Deep Creek Lake area receives an average of 100 inches of snow per year, making it an ideal venue for winter sports. The lake itself freezes with an ice cover of almost 12 inches. Lake effect snows (from the Great Lakes) and lower temperatures due to the higher elevation contribute to this. Ice fishing on the lake is possible when this happens, and you can even cross country ski or snowmobile on the lake. Two of the State Parks are managed for cross country skiers during the winter - Harrington Manor and New Germany. In these parks, the rangers take tracking machines along the Park's trails to provide a track for cross country skiers. It is a beautiful and exhilarating experience to ski these beautiful parks in the winter. Wisp Ski Resort has downhill skiing, boarding, and tubing if you prefer that. You can try snowshoeing and dogsledding, as well. In the summer, the Lake area is about 10 degrees cooler than the Baltimore/Washington area, again due to its elevation. Deep Creek Lake State Park is very close and you can launch boats there and enjoy the beach, playground, and picnic area. The Discovery Center at the Park has exhibits and programs, especially for children. The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has a Visitors Center in McHenry, MD, that can help you plan your vacation, based on your specific interests.
Deep Creek Lake is at an altitude of 2,500 feet, which makes it about 10 degrees cooler than the cities in the summer and also in the winter. The lake leads to many activities. You can launch a boat and swim and fish at Deep Creek State Park. Boat rentals are available from Bill's Marine , Deep Creek Marina, Silver Tree Marina, and Deep Creek Boat Rental. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented from Silver Tree and the Aquatic Center. Go to Funtime Water Sports to rent personal water craft. Sailing Lessons on the lake are available from Deep Creek Sailing School. If you would like a guided fishing tour, go to Bill's Outdoor Center. Hiking opportunities abound at Swallow Falls, Harrington Manor, New Germany State Parks, the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River, and at the Savage River State Forest. Wisp Resort has the mountain coaster ride during the summer, as well as downhill skiing, boarding, and tubing in the winter. If you rather try horseback riding, Western Trails and Circle R stables have horses. If you have kids, they will enjoy time at Deep Creek Funland, Smiley's, or a movie at the Cinema 8. If you are more adventurous there is white water kayaking at Adventure Sports Center International as well as rafting and rock climbing. Deep Creek has four golf courses in the area: two at the Wisp Resort , the Oakland Golf Course , and the Thousand Acres Golf Course . If you are interested in history, the area was a major resort around the turn of the century and the towns of Oakland, Mountain Lake Park, and Deer Park (origin of the bottled water by that name) are interesting to tour. Visit the Garrett County Museum and the Oakland Railroad Station. See the historic Casselman River Bridge in Grantsville. Ride the steam train from Cumberland to Frostburg on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce operates the Garrett County Visitors Center, 15 Visitors Drive, McHenry, MD 21541 (888-387-5237). They are very helpful in planning trips baseed on your specific desires.
There are many places to eat at Deep Creek. If you prefer finer dining, the closest place is Dutch's at Silvertree or the Pine Lodge Steak House. Combining history with fine dining, try the Deer Park Inn in Deer Park, or the Casselman Inn in Grantsville. If you prefer a more causal atmosphere, I recommend the close by Uno's Pizza or the Black Bear Tavern in McHenry. Next to Ono's is the Honi-Honi Bar, a popular drinking spot. I suggest you also take a walking tour of Oakland where you will find interesting local eateries. McHenry also has a number of local and chain restaurants, but I recommend you stop at the Deep Creek Creamery for some home made ice cream.
Deep Creek Lake is the largest man-made lake in Maryland, covering approximately 3,900 acres in area and 69 miles of shoreline. It was created in 1925 by damming tributaries of the Youghiogheny River to produce electricity. Now it is owned by the State of Maryland for its recreational value. At an altitude of nearly 2,500 feet, the lake area is about 10 degrees cooler than the Baltimore/Washington area and has a winter snowfall of about 100 inches, making it ideal for both summer and winter outdoor activities.