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October 30, 2017 - CUMBERLAND, MD – Top Adventure Town, that has a nice ring to it and Cumberland, Maryland, earned its rank among some of the country’s very best towns in an online polling process with readers selecting Norton, Virginia, and Lewisburg, West Virginia, to round out the top three.This is Blue Ridge Outdoors’ seventh annual Top Adventure Town contest sponsored by Blue Mountain Brewery. The contest began with 48 contenders spanning small towns to large cities. There were mountain biking meccas, paddling paradises, hiking nirvanas, and much more. Some are long established while others are quickly growing on the radar of their readers and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Previous contest champions were among the contenders, including Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hot Springs, North Carolina, and Franklin, North Carolina. Celebrated outdoor towns like Asheville, North Carolina, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Roanoke, Virginia, also received a hefty share of votes. In the end, three towns came out on top with Cumberland snagging the 1st runner-up award.
“There is something to be said about the quality of life outdoor recreation brings to this region,” says Ashli Workman, director of tourism for Allegany County, Maryland. “We are honored that Cumberland’s many outdoor amenities are being recognized on a much bigger scale.”Allegany County boasts 60,000 acres of public wildlands. Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest offer ample opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, and the ultimate setting for just taking in Mother Nature. The Great Allegheny Passage, which has received press accolades from The Washington Post to The New York Times, continues to rack up awards like Bicycling Magazine’s “Top Rail Trails Every Cyclist Should Ride,” and little local-area traffic, multiple cycling routes, and the C&O Towpath trail connector, make the region highly appealing to cyclists. The Potomac River provides fishing opportunities and day float options, while, the region also boasts plenty of camping, cabin rentals and hotel options to promote outdoor recreation getaways. “It’s exciting to see small Appalachian towns transforming themselves into popular outdoor destinations,” says Will Harlan, editor in chief of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. “Adventure towns are showcasing their natural beauty and abundant adventure opportunities, and folks are flocking to explore them. These towns are revolutionizing the entire region.”
The full feature is available in the November 2017 issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors.