Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County are a destination for thousands of people every year. So what draws so many people to our area? Some of most known and noticeable attractions are Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Resort. Truly destinations in their own right, seasonal enthusiasts flock to the lake and the slopes during their respective seasons. Aside from the obvious, though, our area has several other attractions that make us unique.
Garrett County is also home to a mountaintop, man-made whitewater rafting course. The Adventure Sports Center Institute, ASCI for short, operates their whitewater course from May-October, offering different levels of rapids depending on the group! ASCI hosted the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship, putting Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County on the national stage.
Swallow Falls State Park is home to Muddy Creek Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Maryland. This roaring wonder is a favorite for both locals and visitors. During certain times, you can even venture out onto the rocks above the falls for a truly unforgettable view and feeling. The park offers trails to several other smaller falls and an astounding forest of rock and evergreens.
Garrett County is also home to Maryland’s Highest Point. Backbone Mountain peaks in Garrett County at 3,331 ft above sea level. This unbelievable view is surprisingly only a short hike from the road in West Virginia. The monument at the peak marks the exact spot, and the trail has the sign-in book, allowing you to add your name and story to the list of all those before you!
A local favorite, the Garrett County Agricultural Fair has recently become a favorite for tourists. The week-long event is held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds, located right in the heart of Deep Creek Lake. The fair includes carnival attractions and local livestock, as well as arts and crafts displays. Nightly events range from tractor pulls to the crowd favorites, the mud-bog and the demolition derby. One of the best parts, though, is the food. The home stands generally support local organizations and school sports teams, offering up delicious food for a good cause. The Garrett County Fair is generally the first week in August.
If you’re looking for a rainy day activity, The Discovery Center is a must-see for families and nature enthusiasts. Located beside Deep Creek Lake State Park, The Discovery Center offers information about both the natural environment and several of the animals that live there. Their aviary houses several wild birds and owls who have been injured and cannot survive in the wild. With several hands on exhibits, the Discovery Center is able to pass on knowledge about the area and environment in an interesting and memorable way.
Another great rainy day activity is browsing through downtown Oakland’s shops and museums! With three museums located all in the same block, it’s not hard to delve back in time. See photos from the humble beginnings of Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Resort, what the historic train station looked like during its hay day, and pick up neat information about this incredible area throughout history. After looking back through history, take a tour of downtown Oakland’s shops and cafés to find great local food and specialty and antique shops!
Wisp Resort’s Mountain Coaster is a favorite attraction for many visitors, as it’s only one of 20 in the USA! This self-controlled bobsled, roller coaster hybrid offers an incredibly unique experience for riders. Open year round, thrill seekers ascend 1200ft up the mountain and then zoom 2300ft down the track around sharp corners and into quick loops! Cars are made for single adults or an adult/child combination (height requirements apply to be both passenger and driver).
Garrett County is proud to have a recently constructed Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC)! Offering a full size competition pool and warm water therapy pool, plus all of the features of a top-class gym and fitness classes, the CARC is a welcomed addition to the Deep Creek Lake area. Day passes are available!
So while the obvious attractions of Wisp Resort and Deep Creek Lake are known to many, take time to explore some of our other unique features!