While the summer heat kicks up, it seems like a good time to start planning your next mountain escape. Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland, is the place to go. The beauty of Allegany County is unparalleled and region features 60,000 acres of public wildlands- one in four acres is public land. Enjoy ample hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking/canoeing opportunities in Rocky Gap State Park and Green Ridge State Forest (largest contiguous forest in the State!). You’ll quickly find that Allegany County provides captivating landscapes and some of the most gorgeous fall foliage seasons you will experience.Rocky Gap State ParkThe two Trails Towns in the county- Frostburg and Cumberland are positioned along the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile bike trail that runs from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, before connecting to the C&O Canal Towpath, a bike trail that runs from Cumberland, MD, to Washington, DC. The towns boast small town charm yet yield big-time adventure. The have walkable shops, outdoor dining, and wineries! It’s a quick 16-mile bike ride between them. Hop off your bike in Cumberland for a Beer at 1812 Brewery. Beer not your thing? Check out the Ice Cream Trail instead! 1812 BreweryAlthough not in the fall, let’s not forget DelFest, a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury Music and the second largest bluegrass festival in the country, which calls Allegany County home. Mark your calendar now for May 24-27, 2019.Brad Kuntz-DelFestToday, the mountains are full of stories rich in history and heritage. Once the westernmost outpost of the British Empire in America, walk the remaining tunnels of Fort Cumberland, where a young George Washington led troops after Fort Duquesne. Climb aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to appreciate the region’s rich coal heritage and westward expansion. Stroll along the Potomac River. Cycle and hike the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath, and you’ll actually be on the historic routes that marked the end of the canal era and the dawn of railroads. This summer Allegany County is celebrating a Summer of Heritage with special events including River and Rails Festival September 7-9 and Appalachian Festival September 15. Great Allegheny Passage Brush TunnelLet Allegany County serve as a home base for exploring attractions and the great outdoors. The accommodations include a handful of charming and historic bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels, a large selection of chain hotels, and beautifully set campgrounds.So, what are you waiting for? The mountains are calling!