Best Places for Outdoor Fun in the Deep Creek Lake Area


Hiking, biking, snowboarding, swimming and lots more! Have fun on your family reunion with these outdoor activities in the Deep Creek Lake area in Garrett County, MD.

For families that love the outdoors, the Deep Creek Lake area in Garrett County has plenty to do rain or shine. Home to eight state parks, no matter what the season and whether your reunion group comprises land lovers or water waders, there is something for everyone from kayaking and tubing to hiking and biking. Here are some of the top outdoor activities to enjoy when getting together in and around the Deep Creek Lake area.

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Families that love water activities will have the time of their lives at Deep Creek Lake, a 3,900-acre man-made lake inside Deep Creek Lake State Park. In the summer, the lake is a hotspot for fishing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, wakeboarding and swimming with a mile-long shoreline and two beaches. Those who prefer not to get wet can still enjoy the water by going boating in speed boats, pontoons, sail boats or kayaks.

Crede Calhoun, Vision Quest Studios

Deep Creek Lake State Park. Credit: Crede Calhoun, Vision Quest Studios

Biking and picnicking are other fun outdoor activities for the whole family. In summer, the nature and hiking paths are a great way to explore the park. In the heart of winter, these trails are a favorite with snowmobilers while ice fishing on the frozen waters of the lake is another great family-bonding adventure experience.

Wisp Resort

Located near Deep Creek Lake State Park, Wisp Resort is a four-season ski resort on Marsh Mountain with different activities year-round. With three canopy zipline tours, see amazing tree-top views and partake in agility challenges from 180 feet to over 400 feet. Take an exciting ride on the Mountain Coaster, a hybrid of an alpine slide and rollercoaster with 1,300-foot uphill track with twists, turns, dips and rolls for 3,500 feet downhill over 350 vertical feet. An added bonus are the views of Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County below as your coaster car is pulled uphill. The resort also has the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) the only mountaintop re-circulating whitewater course in the world. Families can put their paddling skills to the test in a six-person raft or explore the whitewater rapids in an inflatable kayak. Other mountain adventures for the whole family to enjoy including mountain biking, Segway tours, chairlift rides, archery, orienteering and a 9-hole disc golf course. While the little ones can enjoy a play area and sand box. Along with all the fun-filled activities, the resort also offers a variety of dining and shopping options with something to delight every member of the family.

Swallow Falls State Park

Swallow Falls State Park is where you will find Muddy Creek Falls at a height of 63-feet, the tallest freefalling waterfall in Maryland. Affording spectacular scenery within which are a host of family-based activities to be enjoyed by one and all, the Youghiogheny River flows along the edges of the park. With rapids of varying grades, the river is great for families who want to experience the thrill of rafting. Suitable for enthusiastic first timers and seasoned adventurers, take a guided trip with experts who make navigating the river safely thrilling. The park has many hiking trails and spots for fishing, fly-fishing and camping.

Herrington Manor State Park

A part of the Garrett State Forest, Herrington Manor State Park spans 365 acres and has a 53-acre lake that is ideal for swimming, row boating, canoeing, paddle boating and aqua cycling. With 20 fully furnished log cabins available for use year-round, families can make the most of the outdoors and enjoy 12 miles of hiking and biking trails or play games like tennis and volleyball.

Wolf Den Run State Park

Looking for adventure on wheels? Wolf Den Run State Park fronts three miles of the Potomac River with rocky bluffs rising 900 feet above it, three brook trout streams and 1,700 acres of mixed forest. In addition to recreational activities like hiking, camping and fishing in the Huckleberry Rocks Area, families can experience the adrenaline rush that comes with off-roading on pre-reserved vehicles that are available at the park. With over 12 miles of trail available for motorized recreation, the terrain is rugged and offers plenty of thrills with dips and depressions and twists and turns. The park is also popular for horseback riding with several trails for families to ride together.

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