Oakland is filled with small town charm, and that is never more evident than at Christmas. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted many events. However, the town has found safe and fun ways to celebrate the holidays this year. It might look a little different, but you can still catch the spirit of the season!
Oakland Christmas Events
The town of Oakland is gearing up to celebrate A Great Small Town Christmas. You are encouraged to shop at local stores and “Snap an Elfie”. December 5th through 19th, participating businesses will have an Elf on display. When a you make a purchase at their establishment, you can take an “Elfie” (selfie) with the elf and your receipt, purchase, shopping bag, etc. Upload that Elfie to Facebook and check into the business. By making a purchase and checking in on facebook, you are entered into a drawing for a prize to be chosen by that participating shop. The Lucky Elves displayed in the businesses will be provided by local artist and GOBA member, Lin Gilbert from Artists and Dreamers. More information on participating businesses will be available soon. Visit the town of Oakland on Facebook for details.
Due to COVID-19, the Soup and Santa event is cancelled. Instead, Santa Claus will visit Oakland and hanging out at the Front Page Stage. He will be there Saturday, December 5th, 12th, and 19th from 11am until 2pm. To ensure safety and social distancing, there will be a drive through for children to see Santa. He will be able to talk with them from a distance using a PA system and treat bags will be given out as they drive by.
Thanksgiving 2020 will be filled with all the fun and happiness that holidays with family bring. Just like everything else though, this year will be a little different. There are still lots of ways to make special holiday memories at Deep Creek Lake this year.
Also, just a friendly reminder that masks are required in all public spaces.
Thanksgiving 2020: Where to Eat
Dining at home is encouraged, but you can also pick-up food or take the family out to eat. Below are a few of the options for traditional turkey dinners.
Arrowhead Market Individual dinners from the deli are available on Thanksgiving day for $11.99 each. Call 301-387-4020 for info.
Dutch’s at Silver Tree Thanksgiving buffet from 11:30AM-8PM. Reservations are required. Call 301-387-0525 for more info.
Moonshadow Farm-to-Table Thanksgiving Boxes serve 8 – 10 people for $90. Available November 27 – 29. Last day to reserve is Monday, November 23. Call the restaurant at 240.442.5542.
Penn Alps Pre order your Thanksgiving dinner by Wednesday the 25th. Call 301-895-5985.
The Casselman Inn and Restaurant Enjoy an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 26! All meals will be served with a drink. $15.99 for adults and $7.95 for children 4 – 10 years of age. Ages 3 and under are free with the purchase of one adult meal per child.
Festival of Trees Garrett County is a favorite holiday season event. It is fun for the entire family and benefits an important cause. Like many events, this year will be different due to COVID-19. The festival organizers came up with a way to continue the tradition in a safe, virtual way.
Festival of Trees Garrett County 2020
The 13th Annual Festival of Trees will be a virtual tree decorating contest. Unlike years past, these trees will not actually be auctioned or available for purchase. They are simply entered into a decorating contest.
There will be three classes: 1) Individual 2) Commercial 3) Junior (16 and under)
You can vote for a tree by making a donation to the Dove Center, designated for that tree. The cost per vote will be $5 and multiple votes are encouraged. The contest runs from December 7th through December 21st.
Garrett State Forest is the birthplace of forestry conservation in Maryland. It is important to note the key role Garrett County and its public lands played in preserving the natural environment.
Garrett State Forest History
During the early 1900’s, just 20% of mature forest cover existed east of the Mississippi. The previous century saw large scale timber operations greatly exceed timber growth. One of the results was large, uncontrolled forest fires that further damaged the fragile environment. Most of Maryland’s forests were populated with small stands of regenerating seedlings or saplings. Large trees were truly an unusual sight.
In response to the deplorable conditions of the state’s forests, the descendants of one of Garrett County’s founding fathers issued a challenge to the state government. John and Robert Garrett were heirs to the B&O Railroad fortune who offered a generous donation of nearly 2,000 acres of forest land on one “small” condition. The state must create a department specifically for the management and supervision of public lands. Accepting the gift and the conditions, a forestry law was passed in 1906 establishing a Board of Forestry. This made it the third state in the Union to enact such a law. The tract of land donated by the Garrett brothers became is part of what is now Garrett State Forest, Maryland’s first state forest. It has expanded over time to include about 8,000 acres of mountain forests, streams and valleys.
