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Come explore the best things to do in Deep Creek Maryland!
Deep Creek, Maryland makes for a great weekend getaway or weeklong vacation for outdoor lovers and families alike. In Deep Creek, Deep Creek Lake is the main attraction where you can swim, boat, fish, and enjoy the lake views! This beautiful natural area is nestled on the western side of Maryland near the border of West Virginia and offers visitors a lovely vacation spot throughout the seasons. Deep Creek Lake is an attractive destination for people from surrounding cities like Washington DC and Pittsburgh who are looking for a city escape!
We have visited Deep Creek many times and have loved our experience each time! As outdoor lovers, there seems to be an endless list of things to do in Deep Creek and at Deep Creek Lake. Read on to learn about the top things to do in Deep Creek, home and boat rentals in Deep Creek, and how you can spend an extended weekend or three days at Deep Creek Lake!
Three Days in Deep Creek Maryland: Top Things to do at Deep Creek
Day 1: Deep Creek Lake State Park Hiking and Attractions
If you’re visiting Deep Creek, one of the top attractions is exploring and enjoying the outdoors! Simply going for a drive around the lake and hiking the many trails makes for a great afternoon. Deep Creek State Park has a designated swimming area for those who aren’t renting a house or cabin along the shore. Here, there are lots of picnic tables and a playground.
Meadow Mountain Trail
We hiked on the Meadow Mountain Trail at Deep Creek State Park. This trail is considered moderate and is 4 miles long; however, we only hiked about half of it. Along the trail, you will intersect the other trails such as the Indian Turnip Trail and see where the abandoned mine and homestead were once located.
To our surprise, we saw a black bear on our hike at Deep Creek! It was amazing how quiet and peaceful it was. Had we not looked in its direction, we probably would have walked by it! If you ever encounter a black bear, it’s important to remain calm and not provoke it. Read more about bear safety here.
Visit the Discovery Center at Deep Creek State Park
Not far from the swimming area at Deep Creek State Park is the Discovery Center. You can learn about local ecology and wildlife, view local critters, and do some shopping. Throughout the week, the Discovery Center hosts family-friendly events and activities and talks so you can learn more from the naturalists.
The Discovery Center also has an aviary, where nine birds of prey are housed. These beautiful birds were, unfortunately, unable to be released after rehabilitation from injuries, so today they are well taken care of by the state park. Throughout the summer, the Discovery Center will host educational talks about their birds so you can learn more about these creatures.
Hike and See Waterfalls at Swallow Falls State Park
Not far from Deep Creek is another small state park called Swallow Falls State Park. This park has a few beautiful waterfalls along its main trail including the Upper and Lower Swallow Falls and Muddy Creek Falls. The trail is about one mile long and is considered easy. During the summer, people will come to the falls to swim. However, we do not recommend swimming as waterfalls can be very dangerous, and human activity can disrupt the natural beauty and wildlife of the park.
As you start your hike you’ll walk through Swallow Falls State Park’s old-growth hemlock grove. These 300-year-old trees and the 40-acre grove is designated a Sensitive Management Area, which means the grove is managed as a wilderness. Trees are allowed to fall or burn as nature wills; only trees blocking trail access are cleared. If you take a left at the intersection, you will approach Muddy Creek Falls and head past the former camping site of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone. Once you visit Muddy Creek Falls, continue to the upper and lower Swallow Falls.
Swallow Falls has an entrance fee $5/person out of state and $3/person Maryland residents. Swallow Falls features the waterfalls and hiking trail in addition to campgrounds, a playground, a small museum, and picnicking areas.
Day 2: Take a Day Trip to the Cranesville Swamp
This beautiful natural area was a little difficult to get to, but it was totally worth it! The Cranesville Swamp is a part of the Nature Conservancy. It was actually one of the first National Natural Landmarks named by the National Park Service. Cranesville Swamp is located in a “frost pocket,” an area where the hills hold moisture and cold air in the valley to create an ecosystem reminiscent of what is found in Canada northern. Before you go, you can download an audio tour that gives you more information about the site! FYI Dogs are not allowed at the Swamp.
To get to the Cranesville Swamp, follow your GPS for as long as you can before you lose service! You should be able to make it onto Cranesville Road. You’ll be looking for turning onto Lake Ford Road. Then take a sharp right and stay to the right at the next fork. At the bottom of the gravel hill, stay to the right again and Cranesville Swamp is 0.2 miles away. The gravel roads were a little washed out when we visited and we managed without four-wheel drive. But it would have been helpful.
