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Article Archive >> Summer Tourism

National Geographic Tour Map Features historic Maryland National Road; Western Maryland Spotlighted

National Geographic Tour Map Features historic Maryland National Road; Western Maryland Spotlighted

(Hagerstown, MD)- National Geographic Traveler magazine, in conjunction with the Appalachian Regional Commission, recently released an Appalachia Driving Tours Map in its April issue.
Maryland's Historic National Road - a mountainous route stretching from Boonsboro to Grantsville - is one of 24 Appalachian driving tours featured in the magazine's map and suggested tour.
The map identifies places to visit along the Maryland stretch, including Wilson's Bridge, the Hancock Tollhouse, the Great Allegheny Passage Trail and the Casselman River Bridge. Known as "The Road that Built the Nation," the National Historic Road was the first federally funded road in America.
According a National Geographic Traveler media release: "With the theme of 'All Travel, All the Time,' National Geographic Traveler celebrates journeys that are about place, experience, culture and authenticity," said Keith Bellows, editor of the magazine. "It makes a distinction between tourism and travel, and aims to inspire readers to pick up and go. The Appalachian Driving Tours Map does just that."
National Geographic Traveler has 865,000 subscribers. The magazine is also distributing the map to 150,000 targeted consumers.
The entire Appalachia Driving Tours map features 28 driving tours throughout the 13 states of the Appalachian region, including the historic National Road. The National Road route runs from Maryland through Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to Ohio.
The President of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tom Riford, serves on the Board of Directors of the Maryland National Road Association. "Hundreds of thousands of settlers used the National Road in the 18th century to move westward, across the Allegheny Mountains and the Eastern continental divide. Much of the road today is known as U.S. Route 40, and one of the magazine's featured stops along the route is Wilson's General Store in Washington County, along with several other Washington County features."
The new map and web site includes: "Start your Appalachian experience on America's first federally-funded road in 18th century Boonsboro. Drive through farmlands into Funkstown to view barns trimmed with limestone faced gables. Cumberland served as an entry point to the new frontier, and you can explore the same area by car, foot, bike or train. To experience the rugged terrain crossed by centuries of pioneers, peddle or trek the Great Allegheny Passage and scale the 1300 feet up to Frostburg. Watch the wagons roll along the historic route each May during the Washington County National Pike Festival. The multi-state National Road also includes West Virginia as well as the Appalachian regions of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio. www.visitappalachia.com."
The "Visit Appalachia Map" is the second project completed in partnership with Maryland's Office of Tourism Development, the National Geographic Society and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
According to the magazine's news release, the ARC is an organization that spearheads efforts to stimulate economic development by showcasing the region's natural, cultural and heritage attractions. The commission's goals are to attract and host more tourists, sell more crafts/products, add value to Appalachian counties and states, focus on strategies requiring and attracting multiple partners, and to measure impact in terms of jobs, economic growth and sustainability. The three western counties of Maryland are part of the ARC (the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland).
The Visit Appalachia Web site (www.visitappalachia.com) is cross-linked with visitor and travel sites in the 13 Appalachian states, including the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Maryland Office of Tourism Development's web site. The web site features an interactive version of the Driving Tours: Visit Appalachia map, and promotes travel throughout the entire Appalachian region.
National Geographic was paid $80,000 by the ARC to develop the new map, which will be distributed to 865,000 subscribers in the April issue of National Geographic Traveler. It also is available through the commission and Maryland's tourism offices.
"Appalachia in a lot of ways is one of our most important regions," said Keith Bellows, the magazine's editor. "This is kind of travel ground zero. The idea that you can drive it and see those nooks and crannies of our past, they're all there."
The ARC estimates that the tourism industry is a $29 billion industry in the region, employing more than 600,000 people. Maryland has 116,000 employed in the tourism industry, according to State of Maryland statistics.
"With the price of gasoline, more people are traveling within our country, sticking with getaways closer to home," said Tom Riford. "Washington County, and the rest of Western Maryland, situated along the National Road, is perfectly suited for exploration by people from the metro areas."
The ARC region covers all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.
For more information about Washington County, see: www.marylandmemories.com. To see the map of the National Road tour including the Western Maryland section, see: http://www.visitappalachia.com/pdf/north/n_historic.pdf. For more information about the three Maryland counties in the Appalachian Regional Commission, see the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland's web site: www.tccwmd.org.

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