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What is WALKTOBER? Walktober is when the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies, including the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, promote and host public events spotlighting Maryland pedestrians’ safety, health, and commuting options in current walk programs and initiatives. Our department has had a unique opportunity to help fund some great trails throughout the state which will allow you to participate in Maryland’s most popular exercise – walking! This month on our blog, we will feature some trails and areas in Maryland that we have helped support over the years. This week, we focus on a trail located in Western Maryland called the Great Allegheny Passage.
The Great Allegheny Passage, located in Allegany County, connects the city of Frostburg to the neighboring city of Cumberland. Originally known as Allegheny Trail Alliance and opened in 2007, this trail offers 150 miles of biking, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding and it is also wheelchair accessible. The biggest attraction for this trail is the ability to travel off-road for 334 miles all the way from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, PA! The pathway is covered with asphalt, concrete, crushed stone, and gravel which is perfect for outdoor activities for everyone and biking opportunities with beautiful scenery. Visitors can explore nine miles past the Frostburg area and discover the trail shares a 900-foot Brush Tunnel with the train. Although recommended to avoid entering the tunnel with the noisy and smokey train, westbound travelers will experience a steeper grade in the 24 miles they have to reach the tunnel from Cumberland called the Big Savage Tunnel. Most people walk or ride their bikes on this trail in warm weather, however, this trail is also known for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing which are popular wintertime pursuits.
Through our Neighborhood Revitalization grants and loans, the department has proudly invested approximately $2.59 million since 2015 near this trail to help support Frostburg and Cumberland communities. Both the City of Cumberland and the City of Frostburg are part of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities as well as designated Main Street Maryland communities. Sustainable Communities, like Frostburg and Cumberland, have developed frameworks for promoting environmentally, economically and socially responsible growth and development in existing older communities. Frostburg updates the public on local trail conditions, as well as opportunities for dining, lodging, and shuttle services. Visitors can check the GAP website (gaptrail.org) for updates and more information.
After a nice workout on this beautiful long trail, there are a couple great food spots nearby the park to regain your energy. There are a few cafes nearby offering unique blends of coffee as well as breakfast items only available if you check out the Frostburg and Cumberland area and the beautiful scenery of the Great Allegheny Passage.