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Allegany County Joins Pennsylvania’s George Washington Trail 1753

September 3rd, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Throughout Allegany County, MD, George Washington’s familiar profile is depicted on blue signs along scenic byways and city streets. The recently installed signs serve as markers for George Washington’s first military and diplomatic venture through Allegany County on his way to what is now western Pennsylvania, in 1753 – an expedition that would mark the beginning of the military struggle known as the French and Indian War. 

The trail is an extension of the Washington Trail 1753, originally developed by Butler County, PA, to tell the story of Washington’s 1753 journey through the Keystone State. Washington’s 1753 journey extends from Williamsburg, VA, to Waterford, PA, with three historically significant locations located in the Maryland portion of the trail – the Irvin Allen/Michael Cresap Museum in Oldtown, MD; Prospect Square and Fort Cumberland in Cumberland, MD; and St. John’s Rock in Frostburg, MD. Each of the three Maryland locations offers a significant piece of the story of George Washington’s time spent in the Allegany County region from the time he was a teenaged surveyor in 1748 to his last visit as President of the United States 1794, adding 67 miles to the original Butler County, PA, trail, with sights and adventure along the way.  

“This project has been a great collaboration between Allegany County, the local association of heritage organizations, and Butler County, PA,” says Jessica Palumbo, Marketing and Sales Manager for Allegany County Tourism. “Working across the border with Pennsylvania has given us a platform to tell this important story and develop connections and consistency for a much larger heritage tourism product.” 

Maryland’s portion of the trail begins in Oldtown at the intersection of Route 51 and Malcolm Road and continues by following several scenic routes through Cumberland, LaVale, Frostburg, and up to the Maryland/Pennsylvania border on Route 40 in Garrett County. In addition to the trailblazing signs along the route, Allegany County Tourism has developed a companion brochure outlining the historical significance of each identified location on the Maryland portion of the trail and a dedicated website landing page that includes a GPS turn-by-turn map of the trail. A bonus stop was added to the trail directing visitors to the Allegany Museum where they can see the world’s only recreations of the likeness of George Washington at his various stages of life, created using a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence age regression technology, installed as part of the museum’s new Crossroads of America exhibit.

Allegany County Tourism welcomes visitors to kick-off exploring the trail and the region’s historical attractions at the 52nd Annual Heritage Days weekend, September 9-12, 2021. For more information on how to embark on this trail, visit or pick up your own brochure at the Allegany County Visitor Center, Cumberland City Hall, or FrostburgFirst.

Funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historic Trust through the Fall 2019 Heritage Fund. Allegany County Tourism would like to thank the Western Maryland Heritage Association, Mary Kiraly, and John and Janet Wunderlick for their vision, research assistance, and passion in bringing this project to reality.