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Western Maryland at a glance:
  • Major Cities: Cumberland, Deep Creek Lake,
    Frederick, Hagerstown
  • Landmarks/National Monuments/Parks: Rocky Gap State Park, Fort Frederick State Park, Potomac State Forest, Deep Creek Lake State Park, C&O Canal National Historical Park, Thrasher Carriage Museum, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frostburg Museum, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
  • Major Industry: Healthcare, Education, Banking, Construction, Corrections, Transportation
  • Counties: Frederick, Washington, Allegany, Garrett County

Western Maryland

In 1696, present-day Western Maryland was no more than an extension of Prince George’s County. However, over the next two hundred years the region was further divided into four independent counties. These include Frederick County, formed in 1748; Washington County, formed in 1776; Allegany County, formed in 1789; and Garrett County, formed in 1872. Today, Western Maryland real estate is a favorite choice among people looking for a more rural lifestyle.

As the westernmost of the four counties, Garrett County was one of the last areas to be settled in Maryland. Real estate available in this county often appeals to outdoor lovers. The county, with its population of 30,000, is situated on the Allegheny Plateau and is home to the state’s highest point, Backbone Mountain. Tourism is the economic mainstay of Garrett County, where vacation homes and investment properties see brisk business. One of the county’s biggest attractions is Deep Creek Lake, a 3,900-acre manmade freshwater lake located near the town of McHenry. With several marinas and over twenty-five different fish species, the lake is ideal for boating and fishing. The surrounding trails are also popular among hikers and, in the winter, cross-country skiers.

Allegany County is Garrett County’s more populous neighbor to the east, with nearly 75,000 residents. Its county seat of Cumberland is also the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, now a foot and bike path that stretches 185 miles southeast to Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. Cumberland’s historic downtown is anchored by Baltimore Street, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare lined with cafés and shops. Recent revitalization efforts, including tax breaks to residents willing to renovate the city’s existing houses, have been aimed at preserving Cumberland’s architectural heritage. These improvements have drawn many people to purchase Western Maryland real estate in Allegany County.

Washington County, with its population of 132,000, is located to the east of Allegany County. Its county seat of Hagerstown is often referred to as “Hub City” because of its proximity to several major roads. The city is best known for Antietam National Battlefield, which attracts almost 300,000 tourists a year. But another major destination is Prime Outlets, an outlet shopping center boasting more than one hundred specialty stores. The aptly-named City Park, a fifty-acre natural retreat, is also located in Hagerstown and is a well-liked destination for owners of Western Maryland real estate.

Forty miles of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail separate Washington County from Frederick County, its neighbor to the east in Western Maryland. Real estate in Frederick County is situated near history as two Civil War battlefields, South Mountain Battlefield and Monocacy Battlefield, are located in the area. The county seat, also called Frederick, includes a fifty-block historic district that features a vast array of shops, restaurants, and antique dealers. The city’s commitment to the arts is underscored by the First Saturday Gallery Walk, held each month, and the Frederick Symphony Orchestra. Frederick County, with a population of 221,000, is served by the Frederick Municipal Airport.

To find homes for sale in this part of Maryland, contact any one of Long & Foster’s Western Maryland real estate offices.

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