Maryland Mountain Property

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If there’s a touch of Indiana Jones in you, this is the perfect place for your next adventure. Western Maryland is where you’ll find picturesque mountains that are perfect for hiking and white-water rapids just waiting to be tackled by daring rafters. Deep Creek Lake, the state’s biggest manmade body of water, welcomes boaters and water skiers in warm weather; Wisp, Maryland’s ski resort, welcomes skiers and tubers in the winter months. If you prefer to step back in time rather than taking a walk on the wild side, explore such sites as the C&O Canal and Antietam National Battlefield.

Visitors can climb Maryland's highest mountain, swim in numerous lakes, hike the Appalachian Trail, brave whitewater rapids or enjoy all kinds of winter sports from skiing to ice fishing. The three counties of Western Maryland, where fall foliage arrives first and winter usually stays the longest, were Maryland's last frontier.

One of the most important events in Western Maryland in the early 1800s was the opening of the National Road, the first highway built with federal funds. Later, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal carried passengers to and from the western states. This part of the state is in the Appalachian Mountain region, where apples, peaches, maple syrup, honey and lumber are abundant. Garrett County, the westernmost county in the state, was the last part of Maryland to be settled. The first settlers arrived in 1764, and were mostly English, German and Irish settlers from Pennsylvania. In 1872, the county was founded and named for B&O Railroad president John Work Garrett because of the importance of the railroad in county history.

This frontier region is where you'll find Backbone Mountain, the highest mountain in the state, which is 3,360 feet tall. Near the town of McHenry is Deep Creek Lake, the state's largest manmade lake, and Wisp, a popular ski resort. All over the county, there are state parks and forests with beautiful foliage, waterfalls and lakes for travelers to explore.

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Nature isn't the only thing found in Garrett County . Oakland , the county seat, was once a resort area and a retreat for many famous Americans, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and William Jennings Bryant. Also in Oakland are the old B&O Railroad Station and the Garrett County Historical Museum .

The name Allegany comes from the Native American word oolikhanna meaning "beautiful streams." Pioneers in covered wagons followed an ancient Native American trail through the Cumberland Narrows, a 1,000-foot-high gap that forms the main pass through the Allegheny Mountains to the west. English settlers came in the mid-18th century and began mining and establishing towns and farms.

The city of Cumberland was established in 1785 and became the county seat when the county was chartered in 1789. George Washington spent part of his early career at Fort Cumberland and at a log cabin he used as his headquarters during the French and Indian War. The headquarters is now located at Riverside Park in Cumberland. Allegany County was an important center of transportation for travelers heading west. People traveled by canal, train, horse and buggy. The National Road, the first federally funded highway, began in Cumberland. Visitors can see how people traveled by visiting the C&O Canal National Historical Park and Paw Paw Tunnel and the C&O Canal Boat Replica. The Transportation and Industrial Museum has many pictures of the canal, railroad and industries in Allegany County. Take a ride aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to Frostburg. After lunch at The Depot, the restaurant at the station in Frostburg, visit the Thrasher Carriage Museum and learn the history of the town at the Frostburg Museum.

Other important places to visit are Mt. Savage Museum, where Irish laborers were brought to operate the iron furnaces; Michael Cresap Museum, named after a Revolutionary War hero and the oldest historic home in the county; and LaVale Toll Gate House, the state's only remaining toll house on the National Road.

Washington County was named for General George Washington when it was founded in 1776 by English, French, Swiss and Scottish settlers. Washington County is the home of Fort Frederick, the only British colonial fort still standing. This county also has great appeal for Civil War buffs. The markers and fields at Antietam National Battlefield recall September 17, 1862, the bloodiest single-day battle of the war.

Hagerstown is the county seat and the largest city in Washington County. It is named after Jonathan Hager, a German settler who founded the town. The Hager House and Museum, where he once lived, was built over two springs to ensure that he would always have water. The arts can be enjoyed in Hagerstown at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and at the Maryland Theatre, a restored 1915 vaudeville house.

The C&O Canal and the railroad also played a big part in Washington County history. There are two C&O Canal museums and the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum , which has great model railroad layouts. Near Hancock, Sideling Hill is a 350-million-year-old wall of rock formed 100 million years before the dinosaurs. Visitors can stop at the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center to see a geological exhibit of the area.
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