Top Deep Creek Lake Activities
Rent a Boat at Deep Creek Lake
Spending time on the water is one of the top things to do at Deep Creek Lake, so Rent a boat and spend some time on the water! The lake is very large so there’s lots of space for exploring. Since the lake is the main attraction, there are many places to rent and dock your boat along the shores!
Boat Rentals in Deep Creek
- Deep Creek Boat Rentals
- Deep Creek Lake Life
- Aquatic Center
- Deep Creek Marina
- Silver Tree Marine
- Bill’s Marine Service
- Deep Creek Yacht Club
Go Canoeing or Kayaking on Deep Creek Lake
If you’re not interested in renting a motorized boat on Deep Creek Lake, there are many recreation centers along the lake that have kayak, paddleboard, and canoe rentals. We rented from the Wisp Resort Beach Hut at the beach in the state park.
You can also white water raft on a manmade river in Deep Creek at Adventure Sports Center. This unique experience provided by the Wisp Resort is a fun way to experience whitewater rafting at Deep Creek!
Go Mini Golfing in Deep Creek
Since Deep Creek is a popular vacation spot, there are lots of family attractions. The mini-golf course at Funland was very fun and also included an arcade.
Seasonal Activities in Deep Creek
Check out the Nearby Lavender Fields
If you plan to visit Deep Creek during the summer, check out the Lavender Farm at Deep Creek. During mid-August, the fields are in bloom! Even when the fields are not in bloom, you can visit the farm, have lunch, and take part in some of their events and activities.
Visit Deep Creek in the Winter at Wisp Resort
Even when it’s cold, Deep Creek is still a great place for a winter vacation in Maryland. Wisp Resort during the winter is a lively ski resort! Deep Creek State Park also keeps some of its trails open for snowmobiling.
Practical Information for Visiting Deep Creek Maryland
Where is Deep Creek? How to Get to Deep Creek Maryland
Deep Creek is located on the western edge of Maryland, not far from the border of West Virginia. If you’re planning a visit to Deep Creek, it is accessible by car from surrounding major cities like Pittsburgh, Washington DC, and Morgantown.
Deep Creek Lodging: Hotels and Cabin Rentals in Deep Creek
Deep Creek offers lots of options in terms of cabin rentals and accommodations. You can find cabin rentals, home rentals, hotels, and best and breakfasts around the lake. Vrbo and Airbnb are great resources if you’re looking to rent a cabin or home for a short stay. Or check our vacation rentals by one of these rental agencies:
The Inn at Deep Creek
The charming Inn at Deep Creek is nestled in one of the quieter corners of the lake. It has its own dock and has lovely lake views! All of the rooms have either a patio or deck which was a great feature. The room I stayed in had its own kitchenette which was great for our weekend because we wanted to cook! The Inn also has a pool and grill! The room was very well-kept and nicely decorated. Since the Inn is on the smaller side, it was very quiet. Inside, they had board games which were a nice touch! Book your stay at the Inn at Deep Creek now for the perfect weekend away!
Rent an Airbnb or VRBO at Deep Creek
Airbnb and VRBO are great ways to find unique and beautiful stays at Deep Creek Lake. This is especially a good idea for people who are traveling in large groups to Deep Creek.
Blue Moon Rising Cabins
These tiny home cabins with an eco twist are absolutely precious. Each cabin is uniquely designed so each cabin is a different experience! Blue Moon Rising promotes sustainable and eco-friendly living. The cabins are made from recycled and sustainable materials! The private property has its own hiking trails which were wonderful! Read more about staying at the Blue Moon Rising Cabins in our review!
Deep Creek Tentrr Sites
In addition to traditional camping at Cooper’s Rock State Forest, you can glamp in one of the Tentrr sites! These sites include an already assembled canvas tent, a queen bed, furniture, a rustic bathroom, a firepit, and more! Tentrr sites allow you to enjoy the outdoors with luxury comfort.
Where to Eat in Deep Creek
Brenda’s Pizza: A local pizza and pasta shop with large portions and good food!
Lakeside Creamery: Deep Creek’s ice cream shop with lines filling the parking lot!
Trader’s Coffee: a cute coffee shop that services breakfast and drinks
Moonshadow: Blue Moon Rising’s restaurant featuring vegetarian and organic dishes
Are you Ready to Explore Deep Creek?!
Deep Creek offers so many fun things to do so hopefully this guide offered some inspiration for your trip to Deep Creek!