at a glance:
- Major Cities: Cumberland, Deep Creek Lake,
- 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
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.