Deep Creek Times Area Guide
DEEP CREEK LAKE, MD: SPRING
(estimated March 16 through June 15)
Spring in Garrett County is sometimes referred to as “mud-season” with the spring rains and snowmelt, things are wet. That’s not a bad thing as many local rivers and waterfalls will be running at their highest and are quite a sight to see. The spring flowers and greenery beginning to show makes for some truly amazing scenes and experiences. We say “estimated” season dates above since the forecasters are never surprised when we get an April snow.
Garrett County spring brings a new awakening and there’s no better place to enjoy it than Deep Creek Lake: outside with your family.
Here is our insight into Deep Creek Lake, MD area spring “things to do” and activities:
Hike to three waterfalls, enjoy the tranquility of nature, explore history markers, or “just” get your exercise in today.
Photo by Mary Helen Spear
Swallow Falls State Park
301-387-6938 | Swallow Falls State Park
8 a.m. to sunset, year-round
The trail will get very icy in the winter and may not be passable.
Also, please DO NOT rely on cell phones for communication while in the park. Many phones and carriers do not get service.
Pets are not permitted in the day-use area or on the Canyon Trail between the Saturday before Memorial Day and Labor Day. Pets are permitted in the day-use area after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Pets are allowed in the campground. Pets are allowed on trails that connect with the state forest. Pets must remain on a leash and under control at all times.
New Germany State Park
301-895-5453 | New Germany State Park
8 a.m. to sunset, year-round
New Germany has ten miles of multi-use trails. The trails wind their way through dense hemlock forest, colorful mixed hardwoods, rhododendron-choked stream valleys and towering pine and spruce plantation sites.
Most trails are wide enough for two-way traffic, although several offer a narrower path typical of most hiking trails. Hiking, trail-running and biking are the most popular activities throughout the year.
Whether walking along the lake or wetland, or hiking our scenic trails, visitors are sure to have an opportunity to view birds and wildlife. Abundant bird species can be found throughout the area, such as pileated woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, barred owls, great blue herons and an occasional osprey.
When snow is adequate, the park staff will groom and track the trail surface for skiing. Snowshoeing is permitted but snowshoe users must stay off the ski tracks.
Herrington Manor State Park
301-334-9180 | Herrington Manor State Park
8 a.m. to Sunset (March – October)
10 a.m. to Sunset (November – February)
Herrington Manor was designated as a state park in 1964. The 365-acre park, located within Garrett State Forest, offers swimming, canoeing, kayaking, biking, picnicking, hiking, tennis, basketball, volleyball and 20 furnished log cabins for rental use year round. Interpretive programs are scheduled during the summer; and popular special events such as “apple butter boil” are held in the fall. At the heart of this park is the 53-acre Herrington Lake. Come try our cross country ski and snowshoe rentals as conditions permit, as well as fat tire bike rentals year round.
Garrett State Forest
301-334-2038 | Potomac-Garrett State Forest
Office Hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Garrett State Forest is also home to the Rock Maze trail. Turn off of Swallow Falls Road, on to Cranesville Road, then on to Snaggy Mountain Road. The parking lot is immediately to your right and the maze trail is straight ahead from the parking. The trail is approximately 0.8 miles.**We have heard that the signage marking this trail has been removed due to vandalism.**
The Potomac-Garrett State Forest, situated in southwestern Garrett County in Western Maryland, has the distinction of being the birthplace of forestry conservation in Maryland. The generous donation of 1,917 acres by the Garrett Brothers in 1906 not only serves as the foundation of the Garrett State Forest but is the root of both Maryland’s present Public Lands system and Forest Service. Mountain forests, streams and valleys make up the nearly 19,000 acres of this State Forest.
301-897-0858 | Cranesville Swamp
This site was protected by The Nature Conservancy in stages, beginning in 1960. Since that time, the Conservancy has acquired more than 600 acres which will be held in trust in perpetuity.
Cranesville Swamp is a boreal peat bog relic left behind from the Pleistocene Epoch. The swamp formed 15,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, when glaciers inched close but never reached Maryland. The climate warmed and the glaciers retreated but many of the boreal plants remain to this day. Nestled in a mountain valley bowl known as a frost pocket, colder conditions still prevail enough for plants to whisper of the past.
A trail hike through spruce and larch forest reveals the diverse character of the animals and plants that call Cranesville Swamp home. Visitors may hear the croak of a common raven flying overhead or see golden-crowned kinglets flitting about the branches. The trail through the forest leads to a boardwalk that takes visitors through the swamp where Endangered bog copper butterflies (Lycaena epixanthe) rest on the shrubs of Threatened small cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos). This protected area is one of the few boreal bogs still remaining in the southern United States and was one of the first National Natural Landmarks to be designated by the National Park Service in 1965. Cranesville Swamp is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy.
Deep within the bog, small pockets of virgin forest remain, somehow missed by the logging locomotive named the Swamp Angel that passed directly through the wetland in the late 1800s. Red spruce and white pine trees have been restored by the thousands and the Natural Area now supports thriving populations of wildlife such as American beavers, bobcats and American black bears. Rare species also abound, including the Endangered southern water shrew (Sorex palustris punctulatus), several birds such as the diminutive northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) and the increasingly rare Nashville warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla), as well as many dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies. Rare plants like the Endangered American larch (Larix laricina), a conifer that loses its needles in the winter, can be observed near the boardwalk. Other rarities are hidden away deep in the bog, like the Endangered creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula).
Meshach Browning Trails
Maintained by the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club | Meshach Browning Trails
301-746-5919 | Kendall Trail
Visitors can now hike two miles from town to Kendall (and beyond) on the old railroad bed into the Youghiogheny River Wild and Scenic Corridor. Youghiogheny is a Shawnee name (YO-WAH-HO-NAY) for “river that flows in a contrary direction” (locals call it the “YAWK”).
The Yough is a gem in Garrett County and known as a world-class whitewater river.
The town of Kendall was on the west side of the river at Laurel Run. You must wade the river to get to it. So be wary of dam releases! Little remains, except for a few overgrown foundations and perhaps the spirit of a town and residents long gone.
Fork Run Recreation Area
Gray Trail-1.44 mi
(Distances are approximate)
Ranging from 2100-2700’ in elevation on the west side of Marsh Hill Mountain, the Fork Run Recreation Area lies in the Allegheny Mountains of Garrett County – the highest region in Maryland. The higher elevation of this region results in temperatures that are cooler than those of lower areas to the east and west. The higher mountains also intercept moisture-laden air masses moving into the region from the west, so this area is wetter as well. The consequence is a climate more similar to that of the Great Lakes or New England and a species list that includes plants and animals more commonly found several hundred miles to the north. The bedrock under the recreation area consists primarily of sandstone and shale resulting in soils that are typically rocky and acidic.
A variety of wildlife can be found along the Fork Run trail system, although many species are not readily observed. Two common larger mammals that may be encountered are white-tailed deer and black bear, and smaller mammals such as chipmunks and squirrels can often be seen. Wild turkey, ruffed grouse, a variety of birds of prey, woodpeckers, and many species of songbirds may be seen or heard. Several reptiles and amphibians, including eastern garter snake, red-backed salamander, and American toad, may also be found.
Note to Hikers: You are in the Back Country. Cell phone contact is generally not available. Emergency medical care may be delayed or not available. DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE.
“Fat” tires on a mountain bike frame allow you to float over the trails … low tire pressure allows riding on more soft terrains.
Snow-ride on any mountain bike trail:
Garrett Trails MTB Trail Listing
Herrington Manor Fat Bike Rentals
CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE DUE TO COVID-19
Rent a Fat Bike at Herrington Manor SP
@the Lake House or call 301-334-9180
$10 an hour or $26 a day
Garrett County offers many winding secondary roads that are more-lightly traveled and offer spectacular views, challenging climbs, and the perfect exercise outlet.
*Note: Ride at your own risk and obey all riding laws
Garrett County Gran Fondo
One of the most fun rides, in my opinion, but feel free to set out on your own throughout the spring or summer. The roads are marked in yellow and click here for ride cue sheets
The “Diabolical Double” – the feature event of the Garrett County Gran Fondo, the Diabolical Double is a true, extreme epic on par with European climbing classics such as Etape du Tour, la Marmotte, and the classic Italian Gran Fondos. At 203K (126.2 miles) and over 16,500 feet of climbing, the Diabolical Double is an extreme challenge for even the most fit rider. Virtually all who have completed the Diabolical Double have considered it the hardest single day ride they have ever experienced.
The “Savage Century” – the Savage Century is an extremely challenging century ride, and with 105.8 miles and over 12,500 feet of climbing likely the hardest century ride in North America.
The “Masochistic Metric” – the Masochistic Metric is one-half the distance with one-half the climbing of the Diabolical Double at 64.8 miles and over 8000 feet of climbing. An extraordinary challenging ride itself, if you want to experience a true climbing epic, but 105 miles or 203K of it seems a bit excessive, then the Masochistic Metric is the ride for you.
The “Fabulous 44” – The Fabulous 44 is an excellent option for anyone looking for a longer, more challenging ride than the “Garrett’s Greatest 25” and wants a taste of the extremity of the three longer rides, but does not want to undertake the extreme challenge of the 100K, 100 miles, or 200K distances. The Fabulous 44 includes 42.6 miles and over 4500 feet of climbing.
The “Garrett’s Greatest 25” – A beautiful 25 mile ride along Deep Creek Lake and through the rolling Garrett County farmland, the Garrett’s Greatest 25 includes no major hills and just one of the seven Timed KOM Climbs.
Triathlon: 1.2 Mile Swim; 55.7 Mile Bike; 13.1 Mile Run
Aquabike: 1.2 Mile Swim; 55.7 Mile Bike
Bike Course: The Classic SavageMan 30.0 features a gorgeous bike course that starts and finishes fairly level, but has several challenging ascents (and descents) throughout. This Olympic bike course is truly something special and is worth the trip alone.
Triathlon: 750 Meter Swim; 15.5 Mile Bike; 3.1 Mile Run
Aquabike: 750 Meter Swim; 15.5 Mile bike
*The following listings are establishments that advertise with www.deepcreektimes.com.
This is not intended to be a complete guide to the area.
(see also Lodging Guide)
(see also Dining Guide)
(see also Dining Guide)
(see also Shopping Guide)
- Fishing Guide
- Bill’s Outdoor Center (Family Fishing Tours)
- Hiking Trips
- Ice Skating
- Summer Camps
- Whitewater Rafting
- Custom Handlettering and Art
- Boat Detailing
- Cleaning Service
- Docks/Builders/Repair Parts
- Electrical Contractors
- Fireplaces, Firepits, and Outdoor Kitchens
- Home Inspections
- Home Improvement
- Hot Tubs
- Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales (maintenance & sales)
- Heating & Air
- Landscaping/Outdoor Living
- Plumbing Contractors
- Paving Services
- Property Maintenance
- Water Filtration Systems
- Naylor’s Contracting/Culligan Dealer