Maryland is known for its incredibly diverse landscapes and family-friendly locales. The trouble when you visit Maryland is deciding where to go! However, one destination you can be sure should not be missed on any visit to the Old Line State is Deep Creek Lake State Park.
What Is Deep Creek Lake State Park?
A 1,169-acre state park located in Garrett County in western Maryland (also known as the Maryland Panhandle), Deep Creek Lake State Park is situated on the northern shores of the man-made Deep Creek Lake. Although the state park was established in 1959, Deep Creek Lake itself was built in the 1920s as part of a regional hydroelectric project and is the largest lake in Maryland (fun fact: all of the lakes in Maryland are man-made!).
What Can You Do at Deep Creek Lake State Park?
To the surprise of no one who visits, most Deep Creek Lake State Park activities center around the waters of Deep Creek Lake.
Boating and Swimming
You can go swimming, water skiing, motor boating, and canoeing on Deep Creek Lake. There are two swimming beaches; you can also find a boat ramp along its mile of shoreline.
Anglers won’t be disappointed, by the way, as there’s fishing as well, with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, perch, and a variety of trout commonly caught (bluegill, crappie, and carp, too!). Keep in mind that you will need a fishing license, but you can buy one online before you arrive. If you just want to buy a fishing license after you arrive, head on over to the Ranger Station to pick one up.
You may find that if you catch a pike at Deep Creek Lake, it has a yellow tag. There is a tagging study for pike in the area, so if you catch a tagged pike, please release it back!
Deep Creek Lake State Park is one of Maryland’s state parks that allows public hunting on its grounds. There is a 551-acre designated hunting area, with hunting permitted Monday to Saturday each week. However, if you’re planning on hunting with a firearm, you’ll have to wait until October 15.
One advantage of hunting at Deep Creek Lake State Park is that if you’re engaged in “legitimate, authorized hunting activity,” you can enter and stay on Deep Creek Lake State Park property outside of the regular public visiting hours.
For outdoorsy types, there are trails for hiking and biking in the warmer months, with the shortest being one-fifth of a mile and the longest being 5.5 miles; in winter, you can go snowshoeing on any of them as well! Some trails also allow snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the colder months; snowmobile season officially starts December 15 and ends March 15, though at least four inches of snow are required before you can go snowmobiling.
All told, there are about 20 miles of hiking and biking trails at Deep Creek Lake State Park, so don’t be shy about exploring them!
Check Out the Discovery Center
Of particular interest for kids (and parents who may want those kids to be occupied with learning for a while, even on vacation!) is the 6,000-square-foot Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park. The Discovery Center helps children connect with their natural surroundings in a deep and profound way. They can compare their hands with the paw print of a black bear, examine samples under a microscope, and touch prehistoric fossils.
While the Discovery Center is geared towards kids, adults will no doubt appreciate the knowledge on hand there about Western Maryland’s history, wildlife, and more.
Can You Go RV Camping at Deep Creek Lake State Park?
Yes, you can go RV camping at Deep Creek Lake State Park; there are 112 RV camping sites, though the vast majority of them do not have electric hookups. This means that you should bring along a generator and/or fill up your propane tanks before you arrive. That being said, there are heated bathhouses, freshwater fill-ups, and a dump station available. And all of the sites have fire pits or fire rings, grills, and picnic tables.
If you’re planning on bringing your furry family members along, it’s worth keeping in mind that some of the loops at the park’s Meadow Mountain Campground do not allow pets (specifically, the Delphia Brant Loop and Spur Loop).
The campground is open from April 15 to December 15 annually, and this means that if your visit falls outside of that timeline, you’ll need to find a place to camp elsewhere. Luckily, there are also RV campgrounds near Deep Creek Lake State Park that will be more than happy to have you stay with them instead!
Travel To Deep Creek Lake State Park in a Cruise America RV
An RV trip to Maryland for a visit to Deep Creek Lake State Park can be a truly rewarding time, but how will you get there? A Cruise America RV rental is perfect for your family’s overnight stay at Deep Creek Lake State Park. Call or visit Cruise America today to see about a rental RV, and get on the road!