Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup
Maryland > Maryland State Forests and Parks > Deep Creek Lake State Park
Activity Locator:

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Activities within Deep Creek Lake State Park:

All Deep Creek Lake State Park Outdoor Recreation Activities

Deep Creek Lake State Park Customized Topo Maps and Aerial Photos
Outdoor Gear and Clothing

Search by Name within Maryland:

Trip Planner

Hotels Airline Tickets Car Rentals
B&Bs Yellow Pages City Guide

General Information

Aerial View of Deep Creek Lake State Park
Copyright: - Maryland State Forest and Park Service
Aerial View of Deep Creek Lake State Park
Description - The Lake was created in 1925 when the Deep Creek hydroelectric project was constructed. The land, which was flooded by construction of the dam as well as many properties surrounding the newly created lake, had been acquired by the power company. Eventually, the Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) began divesting itself of some of the real estate surrounding the lake, although a buffer zone around the lake was retained. Over the next few decades, the Deep Creek Lake region developed as a recreational resort region. In 1968, Penelec was issued a license to operate the facility by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Penelec, as the lake owner, had established corporate policies and procedures for managing recreation and access to Deep Creek Lake. In 1980, the State of Maryland agreed to take over management of recreation and access at Deep Creek Lake. Lake management regulations were promulgated through a public process beginning in 1981 and were updated in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 2000. These regulations are still in effect and provide the basis for the Department of Natural Resources lake management operations.

The park lies just west of the Allegheny Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegheny Highlands. Its location at the southernmost end of Meadow Mountain places it west of the Eastern Continental Divide and within the Mississippi River watershed.

Over 95% of the park consists of a forest that has regenerated from the original stands of timber into an excellent example of a maturing northern hardwood forest. Oaks and hickories are now the dominant species. Forest wildlife species such as black bear, wild turkey, bobcat, and white-tailed deer have grown in numbers over the past decades as habitat has been preserved and managed. Small mammals such as squirrel, chipmunk, raccoon, skunk, and opossum are frequently seen. The park is also home to numerous plant species, some rare, found on the forest floor.

Attractions - Deep Creek Lake State Park is the site of the historic Brant coal mine and homesite, where a restored mine entrance preserves a typical drift or admit mine. The Brant family worked the mine for several years and it supplied bituminous coal for heating and blacksmithing in the local community.

Trails take you into the forest and atop Meadow Mountain where you can experience your own regeneration and the beauty and peace of this place. Trail difficulties range from moderate to difficult. A trail guide is available at Park Headquarters, at the Discovery Center, and at the various trailheads for a small donation. Pets are allowed on trails and must be kept on a leash. Four season opportunities exist for mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center, the Department of Natural Resources' new interpretive environmental center is nestled along the shores of Deep Creek Lake. The Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind educational venue for people of all ages. Through hands-on exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland, families can learn about the flora and fauna, wildlife, cultural and historical heritage that have turned this former logging and coal mining region into a popular modern day vacation destination.

A boat launch facility is open most of the year except when winter weather or ice conditions prohibit access. Fishing is generally good on the 6 square miles of lake that is stocked with trout, walleye, bass, and yellow perch.

Hunting is permitted in the park's backcountry areas during regular hunting seasons. The hunting areas are posted and applicable regulations including license requirements apply.

Picnicking is available in the park's waterfront area. Tables, fireplaces, grills, shelters, playgrounds, and restrooms are available. Shelters may be reserved in advance for a fee.

Swimming is available at the park's beach with lifeguards being stationed during the summer months. Please note pets are not permitted in the waterfront area of the park.

Recreation - Recreations available at this beautiful Western Maryland park include viewing historic sites, viewing the thriving wildlife populations, and enjoying the new environmental education center. Ranger-led tours include horseback riding, ATV riding, lake cruises and hayrides. In addition, the traditional park pastimes suggest hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, biking, and hunting.

Climate - Deep Creek Lake State Park lies just west of the Allegheny Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegheny Highlands. The Tableland's weather is quite unique for the region. Many winters bring over 200 inches of snow and the greening of leafing trees does not occur until mid-May. Summers are characterized by warm days and cool nights. Autumn comes alive with blasts of color on early to mid-October with clear, crisp days and cold evenings.

Location - Deep Creek Lake State Park lies just west of the Allegheny Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegheny Highlands. Its location at the southernmost end of Meadow Mountain places it west of the Eastern Continental Divide and within the Mississippi River watershed. It is in Garrett County, ten miles northeast of Oakland on the east side of Deep Creek Lake, two miles east of Thayerville, off US Route 219.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

No trip reports filed to date. Please be the first one to do so!

More Information

Contact Information:
Deep Creek Lake State Park, 898 State Park Road , Swanton, MD, 21561, Phone: 301-387-5563, Fax: 301-387-4462

Additional Information:
Maryland Lakes and Reservoirs - The lakes and reservoirs described here range from large reservoirs to small mountain and coastal lakes. The lakes are often part of the state parks.
Maryland State Parks - Maryland State Forest and Park Service offers 47 state parks with recreational opportunities offered for all ages. From the forested regions to where land meets sea, Maryland's public parcels provide recreation, relaxation, and education. Many facilities possess barrier-free design.
Western Maryland - Experience Western Maryland, a year-round mecca for vacationing families, nature lovers and ardent adventures alike.

Deep Creek Lake State Park - Official agency website.
Maryland State Forest and Park Service -


About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2018 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.