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Sideling Hill Rest Area Feedback

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development is planning to transform the Sideling Hill Rest Area into a one-of-a-kind gateway attraction that promotes Maryland’s mountains, valleys and waterways, from the Catoctin Mountains and further west, with exhibits, programming and on- site transactional opportunities.

The Sideling Hill Rt. 68 road-cut is a stunning and unique Maryland landmark and the Sideling Hill Rest Area is the only one on the East Coast situated in a cut into an Appalachian Mountain. The rest area campus, not only serves as a welcome center, but has a considerable amount of unused exhibition space that can provide a unique and special place for inspiring and selling multi-day travel, as well as other products and experiences of the region’s mountains, valleys and waterways.

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland State Arts Council held a workshop at Frostburg University in January 2019 with tourism and arts partners in the region to begin the conversation what defines the region’s differentiators, what are the must-see destinations and experiences, and what are the best ways to inspire visitors to stay longer and spend more in the region.

The region has been defined as the Catoctin Mountains, starting at Rt. 15, and heading west to the Maryland/West Virginia border. This area includes Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties.

The end product of the January 2019 Sideling Hill Rest Area Workshop is available here for you to comment upon. It is organized by the themes that developed in the workshop. The notes are the results of smaller work groups for each theme working to:

1. revise / refine sub-themes and add additional sub-themes to round out the larger themes.

2. list major regional destinations with resources / attractions associated with the theme/sub-themes, featuring visitor-ready places, and adding places that could be made so.

Please review and add your thoughts and ideas to each section.

Public comment period will be open until April 15, 2019.