Cruise down the mountain in Wisp's Mountain Coaster.

Winter lovers rejoice in the mountains of Maryland. When the flakes fly, recreation options multiply in Garrett County, as walking paths turn to snowshoe and cross-country ski trails, fields open for sleigh rides, slopes are zig-zagged with skiers and snowboarders, Deep Creek Lake is dotted with ice fishers, snowmobiles, and ice boat racers, and even Muddy Creek Falls turns to a frozen challenge for skilled climbers.

The chief winter draw of the region remains the state’s only ski resort and its plethora of snowy thrills. From skiing, snowboarding, tubing, mountain coaster riding, and ice skating activities, the Wisp Resort is the epicenter of winter activities. The resort has 32 slopes and trails, as well as terrain parks. A Nordic center offers snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as a slopeside hotel.

In addition to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Wisp, you can also enjoy groomed trails at the area’s parks. Herrington Manor, New Germany, and Sang Run state parks all offer rentals and group tours. A winter hike at Swallow Falls State Park offers the sight of the state’s highest free-falling waterfall beginning to glitter as it starts to freeze.


Muddy Creek Falls found at Swallow Falls State Park.

Weather-permitting, a great way to celebrate snowfall is with a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Pleasant Valley Dream Rides or Circle R. Ranch Sleigh Rides can create a nostalgic winter adventure.

After a day on the slopes or in the woods, the glow of a warm fire is most welcome. Many of the region’s restaurants, inns, and hotels boast the crackle of fireplaces to keep even the most sedate snow bunnies cozy.

Snowsports not your cup of tea? Enjoy a hot cuppa at the cozy Trader’s Coffee House, where chai and cider round out the coffee menu before exploring the region’s small towns and the winter farmers market.

Adventurous palate? Sign up for a curated wine and cheese pairing at Firefly Farms in the town of Accident, where you’ll enjoy charcuterie meats, nuts, olives, chocolates, tapenades, and antipasto items.

Arts and crafts lover? The area’s small towns celebrate winter with community events such as the 34th annual Christmas in the Village celebration at Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville on Dec. 7, 4–8 p.m., and Dec. 8, noon–8 p.m. Visitors can enjoy hot chocolate and cider and view the luminaries throughout the village and over the Casselman River Bridge while watching artisans creating pottery, metal sculpture, stained glass, and more, all crafted in the village’s historic structures.

Be sure to enjoy the variety of small shops and restaurants in the county seat of Oakland and stop into the Garrett County Arts Council to delight in the work of local artists and take home a handcrafted treasure.


In early December, you can enjoy special savings with a “Stay-3-Nights-for-the-Price-of-2” promotion now through Dec. 13. Area lodging companies provide the discounted stays, while other businesses will be offering discounts on activities. Check out the latest promotions on the Visit Deep Creek website.

The largest accommodations in the area are the vacation rental homes offered through vacation rental home companies and independent vacation rentals by owners. The area also has bed-and-breakfasts, cabins, lodges, hotels, and motels.


Wisp offers over 30 slopes for skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more.

If Wisp Resort will be the focus of your adventures, be sure to take advantage of the numerous package deals offered. If you have flexibility in your schedule, Wisp offers $49 Monday Deal Days beginning in January, which include day passes, equipment rental, and group lessons. The resort also is offering a Midweek Madness lodging package for $84, which includes a night’s lodging and a day pass (per person, double occupancy, subject to availability). Both deals have blackout dates.

For more information:


Discover the beauty of Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding mountains when you stay with Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and Sales. Offering more than 400 vacation rental homes, you are sure to find the perfect spot for your next getaway with family and friends.

Favorite winter amenities include ski-in/ski-out locations, outdoor hot tubs, private pools, and game tables. Plus, more than 100 of Taylor-Made’s homes are dog-friendly. Special offers for January 2019 make it easy to slip away to the mountains of western Maryland. Just give them a call at 301-387-5999 to ask about winter deals.

Experience skiing, snow-tubing, mountain coaster rides, cross-country skiing, and cozy nights by a crackling fire with your loved ones. There are always fun happenings, like Winter Fest in downtown Oakland, the Deep Creek Dunk, and live entertainment every weekend.

Throughout the rest of the year, boating, swimming, fishing, and hiking are popular pastimes. Lakefront, split lakefront, and lake access properties give you the opportunity to fully enjoy on-the-water fun. Stay for a week, or choose one of the many homes that offer shorter stays.

Home to endless activities and adventure, Deep Creek Lake is a place that will draw you back time and again just to experience it all.

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