Rocky Gap Casino Resort finds itself on its own attraction, that attraction being Rocky Gap State Park. For this reason, we will discuss the state park itself before we move on to some of the more prominent attractions on the park that include its trails and Lake Habeeb.
If you’re one for the trails, we will talk about the Great Allegheny Passage. And if you love local history, the Allegany Museum (yes, there are multiple ways to spell the word) is the place you want to visit. Oh, and George Washington’s Headquarters also graces this list, so the museum isn’t the only thing to gush over.
If you’re ready to take a break from Maryland casinos, ready or not, here we go.
Rocky Gap State Park
The park sits on 3,119 acres of Maryland’s natural beauty, and it contains far more than just the casino resort. Nestled in Rocky Gap State Park are several trails that we will discuss later and Lake Habeeb, which serves as one of the ultimate tourist destinations to the area.
Other activities include hunting, boating, fishing, and volunteer opportunities. Just be sure if you hunt that you check with Maryland’s hunting laws and regulations before you head out.
Now that you know what the state park contains next to the casino, let’s dial in on two attractions that deserve their own topics for discussion.
On 243 of the 3,119 acres rests Lake Habeeb, a man-made reservoir that houses plenty of white sand beaches that you can take advantage of during the warm months of the year.
Built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1970 and opened four years later in July 1974. Named after local florist Ed Habeeb, you will find the lake resting against the east side of Evitts Mountain’s southern tip.
If you are an avid fisher, Lake Habeeb should grace the number one spot on your vacation itinerary if you head out to Rocky Gap Casino Resort because of its diverse fishery. Better yet, the lake is also an ideal spot for ice fishing, so if that’s your thing, enjoy yourself.
Common fish you can catch at Lake Habeeb include large and smallmouth bass, black crappie, a varying number of trout, catfish, bluegill, sunfish, and pumpkinseed.
So whether you’re into sunbathing, fishing, or if you just enjoy snapping photos of Maryland’s woodlands, you have plenty of reasons to take a few hours or an entire day off from the casino to plan a day at the lake.
Oh, and if you have a boat to take into the water, the lake allows electric boats on the water 24/7.
If you love to hike, you will gush over the number of trails in the area. So play casino games for a while at Rocky Gap Casino Resort, then hit the trails to end the day on a high note.
The state park includes two prominent trails, each with varying difficulty.
If you’re looking to head up the mountain, the 5-mile Evitts Homesite Trail. Here, you will stumble across streams as you walk up the mountain with varying flora.
A third trail if you can call it that is nothing more than a ¼ mile paved trail which will lead you to the fishing docks.
Great Allegheny Passage
Ranking #1 of Things to Do in Cumberland and averaging a perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, the Great Allegheny Passage will take you through mountains, valleys, winding rivers, and trails with varying levels of difficulty.
How far does this trail take you?
All the way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
So if you’re playing at Rocky Gap Casino Resort and you’d like to head over to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh either the old-fashioned way (such as the Stone Age way), or if you prefer a bicycle, it’s your two-way ticket from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh.
So take a ride or a hike on the trail and experience the breathtaking natural beauty that is Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands while you get a taste of history that includes the area’s coke plants, coal mines, and steel-making corridor.
On the way you will also treat your eyes to waterfalls, gorges, farms, river valleys, and more.
So if you’re up for the ultimate hike from Cumberland to Pittsburgh, or if you are just looking for an outdoor experience that you won’t get anywhere else, the Great Allegheny Passage should grace the top of your itinerary.
Are you into local history?
The Allegany Museum will satisfy your craving for local history you won’t find anywhere else.
A specialty museum, the Allegany Museum is a fantastic location to spend an hour or two in the middle of the day if you’re looking for a quick break from Rocky Gap Casino Resort.
Here, you will find a friendly staff that includes a collection of both recent pieces and historical artifacts. The museum is small, so it won’t take long to tour. As mentioned, you will probably spend an hour or two exploring the local history.
What kind of history lurks at the museum?
You will find history regarding cultures from Maryland’s Native Americans all the way to the modern way of life, so the museum covers literally every era of the area since before its founding.
Reviewers per TripAdvisor will tell you that the collection is solid but not overwhelming, so you can learn a lot without cramming your brain with too much information as you may at a large science or history museum.
George Washington’s Headquarters
Looking for an amazing educational experience?
George Washington’s Headquarters is where it’s at.
So a bit of a background here. The location served as Washington’s headquarters during his time as the commander of Virginia troops during the French and Indian War, so this is NOT a Revolutionary War relic, but one from Washington’s earlier days when he worked for the Crown.
The house isn’t always open, but you will find a speaker that will tell you about the location’s history and several plaques that also touch on the subject. They restored the interior to resemble what it looked like during George Washington’s day.
So even if the headquarters isn’t always open, it’s worth a peek through the window to taste a bit of history. It’s a small, but highly informative and educational place.
Located right across the river from the Western Maryland Railway Station, take a couple of hours from Rocky Gap Casino Resort and explore this magnificent location.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad ranks at #4 of 29 things to do in Cumberland, Maryland. Ranking 4 out of 5 stars out of 644 reviews per TripAdvisor, it serves as one of the hottest area attractions. So if you are frequenting in the area and are looking to immerse yourself in even more scenery, check it out.
Here, you will embark on a tour that includes not only scenery, but dining and especially excursions.
You will begin your trip in Cumberland and you will experience a layover once you hit Frostburg. Here, you can watch the locomotive change direction on the turntable and head back.
Or if you’re the outdoorsy type, you can always take the return trip on your mountain bike by coasting back down the mountain. Just load your bike into the caboose and once you hit Frostburg, the fun really begins.
Not only did you see the scenery on your way up, you will find yourself in the scenery on the way back and nothing can beat the fresh air and thrill if you take the bike back in favor of the train.
But if you’re looking for a relaxing tour, immerse yourself in the ultimate dining experience you will surely have as you treat the eyes to Cumberland’s natural beauty.
And as you have probably figured out throughout this post, tourists come from all over for two things in addition to playing at Rocky Gap Casino Resort: nature and history. And the scenic tour just adds to the experience.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort kicks off the ultimate experience regarding Maryland’s breathtaking nature. But the casino resort and the state park itself are just a sliver of what you will find in the town of Cumberland, Maryland.
From a history museum to Washington’s headquarters during the French and Indian War to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, nature and history surround the gaming at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.
Have you been to the area and have you played at Rocky Gap? If so, tell us about your experience. We are always looking forward to hearing from you.