It’s Cooler Here
With its cool temperatures and “college town” status, Frostburg is a mountainside oasis for GAP travelers. Originally a stagecoach stop along the National Road, it was once known for coal mining, and its employers still include a major manufacturer of ceramic fire bricks. Today, it boasts a vibrant year-round arts scene.
Frostburg’s historic main street features a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream stands, pizza joints, boutiques, galleries, a B&B, and a winery. You’ll also see an 1897 hotel that contains a makeshift basement jail cell used during Prohibition.
From the GAP, an amazing bicycle-themed sculpture garden invites you up a switchback to the preserved 1891 Baltimore & Ohio railroad depot – now the last stop for the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, which transports passengers up from Cumberland. Across the street is the Thrasher Carriage Museum, which displays one of the top collections of horse-drawn vehicles in the country. Dans Mountain, at 2,985 feet, is the highest point in Allegany County, and its peak (driveable by car) is a popular lookout point.
About 10 miles east along the GAP, Helmstetter’s Curve is a widely-sweeping arc well-known among railfans throughout the eastern United States. The 957-foot Borden Tunnel is about 2.5 mile west. The Mason & Dixon Line — separating Maryland and Pennsylvania, and historically, the northern and southern states — is five miles west, and is celebrated with a park, interpretive signage, and stone markers.
Local Events and Activities
Each April, the Frostburg Arts Walk showcases local artists, makers, and crafters via an outdoor walking tour. Mountain City Traditional Arts perpetuates Appalachian folk arts and presents a full calendar of performances, presentations, and workshops. Nearby Frostburg State University, home to some 4,700 college students, hosts the three-day Appalachian Festival every September; it features artisans, lectures, theater, food, and mountain music, and is worth a visit on its own. The Annual Derby Day Coaster Race brings folks out for a fun-filled day of soapbox racing, and Frostoberfest celebrates the town’s German heritage with music, street performances, and traditional food and drink.
Parking and Trail Access
A small parking lot with trail access is next to the GAP along New Hope Road, and additional parking — best in the morning or evening — is available at the restored railroad depot. There’s plenty of street parking in the business district, as well.