15 things to do at Deep Creek Lake for families is your guide to some of the area’s best activities and attractions. They offer something for all ages throughout each season.When you search for Deep Creek Lake real estate, the outdoor lifestyle comes along with it. That is just one of the aspects that makes the area so desirable. From teens to toddlers, I’ve got you covered with some personal favorites and inside tips too.
1. Deep creek lake state park
Garrett County has seven state parks total. I encourage you to explore them all! However, a trip Deep Creek Lake State Park can be a leisurely or as active as you like. Spending a day lounging at the sandy beach is one of my favorite things to do at Deep Creek Lake. Picnic tables dot the shaded shoreline. The roped-off swimming area keeps the kids within sight. During the summer months, their are lifeguards on duty.
Wisp Resort rents kayaks, canoes and paddleboards from the beach hut. It is fun to explore the quiet cove that’s just around the corner from the beach.
Perfect for little ones, the Discovery Center has hands-on exhibits that highlight the area’s history and environment. Every weekend they have special programs. Check their schedule for activities that include aviary tours, butterfly walks, making pinecone birdfeeders and more. Park naturalists also lead hikes if you are looking for something a little more adventurous.
2. Splash Island Inflatable water park
Located at Will O the Wisp, this is a summertime must-do! Splash Island at Deep Creek Lake is a water-based obstacle course. Play on their floating volleyball court, inflatable slides, jungle gym and a hamster wheel. They are open June 15-September 15.
3. Arcades & Mini Golf
There are three great options rain or shine. Each offers miniature golf, pizza and arcade games.
24450 Garrett Highway, 301-387-6168
173 Friendsville Road, 301-750-2150
Smiley’s Fun Zone
72 Fort Drive, 301-387-0059
4. Marsh Mountain Mining Company
For ages 2 and up, kids receive a bag of “gem mix” at the Wisp Adventure Park. They can sift through it at the sluice and examine their treasure at the assay station. There is a playground right next to it to add to the fun. MORE INFO
5. Disc Golf
While the little kids go gem mining, the bigger kids can play disc golf on Wisp’s course. Played like game of golf, in this version you throw discs into baskets. Try the family friendly 9-hole course is at the base of the mountain. Or check out the 18-hole Mountain Course that includes a scenic chairlift ride to the top of Wisp Mountain. You can rent discs on-site.
6. Snow Tubing
Everyone loves snow tubing at Wisp Resort! Anyone over 42 inches tall can join in the fun. Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park has 12 lanes that are 750 feet long. No skill is required, so it is something that the entire family can do together.
7. Kayak Tours on the Savage River Reservoir
All Earth Eco Tours leads scenic kayak tours on the pristine Savage River Reservoir. This quiet lake has no motor boat traffic. Surrounded by mountains, there is an abundance of wildlife. Bald Eagles, deer, blue heron and red tailed hawks call this area home.
Your guide will give you a brief lesson before you head out. During the trip, you will stop for a picnic lunch and an optional hike. You can paddle at your own pace, so it can be a more leisurely experience if you like.
8. Free Summer Concerts
Head to downtown Oakland, for the Little Yough Summer Music Festival every Friday evening. You can bring a cooler with snacks and drinks to enjoy as you listen to the music on a warm summer evening.
On Wednesday nights during the summer, Wisp Resort also hosts free concerts on their lawn.
9. Carriage & Sleigh rides
Pleasant Valley Dream Rides operates out of the Miller family farm just outside of Oakland. You can take a scenic carriage ride or tour the farm to get a glimpse of Amish life. When the weather permits, sleigh rides whisk you over snowy hills and through the fields.
10. Take a Boat Ride
Don’t have your own boat? You can rent one a Deep Creek Marina for a few hours or a few days. Cruise miles of shoreline with stops to swim, fish or just to enjoy the view. This is one of the classic things to do at Deep Creek Lake and is not to be missed!
If you’re not an experienced boater, take one hour boat tour with High Mountain Sports. Your captain will share local knowledge and area history. All you have to do is have fun!
11. Monkey Business Adventure Park
This recent addition to the are offers ziplines and aerial obstacles. There are courses for ages 5 and up. Monkeys big and small get instruction and a chance to practice before plotting their own course. Amazing lake views are an added bonus!
12. Area Events
All year long, there are festive events that are family-friendly. In February, Winter Fest in downtown Oakland offers carriage rides, ice sculptures and great food. July 4th isn’t complete without watching the parade in Accident and fireworks over the lake. Another summertime favorite, is the Garrett County Agriculture Fair. Rides, games, farm animals and great “junk food” make it an absolute must. Autumn Glory is our famous fall festival that is jam-packed with parades, music, craft shows, car shows and much more.
13. make a keepsake
Deep Creek Pottery offers a paint your own pottery studio and mosaic making. This is a great option for a rainy day!
14. Go Fish!
From rivers to lakes to streams, there are almost endless opportunities to go fishing. Bill’s Outdoor Center has all of the gear you need. You can get your Maryland fishing license there too.
You can fish from the shoreline at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Herrington Manor, Broadford Lake and New Germany Lake. The Youghiogheny and Savage Rivers are great for fly fishing!
There are so many things to do at Deep Creek Lake that bring families closer together. Leave your devices at home (or at least power down), and take some time to strengthen those family connections.
Whether you are a full-time resident or a second home owner, #LakeLife goes far beyond the shores of Deep Creek. Our mountains offer so many unique activities and experiences. I treasure the memories that I make with my boys. I encourage you to explore all of the things to do at Deep Creek Lake so that you can make your own happy memories!