187 Sunset Ridge Drive offers an affordable opportunity to live minutes from Deep Creek Lake. It is ideal as a primary residence or second home. Plus, it has a separate apartment that opens up more possibilities.
About 187 Sunset Ridge Drive
This ranch style home is situated on 1.03 acres in McHenry. It is in the picturesque Sunset Ridge subdivision surrounded by pastoral views.
Recently remodeled, this home has a total of three bedrooms and three baths as well as two electric fireplaces. The main house has beautiful hardwood floors and beamed ceilings in the living and dining area. Granite counters, stainless steel appliances, a center island, and a farm sink highlight the kitchen. The master bath is breathtaking.
Attention to detail is found throughout the attached apartment. It has its own kitchen with beautiful finishes, a living area with an electric fireplace, and a bedroom and bathroom.
Hoye Crest is the highest point in Maryland. Located in Garrett County, you can take a hike to check out its scenic views.
About Hoye Crest
Hoye-Crest is a summit along Backbone Mountain. It is the highest point in Maryland reaching an elevation of 3,360 feet. The peak is named for Captain Charles Hoye. He founded the Garrett County Historical Society.
Hike the approximately two mile trail uphill to reach the summit. There is a “mailbox” with a log book where you can sign in and take selfies. It has a marker and offers a view of the North Branch Potomac River valley to the east.
Backbone Mountain Overview
Backbone Mountain stretches about 39 miles. Running southwest to northeast, it extends from the Black Fork in Tucker County, West Virginia to the Savage River Reservoir in Garrett County.
Potomac State Forest encompasses 11,535 acres. It is easy to lose your cares amid its hemlock and laurel. It is situated between the towns of Oakland and Westernport and partially borders the headwaters of the Potomac River. This rugged mountain forest is known for abundant wildlife, excellent trout fishing, and miles of multi-use trails.
About Potomac State Forest
Made up of mountain
forests, streams and valleys, Potomac State Forest’s diverse habitat supports
an abundance of wildlife, including wild turkey, white-tailed deer, black bears,
fox and songbirds. The tree species typically found are that of an eastern
hardwood forest. Plantations of white pine, red pine and spruce were also
planted between 1950 and 1970. A spring walk through the woods will reveal
flowering plants such as saxifrage, rue and wood anemone, spring beauty, May
apple, blue violet and other violet species. Summer brings milkweed,
spiderwort, mint, butterfly weed and dogbane to the roadsides and meadows.
Ironweed, aster and goldenrod varieties brighten the fields in the fall.
The forest drains into the Potomac River Basin. It also features the highest point in Maryland – Backbone Mountain, elevation 3,220 feet. Another high point in the forest is the rock outcropping near the intersection of Maryland Route 135 and Walnut Bottom Road. It offers a scenic view of Potomac State Forest, Savage River State Forest and Crabtree Creek.
In addition to fishing, visitors can enjoy the miles of scenic trails that are open for hiking, mountain biking, ORV use, horseback riding and winter sports. Bring your camera when you visit this untamed environment and capture the breathtaking views no matter what the season.
Famous for its trout fishing, anglers can test their skills on a generally fast running Potomac. The premier fish of this section of the river is the rainbow trout. Early spring through fall stocking provides incredible fishing opportunities. Other designated areas, including Lostland Run and Laurel Run also offer excellent fishing spots. Additional fish found in the Potomac and the creeks surrounding it include rock bass, sunfish and smallmouth bass. Because of fast running water and the primitive environment, fisherman should be prepared to negotiate strong currents, large boulders and fallen trees in the water.
Potomac State Forest is a natural area that presents certain hazards, such as poison ivy, rocky and slippery trails, venomous snakes and biting insects. Be sure to dress appropriately. All trails and roads are open to hikers and mountain bikers. Remember, you are responsible for having the necessary skills, knowledge and equipment for a safe and environmentally sensitive visit. Some of the more popular trails include:
Lostland Run Trail 3.5 miles –
Take in the scenic beauty of Cascade Falls while visiting this trail, which
takes approximately two hours each way. Enjoy the rhododendrons and towering
hemlock trees along this trail. At the trail terminus, a short spur trail
leaves a gravel parking lot to the Potomac Overlook where splendid views of the
river and pristine mountains can be enjoyed.
