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Posted on: March 2, 2021

Allegany County is Home to Two of USA Today’s Best Recreational Trails in North America

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Allegany County is Home to Two of USA Today’s Best Recreational Trails in North America
The C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage are recognized in the 10Best Readers’ Choice

March 2, 2021 CUMBERLAND, MD – The C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage have both earned top spots in USA Today’s 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for the top 10 Best Recreational Trails in North America.

Both trails were initially nominated by a panel of urban planning experts tasked to select the top 20 best trails. Ultimately, the public had the final say, voting on the ‘best trail’ from the top 20 during a four-week online voting contest.

“Over the last year, COVID-19 has unveiled the true potential and value of a community’s access to natural resources and outdoor recreation. Both of these trail systems saw nearly a 50% increase in visitor traffic in 2020,” said Ashli Workman, director of tourism for Allegany County. “It is an incredible honor that Allegany County is home to two of the top 10 trails in North America, and it is a testament to the growing popularity of outdoor recreation nationwide.”

The C&O Canal Towpath runs 184.5 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD, along the historic C&O Canal, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a National Park in 2021. The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150-mile rail-trail system from Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA. It was the first trail to earn a spot in the National Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Allegany County is home to approximately 70 miles of the trail systems, which merge in Cumberland to create a 330-mile continuous trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.

The winners in the Best Recreational Trail category include:

  • Chuck Huckleberry Loop – Tucson, AZ
  • Virginia Creeper Trail – Abingdon, VA, to Damascus, VA
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail – Austin, TX
  • Swamp Rabbit Trail – Greenville, SC
  • Ke Ala Hele Makalae – Kauai, HI
  • Buffalo Bayou – Houston, TX
  • Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail – Sacramento, CA
  • C&O Canal Towpath – Washington, DC, to Cumberland, MD
  • Great Allegheny Passage – Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA
  • Katy Trail – Machens, MO, to Clinton, MO

For more information regarding USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Recreational Trail, visit www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-recreational-trail. For more information on the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage, visit www.mdmountainside.com

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