainted with the mountainside than at Rocky Gap State Park, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. The park includes 3,000 acres of rugged mountains surrounding the 243-acre Lake Habeeb—known for having the bluest waters in Maryland—making this an ideal spot from which to hike, bike, camp, paddleboard, swim, or simply relax on one of the dog and family-friendly beaches.

For a unique twist on the traditional bike trail, consider pedaling with Tracks and Yaks, adjacent to the scenic Great Allegheny Passage, where you can enjoy hiking and biking trail on a pedal-powered tandem or quad railbike that glides along the smooth, steel railroad tracks. To extend the adventure, the outfitter offers packages that include the railbike tour, lunch, and a float along the North Branch of the Potomac River.

There are leisurely ways to take in the beauty of Allegany County, too, most notably with a Scenic Overlook Tour of the Green Ridge State Forest. The 45-mile driving trail, which takes approximately three hours, encompasses five spectacular overlooks onto the pristine natural beauty of the area. Pack a picnic, bring your binoculars and make a day of exploring this scenic byway.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be all hiking, biking, and fresh air. Foodies can partake of one of Allegany County’s three culinary tours. While there is nothing to dissuade you from the Donut & Coffee or Mountain Maryland Tap and Pour trails, summer is the prime time to dive into the Ice Cream Trail with a large spoon! With nine destinations for hand-dipped cones, milkshakes, sundaes, and malts, the ice cream trail is sure to put some shiver into even the most sultry summer day.

Come for the scenery but stay for the fun. Summer in Allegany County is full of events, starting Memorial Day weekend, May 23-26, with DelFest, the county’s premier bluegrass festival. This year’s acts include Del McCoury Band, the TravelinMcCourys with Lukas Nelson, Greensky Bluegrass, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sierra Ferrell, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Leftover Salmon, and many more.

A newer tradition is the annual Food Truck Festival, taking place in Frostburg June 8. Now in its fourth year, this event combines the culinary talents of over a dozen food truck vendors with live music and even a cornhole tournament. The epicurean and musical delights don’t end there. June 18 is the First Peoples Wing-off and Music Festival where the main event is local wing-serving restaurants frying up thousands of chicken wings. You, the public, get to taste test and judge who deserves the prestigious title of 2024 Wing-Off Champion!

From an abundance of incredible outdoor recreational activities to amazing historic sites, dining, and entertainment venues, no matter your interest, passion, sport, or idea of fun, you’ll find a trail that’s perfect for your summer travel in Allegany County. Stay up-to-date with everything taking place out west by signing up for the newsletter and visiting the Allegany County website today.

You’re Welcome. Maryland.