State Park Highlights

I write this Cover Story for the May issue of Deep Creek Times one day after attending a very nice event at Fort Frederick State Park near Hancock.  While over an hour away from Deep Creek, I think the value and character of that event and of Fort Frederick State Park in general, extend to our “local” state parks here in Garrett County and to all of the parks in the state. Hence this simple attempt here to highlight these great resources so close to us here at Deep Creek Lake.

As posted on the State Parks website, there are nine state parks in Garrett County. All offer picnic, and fishing areas, while all but Casselman River State Park have hiking paths. Mountain bike paths, swimming areas, and boat launches and rentals are available at Deep Creek, Herrington Manor and New Germany State Parks, and the last two have rental cabins available. Big Run, Deep Creek, Herrington Manor and New Germany State Parks offer canoeing, while campsites may be found at Big Run, Deep Creek, New Germany, and Swallow Falls State Parks. If you wish to camp, it pays to get a reservation in advance.  The parks are now taking reservations for Summer, so act quickly. Here’s a listing of all nine with links and phone numbers:

In addition to the natural beauty found in each of our state parks, there is the “beauty” of low-cost accessibility to the diverse flora, fauna, education and experiential resources they provide.  Plus, the experiences available all vary by the season, thereby providing a wealth of options for the “local” or visitor.  For example, I can attest that each time I hike Swallow Falls I see things I didn’t see before and I also see the trail, park and fellow visitors in a different light.  Whether rushing water going over Muddy Falls or the serene quite of the simple hike in Winter, there is something new to experience and enjoy. Our state parks are the gifts that keep on giving!

This constantly evolving view of nature is what keeps me coming back.  I say this to encourage all of our readers that have been to a given park to revisit the park to gain a different experience, whether by varying in-park location, time-of-day or season.  I also urge all to look in our Daily Notes and Events sections of Deep Creek Times for updates on local events at each of the parks. Whether an educational lecture in the lake house at New Germany State Park, or a guided walk (or talk) by the team at Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Discovery Center, or a leisurely stroll to admire the innovative design at Casselman River Bridge State Park, there is always something to do at one of our local State Parks.

So, visit the parks and this great state resource often and in every season.  Whether hiking, biking, learning, swimming, fishing, hunting or skiing, there is likely something you and your family will enjoy.  Have fun!

Mike Tumbarello
Deep Creek Times