Located in the westernmost part of Maryland, Deep Creek Lake offers some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the entire state. The fun and excitement begins with a scenic drive along U.S. Route 219, which cuts through dense forests and mountainous terrains of the Allegany Highlands.
Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area offer plenty of recreational activities all year long. From boating to skiing to swimming to horseback riding, tourists can enjoy seasonal activities in one of Maryland’s hidden natural gems.
Deep Creek Lake invites visitors to explore 3,900 acres of a body of water that is completely man made. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is one of the most popular activities on Maryland’s largest inland lake. The Walleye is another common catch in this area. Fishing is primarily permitted on the multiple fishing piers that surround the lake’s perimeter.
Fishing from a boat is also permitted but visitors must launch the watercraft from the designated boat ramp. A “soft launch” area is also available for personal kayaks, canoes and non motorized vessels. Swimming is permitted in Deep Creek Lake during the summertime. There is a single beach section with man made sand. Lifeguards are on patrol on the beach between late May and early September. Picnic shelters with grilling stations in open grassy fields are located within walking distance from the beach. Boaters are advised to keep a safe distance from the beach area that is clearly marked with natural rock barriers.
There are more than 100 total camp sites available at Deep Creek Lake State Park. Some of the camping areas at this park include John Gerrett, George Beckman and Delphia Brant loops. Playgrounds and bathhouses are available in these camp sites. More than two dozen permanent camping units or cabins have access to electricity. Other campgrounds simply allow visitors set up tents. The narrow roads leading to the camping sites cannot accommodate large RVs.
Meadow Mountain offers several trails for hiking at Deep Creek Lake State Park. Hikers may encounter historic sites such as old coal mines and mills. The Fire Tower trail offers a much shorter and easier hike near Deep Creek Lake. Oak and hickory trees dominate the miles of trails that hikers can explore.
The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center invites visitors to discover the natural history of western Maryland. There are permanent and ongoing presentations about local wildlife, plants and other important topics. More than 6,000 square feet of exhibit space is dedicated towards educating visitors about the local landscape and history. Visitors may also learn about Black Bears that live in Deep Creek Lake State Park and the surrounding Tablelands region.
Deep Creek Lake Horseback Riding is a fun family activity and one of the best area ranches is the Circle R Ranch which is very near the Paradise Ridge community. Horseback Trail Rides and Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides are offered weather permitting.
During the winter time, Deep Creek Lake State Park is open to snowmobiles. Approved Off Road Vehicle stickers must be prominently displayed on all snowmobiles riding through the park. Additionally, some of the trails near Deep Creek Lake can be used for cross country skiing.
The winter season also attracts plenty of tourists to the Wisp Resort, which is located only several miles north of Deep Creek Lake. The mountain resort has more than six lifts that safely take passengers to the trails that can be used for skiing and even snowboarding. The terrain parks are categorized into Pro, Intermediate and Beginner levels. The Wisp Adventure Park also offers snow tubing facilities and an ice skating rink. When there is no snowfall at Wisp Park, this resort operates two golf courses including the Lodestone Golf Course that was designed by top pro golfer Hale Irwin. Sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains give this championship style golf course plenty of appeal.
The 17,000 square foot hotel at the Wisp Resort offers facilities for conferences or special events such as wedding ceremonies. Up to 1,000 guests can comfortable enjoy the space at this resort.