Laurel Run Road 3 miles – easy
Mountain bikers and off-road vehicle (ORV) users will enjoy this dirt road that
runs southward from its intersection with Wallman Road to its terminus near the
Potomac River. Views from the road offer a chance to see dense areas of
mountain laurel. The laurel’s bloom during the spring months. This road is also
open to motor vehicles.
Wallman Road 4 miles – easy
This mountain bike and ORV road travels downhill from Laurel Run Road to a
small parking lot near the Potomac River. The forest cover in this area is
ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife, including wild turkey, white-tailed
deer and black bears. Hikers and mountain bikers can make a circuit back to
their starting point by using the 3.5 mile Loop Road.
North Hill Trail 2 miles –
moderate (no blaze)
This gravel road easily lends itself to mountain biking. Travel through the
dense forest and enjoy the scenery year round – especially breathtaking views during
the fall months.
CCC Fish Rearing Ponds Trail easy (no blaze) This is a short, easy hike through mixed hardwood forest. At the end, look closely and you will notice the subtle remains of several former, now dry, fish rearing ponds built by Civilian Conservation Corps members stationed at the “Potomac Camp” during the 1930s.
How to Get to Potomac State Forest
Directions: Follow Rt. 219 south to Oakland. Turn
left onto Rt. 135 east. Travel to the intersection of MD Rt. 560. At the
traffic light, turn right onto Rt. 560 south and travel 3 miles to Bethlehem
Road. Turn left on Bethlehem Road and travel 2 miles to the intersection of
Bethlehem Road and Eagle Rock Road. Turn right, staying on Bethlehem Road for
1.4 miles. Turn left on Combination Road and travel 1/2 mile. Turn left on
Potomac Camp Road and travel 1/2 mile to the Forest Resource Center, which will
be on the left.
Autumn Glory Festival 2020 has been on the minds of leaf peepers recently. This favorite fall event draws thousands of visitors to Garrett County every October.
Due to COVID-19, many large events are being cancelled. It is important to keep everyone safe. However, the festival organizers have reimagined some of the events. We can still celebrate the beauty of fall at Deep Creek.
About the Autumn Glory Festival 2020
The festival will take place Thursday, October 7 – Sunday, October 11. The festival will have a different look this year. The Fireman’s Parade, “Oompah”, and the Grand Feature Parade are cancelled.
Instead of parade, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce host an Autumn Glory Float Contest. This will take place Saturday, October 10. Local businesses and organizations will decorate Autumn-themed floats. They will be placed in several locations throughout Garrett County. You can visit each float location between 11 am and 5 pm that day. Vote for your favorite one. The three floats with the most votes will receive cash prizes. This will also be a great way to check out the fall colors.
The Chamber will also host the annual Autumn Glory Craft & Gift Sale. It is Saturday, October 10 from 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, October 11 from 10 am – 4 pm at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry.
You will still be able to get the traditional turkey dinners as well. Visit the Garrett Heritage website for more details. Local restaurants will feature turkey dinners that celebrate the event’s roots as a turkey festival. You can also keep an eye on their site for two new fall foliage driving tours.
Other events include:
• The Oakland Car Show on Sunday, October 11 • Oakland’s Celebration of Autumn Glory on Saturday, October 10 • Farmers Market & Craft Show Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday • Special Autumn Glory Weekend Sales and Discounts • SEYMOUR: Virtual Marketplace • Corn Maze • Virtual Autumn Glory Photo Canvas Auction • Virtual Autumn Glory Kick-Off Event • Two Fall Foliage Heritage Driving Tours • Wisp Resort’s Autumn Glory Weekend Activities
Garrett County is well-know for spectacular fall colors and stunning scenery. It has received notice from MSN, Good Housekeeping, TripAdvisor, and Reader’s Digest – just to name a few. Visit us this fall, and you just might fall in love with the area! Start searching for your dream home at Deep Creek Lake now!