140 miles W of Baltimore; 140 miles NW of Washington, D.C.; 113 miles SE of Pittsburgh
The city of Cumberland sits on a tight bend of the Potomac River in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, with a portion of the C&O Canal as its centerpiece. Once a large industrial city, it is now quieter, though tourism is a growing industry. Visitors come to see the canal, George Washington's headquarters, and the surrounding mountains.
At the turn of the 20th century, Cumberland was Maryland's "Queen City," second in size only to Baltimore. Many reminders of those days remain: a long street of Victorian mansions, the ornate storefronts of the rejuvenated shopping district, the black smoke of the Mountain Thunder coal-powered train.
Since the construction of I-68 cut right through -- you might say right on top of -- Cumberland, the city has become more accessible to the rest of the state. People come to see not only Cumberland, but also Rocky Gap State Park (known for Lake Habeeb) with its resort, golf course, and area parks.
The Allegheny Mountains are particularly beautiful in autumn, and the area is becoming popular with bikers and hikers who find Cumberland and nearby Frostburg cheaper and closer to home than Deep Creek Lake to the west.