Press Release

August 16, 2007

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $82,500 in federal funding to the Town of Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County to develop the B&O Heritage Tourism Trail.

“This is a federal investment in Western Maryland communities today and tomorrow. I’m so proud Garrett County will be able to use these funds to continue to develop and grow,” said Senator Mikulski. “I will continue to fight to keep Western Maryland a priority in the federal checkbook.”  

“This ARC grant for the B&O Heritage Trail will enable Mountain Park to develop an important addition to environmental tourism in Western Maryland.  I am a long-time supporter of hiking and biking trails and this project will ultimately help tie the Garrett County trail system in with the State system, making it possible for more people to enjoy the beauty of Maryland,” said Senator Cardin.

Mountain Lake Park will use its $82,500 to link the town to neighboring Oakland and Loch Lynn Heights along hiking and biking trails that pass through natural and commercial areas of the region. The trail is expected to draw more than 7,300 visitors to the area every year.

Ecotourism in Garrett County is thriving, and this project plays an integral role in creating a recreational and functional inter-modal trail system to tie into the county and state trail systems. The trail has the potential to create jobs, enhance property values, expand local businesses, attract new or relocating businesses, increase local tax revenues, decrease local government expenditures and promote a local community. In addition to ARC funds, the state will provide $82,500 and Mountain Lake Park has raised $6,670, bringing the total project funding to $171,670.

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.