Whether you want to vacation in the summer months or the winter, Deep Creek Lake in Maryland is a perfect place to plan your next trip. It’s within an easy driving distance of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, making it a top destination for families in these areas. Aside from having beautiful natural scenery, Deep Creek Lake has many different activities to choose from. Whether you’re old, young, outdoorsy, or prefer to stay inside, there is something for everyone here. Here are our eight favorite family activities that are convenient to you from your beautiful Deep Creek Lake vacation rental.
1. Visit Swallow Falls State Park
Take your family on a scenic ride to Swallows Falls State Park for the day. With many walking trails, a picnic area, and a playground, this park is the perfect place to spend the day. There is a program called Operation: Camping! that you can also participate in. The program will lend your family everything you need to spend a night camping in the park, free of charge. If you’re willing to leave your cozy vacation rental for a night, this is an incredibly fun way for you to bond with your kids…and your vacation rental will feel like absolute luxury when you return!
2. Swim at Deep Creek Lake State Park
If you own a boat, this is a great place to head out on the water and start your day of fishing for bass, trout and perch for dinner that night. In case you didn’t bring a boat, you can rent one a few minutes away at Deep Creek Lake Boat Rentals. Enjoy a day at the sandy beach lying out in the sunshine, or rent a picnic area and have a barbecue. In the evening, you can join one of the park’s planned campfires, which are really fun.
3. Go Skiing at Wisp Resort
You might not have thought about going to Deep Creek Lake in the winter, but it is one of the most beautiful places you can possibly plan a snowy retreat. Head to the slopes at Wisp Resort, and spend the day flying down the mountain with your family. This is also a great place to learn how to ski if you haven’t tried it before, or if your kids are new to the sport. Enjoy some apres-ski shopping and warm up with some hot chocolate and a delicious meal at one of the dining locations.
4. Visit Firefly Farms Creamery & Market
Load up the car and head over to the little town of Accident, Maryland. At Firefly Farms, you can sample and purchase cheese made fresh on the farm, as well as specialty meats. You can call ahead and arrange a pairing experience and taste different types of cheeses, wines, and meats. You can also call ahead to order a platter of cheese and meats that you can take back to your vacation rental to enjoy.
5. Check Out Adventures Sports Center International
Entertain the thrill seekers in your family at this fun and unique sports center. You can hit some river rapids on a raft or kayak or, if you want to spend a little more time getting wet, get on a water board. This center has many different activities such as rock climbing and geocaching — perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to get wet. No matter what you decide to do, you’re sure to get your blood pumping here!
6. Hike in Herrington Manor State Park
In the mid-1800s, Abijah Herrington built a manor home on the land that now serves as Herrington Manor State Park. This park is a few minutes away from Deep Creek Lake, but it has a small lake of its own, called Lake Herrington. You will love the beautiful forested hiking trails here that you can spend hours exploring. Additionally, you can go boating in rowboats, have a picnic, and even go camping in the summer months. In the winter, grab your cross-country skis, and enjoy a snow-filled day outdoors.
7. Go River Rafting and Tubing
Spend some time in the whitewater around Deep Creek Lake on a raft or settled in an inflated tube. Precision Rafting Expeditions in Friendsville is ready to help your group safely navigate the whitewater and provides the needed equipment. With friendly guides, this outfit ensures that you and your family have a great time out on the river.
8. Visit Local Museums
Learn a little more about the local history at two cute little museums. This is a great place to bring kids on a rainy day, or if you want a break from the lake. Head to the Garrett Historical Society Museum, and see the 200-year history of Garrett County come to life. With nine rooms of exhibits, you’ll learn about historic hotels, schools and transportation in this area. If someone in your family loves trains, then a trip to the Garrett County Transportation Museum is a must. There, you can view a sailboat built in the area by Gordon Douglass Boat Company and the first snowmobile in the county. At the Oakland B&O Railroad Museum, step back in time to an era when travel happened at a slower pace on trains. At the museum, you can explore the train station that was considered the Gateway to the West in its heyday. The floorboards and other details have been restored.