The Maryland Park Service reminds all snowmobilers of the potential for unseen safety hazards on Deep Creek Lake, particularly at night. Starting on Wednesday, February 20th, an area of ice will be removed near Uno Chicago Grill on Garrett Highway to create open water for the Special Olympics Deep Creek Dunk. This area will remain unsafe for quite some time and will be marked with reflective traffic cones. Also be aware that lake surface conditions under bridges where road salt and abrasives are plowed from the pavement are often particularly hazardous. Other conditions that may cause unpleasant situations are unseen snowdrifts or pressure ridges that can act as ramps and cause sleds to become airborne leading to a loss of control and accidents.
Deep Creek Lake is a part of the designated ORV trail system permitting use by registered snowmobiles only. Permits are available by mail or at any of the local State Park offices during normal business hours. Snowmobiles may operate at night if equipped with working head and taillights. Access to the lake may be made at Deep Creek Lake State Park or with permission from a private landowner with a permit site adjacent to the lake.
Ice fishermen, hikers and cross-country skiers traveling on the lake should also exercise caution. The wearing of or having readily accessible life preservers could prevent a tragedy. If you encounter people, pets or wildlife that have fallen through the ice, contact either 911 or the toll free DNR Communications number 1-800-628-9944 for assistance.
For further information on ice conditions at Deep Creek Lake, contact a ranger at the Park Headquarters office (301) 387-5563 or the Discovery Center on weekends at (301) 387-7067.
If you have the need for speed or just like to be adventurous, snowmobiling is a great way to see Deep Creek Lake’s countryside in style. The Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Meadow Mountain Trail is one of the ways you can enjoy 5.5 miles of open terrain, perfect for a Sunday ride. For those who are really gung-ho, hardcore locals ride at their own risk at 70+ mph on the ice frozen waters of Deep Creek Lake. The lake offers 65 miles of shoreline, approximately 3,900 acres of surface coverage and is roughly 12 miles in length. A pretty large playground for the brave!
Snowmobile Drag Races will be held at Winter’s Field in Oakland, Maryland on February 20th beginning at noon. Registration begins at 9:00 to 11:30 and there are cash payouts for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places in each class. There are 7 classes this year: 1) Vintage “1990 & Older” sleds, 2) 500cc & Under, 3) 600cc, 4) 700cc, 5) 800cc, 6) 900cc, 7) 1000cc.
The race is sponsored by High Mountain On-Off Road, Auto & Truck Accessories. For more information call 301.334.5060.