HUGHESVILLE, Md. - Southern Maryland Trails: Earth, Art, Imagination, an innovative guidebook featuring authentic Southern Maryland products, experiences and activities, has been honored by the Maryland Tourism Council (MTC) as the winner of the 2006 Governor's Award for Best New Product.
Presented on Nov. 16th at MTC's 26th annual Maryland Governor's Tourism Industry Conference, held in Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Western Maryland, this award recognizes "the year's best new tour, destination, program, promotion or experience, [defined as] innovative, a model for others, and a successful Maryland tourism product."
"This was an exciting honor; it's wonderful recognition for the book, which just launched in its full form this fall," said Dr. Christine Bergmark, executive director of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, which created the Trails guidebook. The commission's goal is to support, showcase and expand Southern Maryland's rich agricultural and aquacultural offerings as area farmers transition away from tobacco.
The Trails guidebook highlights restaurants and stores that sell produce, meat and seafood harvested locally, wine, agri-tourism destinations and events and pick/cut your-own farms (including Christmas tree farms), as well as parks, museums and lodgings that embody the area's heritage, hospitality and culture. It also features art created by Southern Maryland artisans, and includes galleries and private artist studios open to the public by appointment (some through the Trails program only). The book is free to the public.
The Trails concept is a unique way to explore the area. Four main driving Trails are outlined, covering Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, as well as Southern Prince George's and Anne Arundel. Descriptions, directions and relevant information about the sites along each Trail are clearly presented. Detailed maps (including a full-color, pull-out map of all Trails), color photos, local lore and trivia and a calendar of special events round out the experience.
For more information about Southern Maryland Trails: Earth, Art, Imagination, including how to get your free copy of the guidebook, visit http://www.somdtrails.com/ or call the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission at 301-274-1922.