In this region, visitors can hit the Appalachian Trail, summit Maryland's highest peak, run river rapids, splash in various lakes or indulge in an array of winter diversions from ice skating to skiing.
Western Maryland's three counties were Maryland's last frontier. There, fall colors make their arrival first and winter tarries the longest. A significant early 19th Century occurrence in the region was the inauguration of the first highway constructed with federal monies: the National Road. Following this achievement, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Park and the B & O Railroad Museum transported passengers to and from states to the west. Called the Appalachian Mountain region, this is where lumber, fruit, honey and maple syrup are produced.
Allegany County was an important transportation hub for west-bound travelers. The National Road began in Cumberland. Points of interest are the Michael Cresap Museum, housed in the county's oldest home and named after a Revolutionary War hero; and LaVale Toll Gate House, the state's sole remaining building of its type on the National Road.
Washington County was named after the general when settlers founded it in 1776. Washington County's seat and largest city is Hagerstown. A German settler, Jonathan Hager, founded the town. His house, now a museum, was erected over two springs.
Garrett County, the state's westernmost, was the last to be settled. This frontier area includes 3,360-foot Backbone Mountain, the state's highest peak. The county seat, Oakland, is a former refuge for luminaries such as William Jennings Bryan, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone.