Cranesville Swamp – A Local Hidden Gem

Lying just west of Swallow Falls on the Maryland-West Virginia border is a unique ecosystem that offers window into ice ages past.  Because of its location on the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains, the Cranesville Swamp is home to plant and animal species uncommon for the mid-Atlantic region. 

About the Cranesville Swamp

The swamp is different due to its “frost pocket effect.”  The elevation is lower in a frost pocket, causing cooler temperatures and making that patch of ground particularly susceptible to frost. The combination of moisture and cold air create a landscape more reminiscent of habitat found much further north in Canadian boreal forests.  Visitors to the park, managed by the The Nature Conservancy (TNC), are able to glimpse a natural anomaly created by this rare mix of altitude, temperature and precipitation. 

cranesville swamp

A Look at the Past

Over 15,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, glaciers froze much of North America and northern latitude species were pushed southward.  The area that became Cranesville settled in a mountain valley. The surrounding hills catch cold air pockets and precipitation, pushing them into the valley. The valley “frost pocket” is responsible for Cranesville’s designation as a sub-arctic swamp. The preserve one of the coolest and wettest spots in Maryland, creating an isolated refuge for species normally found much farther north.

Continue reading Cranesville Swamp – A Local Hidden Gem

Garrett County Weather – A History of Mountain Life

Garrett County weather is somewhat legendary. Located in the Allegheny Mountain range of the Appalachians, Garrett County’s microclimate strongly contrasts with Maryland’s otherwise temperate conditions. Dead on the path of Lake Erie’s snow belt, the area is known for its cold winters and steady snow dumps. As much as 200-plus inches has been recorded on Marsh Mountain.  In terms of snow days per year, Garrett County can be one of the snowiest areas east of the Rockies and has been know to surpass much of New England in overall snowfall.  Throughout the area’s history, the harsh winter weather has played a major role in the lives of my ancestors and myself.

garrett county weather
Continue reading Garrett County Weather – A History of Mountain Life

Deep Creek Lake Spring Events

Deep Creek Lake spring events offer something for all ages and interests. Because the weather is warming up, it is a great time to explore state parks. Spring brings out lots of new listings too. You can get great rates on vacation rentals. So, you can have a fun weekend getaway while you look for Deep Creek Lake real estate.

deep creek lake spring events

Deep Creek Lake Spring Events

Ramp Cook-Off
April 28, 11AM-1PM, Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center
Ramps are a wild onion that signal springtime in the mountains. You can enter a dish or sample the entries.

Spring Flinger Disc Golf Tournament
April 29, 12:30PM (registration begins), Wisp Resort
This 9-hole disc golf tournament is fun for the entire family. Rental discs are available.

Birdfest
May 4-6, Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center
Guided hikes through area state parks give you a chance to observe native and migratory birds. Continue reading Deep Creek Lake Spring Events

Deep Creek Lake Fishing Guide

Deep Creek Lake fishing is a popular spring activity. As the snow melts and the weather warms up, this is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Because it requires no experience, anyone can have fun casting a line surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Deep Creek Lake Fishing

Deep Creek Lake Fishing License

Anyone over the age of 16 must have a valid Maryland license. You can purchase one online through the Department of Natural Resources. Local sports shops also sell them. If you are only in the area for a short time, you can buy a three or seven day license. The DNR also offers “free” fishing days when no freshwater fishing license is required. They are the first two Saturdays in June and July 4.

Places to Go Fish

Broadford Lake – This 140 acre lake is located in Oakland. Fish species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and panfish. Because fishing from the shoreline is easy, this is a good spot to take the kids.

Deep Creek Lake – Offers 67 miles of shoreline and over 3900 acres. Fish species: bass, trout, Walleye and panfish. If you don’t have a boat, you can fish from your dock or at Deep Creek Lake State Park.

-Some of the best fishing is April through June is when most fish are in 1 – 2 feet of water to spawn.

