One evening last week I took part in a community walk at the Cultural Trail in Hagerstown, Maryland. For walking aficionados, the Cultural Trail is a gem. This two-mile walk cuts through the heart of Hagerstown, connecting the historic city center to the city park and the fine arts museum, with lots of interesting art and native plants to appreciate along the way.


The Cultural Trail, completed a few years ago, is replete with thoughtful pedestrian infrastructure, including wayfinding maps and plenty of crosswalks. The only thing lacking from the Cultural Trail is people. The trail is a wonderful community resource that feels underutilized. Other than the handful of people taking part in the community walk, I only came across another handful of people in the span of one hour.


The giant mural on the side of this building is called Building Blocks, and was completed by the artist Alex Brewer in 2017. The mural sparked controversy within Hagerstown, with deterrents failing to appreciate its beauty. I, for one, found it to be the highlight of the Cultural Trail.


The trail ends at City Park, which has a large man-made lake with plenty of fowl, including swans. The free Washington County Museum of Fine Arts beckons just beyond the lake.


The Cultural Trail is a tourist destination and I hope more people will discover it.