Western Maryland is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. Garrett and Allegany counties offer a wide variety of outside activities in any season. More than 100,000 acres of parkland stretch over mountains and into valleys. Gently rolling mountains draw visitors to their hiking and biking paths and ski slopes. Rivers and streams, particularly the Youghiogheny and the Savage, attract fly fishermen and white-water rafters. The centerpiece is Deep Creek Lake.

Western Maryland, which begins at the state's skinniest section at Hancock and ends at the West Virginia border, is easy to reach by way of interstate highways. From Baltimore, take I-70. Washingtonians can connect with I-70 from I-270. When I-70 turns north into Pennsylvania near Hancock, it connects to I-68, which heads west into West Virginia. I-81 joins I-70 near Hagerstown to bring visitors from Pennsylvania and Virginia. U.S. Route 219 intersects I-68 and heads south to Deep Creek Lake.

For a more scenic route, the old U.S. Route 40, the nation's first national pike, connects Frederick to Cumberland and other points west and east. It's slower going but much more interesting.