-You will have the best luck early in the morning or evening.

-Fish around stumps, large rocks and grass beds.

Continue reading Deep Creek Lake Fishing Guide

Deep Creek Lake Event Update

Your Deep Creek Lake event update includes fun activities for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and more! Winter is hanging on at Deep Creek Lake, and Wisp Resort expects to be open through St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Over 10 inches of snow in early March has given us some of the best slope conditions of the year!

Deep Creek Lake Event Update

The Deep Creek Lake real estate market is heating up! I have lots of new listings. Vacation rental rates are low, so it is a great time to plan a weekend getaway and shop for homes.

March & April Deep Creek Lake Event Update

Hiking & Snowshoeing Tours
Saturdays thru Mid-April, 10AM-Noon
Head out with the local guides from All Earth Eco Tours to explore Swallow Falls State Park.

Indoor Flea Market & Crafts
March 17, 8AM-3PM, Ag Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! This indoor yard sale is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Mt. State Brewing Company
March 17, 5-9PM
Celebrate with corned beef & cabbage, drink specials, contests and bagpipers at 6PM!
Continue reading Deep Creek Lake Event Update

How Did Accident Get Its Name?

How Did Accident Get Its Name? That is a question that you are often asked when you live in Garrett County. Visitors pass through this charming small town on the way to the lake. With two active listings in Accident, Maryland, I thought I would share the history behind the funny name.

how did accident get its name

How Did Accident Get Its Name?

There are a few different accounts of the origin of the name. I will share the one that is most commonly agreed upon.

Back in 17774, the lands west of Fort Cumberland were opened for settlement. Lord Baltimore was the Proprietor of the Maryland Colony at that time. Many speculators hurried to travel to Western Maryland. They wanted to secure the best tracts of land. Continue reading How Did Accident Get Its Name?

Oakland Bypass Update

For local residents, the Oakland bypass is a somewhat controversial subject. It was previously proposed in the 1990s. Officials are considering the Oakland bypass again. It would re-route traffic to avoid the historic downtown area. The project was in limbo for years due to state funding issues.

oakland bypass

About the oakland bypass

The Maryland State Highway Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) have estimated the construction cost at $53 million. A 2.4 mile stretch of highway would re-route traffic from the downtown area to reduce congestion. Continue reading Oakland Bypass Update

15 Things To Do at Deep Creek Lake for Families

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.

things to do at deep creek lake

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. Continue reading 15 Things To Do at Deep Creek Lake for Families

Maryland Smoke Alarm Law Reminder

The Maryland Smoke Alarm Law was recently updated. New requirements went into effect January 1, 2018. The goal is to reduce the number of fire related deaths. I put together a rundown of the requirements and why they are important. Click here for full details on the Maryland Smoke Alarm Law.

Maryland smoke alarm law

Maryland Smoke Alarm Law Requirements

The new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law applies to any battery-only operated smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old. Home owner should replace them with an alarm with a 10-year sealed-in battery having a “hush” button. Continue reading Maryland Smoke Alarm Law Reminder

Deep Creek Dunk Quick Guide

Deep Creek Dunk weekend is fast approaching! I’ll give you all the info you need to thoroughly enjoy this favorite winter event. The 2018 date for the dunk is Saturday, February 24.

deep creek dunk

About the Deep Creek Dunk

The MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk started in 1998. Dunkers plunge into Deep Creek Lake’s frigid water to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD). Individuals and teams raise money to benefit this worthy cause. Prizes are awarded for the most money raised as well as for the wild costumes that help to make the event so much fun!

Goosebumps & Grapes

The 2018 Deep Creek Dunk festivities kick-off Friday, February 23 at the Honi-Honi Bar. This wine and beer tasting is held in the heated tent on the deck. A $20 donation benefits Maryland Special Olympics. The Honi House Band provides live entertainment. Continue reading Deep Creek Dunk Quick Guide