National Pike History
trains have been rolling since 1989 as a part of the Maryland
segment of the Washington County National Pike Festival. With
its strategic geographical location between the Allegheny Mountains
and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Washington County played a key
role in opening the West to our nation.
In 1797, Baltimore bankers and businessmen were instrumental in extending the
Baltimore-National Pike, also known in Washington County as the Bank Road, to
Cumberland and became part of the National Pike. In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson
signed into law an act authorizing federal funds to build a road from Cumberland,
Maryland to Ohio. This act set the stage for federal support of our transportation
system, as we know it today.
Many counties in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio celebrate this
300-mile route with authentic wagon trains and other old fashioned activities.