At Deep Creek, the lake is only a part of the action

Try hiking, shopping and many other diversions

Trips: Road Trips, Regional Events

August 05, 2004|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Everybody knows Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County is Maryland's premier lakefront location for fishing and water sports.

With 3,900 acres of water and 65 miles of shoreline, the only larger place Marylanders go for water-related activities is downy ocean.

There's fishing to be done and waterfalls to frolic in, but even if visitors get tired of being in the water, many of the Deep Creek area's activities can be reached by boat, as well.

While it remains the area's tourism focus, there's much more to the Deep Creek area than the lake.

What to do

Bear Creek Fish Rearing Station (Bear Creek Road, Accident; 301-746-8148): See how the Maryland Department of Natural Resources raises fish to stock lakes and waterways.

Camp Earth (720 Morris Ave., Friendsville; 301-746-4083): "Team Survivor Thursdays" -- an adventure skills competition for ages 8 to 80; storytelling bonfires, family yoga, river walks and more. Reservations required.

Corn Maze Adventure (596 Griffith Road, Accident; 301-746-6111): Seven-acre maze open noon to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Deep Creek Cellars (Route 42, Friendsville; 301-746-4349): Tour this hilltop vineyard and taste its wines. Open Wednesday through Saturday.

Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center (off Rock Lodge Road, 301-387-7067): Located in Deep Creek Lake State Park, the center has exhibits and a playground. A short walk away is a picnic area with tables and charcoal grills near a sandy beachfront and swimming area. The daily activities include hikes and wildlife classes for all ages.

Elk Ridge NatureWorks, (283 Elk Ridge Lane, Grantsville; 301-895-3686): Guided bike rides and hikes as well as hands-on classes. Bring your mountain bike with you and call to schedule a trip.

Hoye-Crest (Backbone Mountain): At 3,360 feet, this is the highest point in Maryland. The easiest way to get there, however, is through the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. Follow the signs. Be sure to take home the free certificate confirming you were there. You can only get it at the top.

Muddy Creek Falls (Swallow Falls State Park): This 53-foot waterfall is the highest waterfall in Maryland.

Smiley's Fun Zone Family Entertainment Center (72 Fort Drive, 301-387-0059): Two go-cart tracks, batting cages, bumper boats, laser tag, miniature golf and a video arcade.

Spruce Forest Artisan Village (177 Casselman Road, Grantsville; 301-895-3332): Living history museum of Appalachian arts. Nine artisans practice traditional crafts in cabin studios that are open to the public. Other historic buildings, picnic area and dining at the adjacent Penn Alps Restaurant.

Where to shop

BlueBell Farm Alpacas (1285 Hare Hollow Road, Grantsville; 301-895-3476): Alpaca yarn as well as finished hats, sweaters, scarves and shawls.

Christmas Chalet (19895 Garrett Highway, Oakland; 301-387-7467): Christmas all year-round with 40 themed trees of ornaments and much more.

The Loft Shop (9415 Rock Lodge Road, Accident; 301-245-4528): One-of-a-kind handcrafted items by area artists. Open only from July through the annual Autumn Glory Festival in October.

Simon Pearce Glassware (265 Glass Drive, Mountain Lake Park; 301-334-5277): Offering functional items with artistic flare. This is one of four manufacturing facilities the glassmaker oversees. Visitors can watch artisans at work.

Valley View Country Store (5836 Garrett Highway, Oakland; 301-334-4381): Toys and furniture made by local Amish families as well as bulk kitchen staples, spices and other grocery items.

Where to eat

Black Bear Tavern and Restaurant (U.S. 219 and Deep Creek Drive, 301-387-6800): Live entertainment on the deck on weekends, dancing in the nightclub, multiple televisions tuned to sporting events; children's menu.

Cornish Manor Restaurant and French Bakery (830 Memorial Drive, Oakland; 301-334-6499): Traditional American and French cuisine in a Victorian setting.

Lakeside Creamery (20282 Garrett Highway, Oakland; 301-387-2580): Homemade ice cream right on the lake. Come by boat if you want.

Pine Lodge Steakhouse (1520 Deep Creek Drive, McHenry; 301-387-6500): Steaks, seafood and pasta in an authentic log lodge. Call ahead to place your name on the wait list.

For more information

For general information and motel, condominium and bed and breakfast accommodations, call the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce at 301-387-4386 or visit www.garrettchamber .com.

Getting there

Deep Creek Lake is about 180 miles from Baltimore. Take Interstate 70 West past Frederick and Hagerstown into Western Maryland. Near Cumberland, pick up Interstate 68. Follow to U.S. 219 South, and take 219 to Deep Creek Lake.

For more regional trips, see Page 37.

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