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Hagerstown promotes walking routes

October 08, 2009

The City of Hagerstown is encouraging residents and visitors to take part in a new program by strolling along one of five walking routes through Hagerstown's neighborhoods.

The five routes are included in the Hagerstown Walks program. Each route starts in Public Square and makes a circuit through various areas of the city, taking walkers through neighborhoods and past interesting architecture, parks and historic sites, the city said in a prepared release. 

The five main routes are North End Walk, Jonathan Street Walk, City Park Walk, West End Walk and National Pike Walk.

The program is for people who just started walking as well as for established walkers, the city said.

These routes feature 77 points of interest that give one the opportunity to learn about Hagerstown's history while getting exercise, according to the city.

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Integrated into the points of interest are the City's new interpretive historic plaques.

"The city has been lucky to gain state support through the Maryland Heritage Area Program for our plan to better interpret our rich history for the enjoyment and education of locals and visitors," said Kathleen Maher, Hagerstown's director of planning. "Earlier this year, the city had 12 interpretive plaques created to tell the tale of our Civil War heritage, and they are scattered about the downtown at sites of significant events during the Civil War."

Fifteen more interpretive plaques will be installed this fall, Maher said.

The city has received a third grant from the state to have 15 more plaques made of various aspects of Hagerstown's Civil War, African-American, rail, industrial and leisure heritage, the city said. Those plaques are expected to be ready for installation early in 2010.

Most of the plaques are or will be along the walking routes of Hagerstown Walks, according to the city.

The Hagerstown Walks Brochure, the City's interpretative plaques program and the Civil War Trails plaques were completed through a partnership with the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Hagerstown Walks brochure has tips to make the walking experience more enjoyable and safe, and a walker's log for individuals to record walking accomplishments.

Those wanting a Hagerstown Walks brochure may obtain one at the Hagerstown Washington County CVB at 6 N. Potomac St. or by calling 301-791-3246. The brochure is also online at www.hagerstownmd.org.

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