Historic National Road Scenic Byway

National Road Cumberland MD
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD 21502

Follow America's oldest road through the county to discover important parts of early American history.

About the Byway

Allegany County's Historic National Road Byway is part of Maryland's 170-mile Historic National Road Scenic Byway - one of 18 scenic byway systems in the state - which runs from Baltimore to Grantsville, MD. Authorized during Thomas Jefferson’s administration and constructed beginning in 1811, the National Road was the main transport path for thousands of settlers and helped to physically unite the young nation during westward exploration. About 620 miles long, the National Road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers. The first part of construction began in Cumberland, MD, and winds through the Cumberland Gap in the Alleghenies to Wheeling, West Virginia. Construction ended in Illinois when funding ran dry. In the 1870s, railroads became more popular, and the National Road was utilized less. In the 1920s, the automobile was invented, and by 1926, the road was part of U.S. 40 as a coast-to-coast highway.

America's First Road Trip

America's first road trip starts right here in Mountain Maryland where you will discover the National Road Monument, demarcating Mile Marker "0," where the first section of the National Road was completed in Cumberland, MD. Make your way through Allegany County on Route 40, the Historic National Road, to discover pieces of America's early transportation history. Visit museum exhibits on the National Road or go for an adventure on the Great Allegheny Passage, which also shares its Mile Marker "0" of the 150-mile trail from Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA, right near the National Road mile marker. Hop aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad for a roundtrip heritage ride along the former Western Maryland Railway, from Cumberland, MD, to Frostburg, MD. Discover the last standing tollhouse along the National Road as you make your way along Route 40 through LaVale, MD. 


Points of Interest Along the Byway

Rocky Gap Casino Resort
16701 Lakeview Road, Flintstone, MD


Allegany Museum
3 Pershing Street, Cumberland, MD


Town Hill Hotel Bed & Breakfast
31101 National Pike, Little Orleans, MD


Thrasher Carriage Museum
19 Depot Street, Frostburg, MD


Great Allegheny Passage
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD


National Road LaVale Toll Gate House
14302 National Highway, LaVale, MD


National Road Zero Mile Marker and Monument
Riverside Park, Cumberland, MD


Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD