February 2021 Deep Creek Times Cover Story
Things to Do Right Now!
By Mike Tumbarello
Well, we have all been pretty much sequestered for almost a year and many of us, including this author, are tired of spending most of our time indoors and away from people. Plus, many of us, including this author, need to get out and exercise a bit more to work-off some of those “pandemic pounds.” And, many of us, yes, including this author, need to make sure we stay sharp mentally as well as physically.
My Deep Creek Times partner, Sarah, has worked hard to prepare our newest Deep Creek Lake Area Guide over the past month and that has inspired me to put together this cover story on things you can do right now – during the pandemic this February 2021 – in the Deep Creek Lake area. Some of my suggestions are indoor, some are outdoor. Some are inexpensive or even free and some require some spending, but all can go toward making life a bit more interesting and active this February and beyond.
So, here’s my list of eight things you can do right now in the Deep Creek Lake area. They are not in any particular order and the degree of participation is up to the individual. Here’s my list:
- Visit one or more of the area’s great state parks – From waterfalls to hiking and cross-country ski trails, our local state parks have it all. And, there are a variety of options to meet the needs of the beginner through fitness fanatic. Perhaps the best amenity is simply the serenity and natural beauty available for all to experience. So, whether you are a local, second homeowner or visitor, give some thought to this great option.
- Go skiing, snowboarding or tubing at Wisp – So far this season we have been fortunate to have some nice, regular snowfalls, especially on or during holiday weekends. Plus, Wisp often makes snow to supplement their current snow base. Wisp has a variety of slopes from beginner to expert and the tube park is a great resource for couples and families that may wish to enjoy winter activities but that do not ski or board.
- Go sledding – This is a great, fun and family-oriented activity that is basically free and that can be accomplished with minimal equipment. Sometimes, I think we forget the simple, traditional options and there are numerous advantages to being in the mountainous part of Maryland, as there are great ski hills all over, on public or private lands.
- Go for a swim – I am not talking about the lake here. There are two great locations for indoor swimming enthusiasts around the lake. The Community Aquatic Recreation Center (CARC) at Garrett College has both a competition (lap) pool and a therapy pool (basically a giant hot tub) for fun and exercise. The Wisp also has a pool that is nearby and easily accessible.
- Take in a little history – There is a lot of history in the area and one way to experience it is to visit one of the area’s free or low-cost museums or sites. The Garrett County Historic Society Museum, the Transportation museum and the B&O Railroad Museum are all close to one another in downtown Oakland. You can take a break from the outdoors, learn something about the local and regional history and combine it with a nice meal or shopping in downtown Oakland.
- Go shopping – While many folks come to the Deep Creek Lake area to experience the outdoor beauty and participate in adventure sports, some come to just get away for a while. There are a number small businesses that offer a variety of local, regional and traditional products for all tastes. See our shopping guide for more information.
- Have a nice meal – We are fortunate to have a nice variety of restaurants in the area, from family fare to casual meals and also some really nice higher-end restaurants. You would also be rewarded with some good food and a different experience if you ventured away from the immediate lake area and partook of the offerings in some of the surrounding towns such as Grantsville.
- Take a break – Research shows that many visitors come to the area to relax, take a break from the day-to-day hustle and bustle and just relax. And, that is fine and a good option. For that day and/or evening in, consider a good book, or game for the family and supplement that with some nice local spirits and take out.
So that’s my list. It is designed to plant the seeds for lake-area “options for all” that can be mixed and/or tailored to individual, couple or family tastes. The key is to consider all of your options and to do exactly what you want, when you want. Even in winter and even during a pandemic. Enjoy and please stay safe, happy and healthy and check our area guide from time-to-time for ideas and links.