Big Run State Park is made up of 300 acres in Savage River State Forest. Available activities include rustic camping, canoeing, fishing and miles of trails for cross country skiing and hiking.
It is well-known by fisherman for its smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, channel catfish, yellow perch, brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout. The popular hiking trail, Monroe Run, has its trailhead in the park as well. A variety of activities are available year-round. The changing scenery is both beautiful and rugged.
About Big Run State Park
Fisherman find a wide variety of both warmwater and coldwater species at Big Run State Park. It has access to Savage River Reservoir where fishing opportunities for species such as bluegill, black crappie, walleye, yellow perch, brown trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are abundant. Two tributaries, Monroe Run and Savage Run, are also good spots for fishing. Anglers may catch brown, brook or rainbow trout in Savage Run. Shoreline fishing is popular along the state forest roads where families can find easy access. Each spring the Maryland Department of Natural Resources stocks trout in both Savage Run and Savage River Reservoir.
Savage River Reservoir provides paddling opportunities. Offering two boat launches (located at Dry Run and near the Reservoir dam), only boats with electric motors are permitted on the reservoir. When exploring 350 acres reservoir, you might see grouse, ducks, great blue herons, king fishers and minks.
Deep Creek spring activities offer something for every interest. There are lots of indoor and outdoor options for visitors and residents too.
It is an in-between season when the weather can be a bit unpredictable. You might not always be able to do every item on this list, but you can try! Also, be sure to check days/hours of operation – especially mid-week.
Deep Creek Spring Activities
Deep Creek Fun Zone – Winter hours are Thursday-Sunday. You can choose your own adventure and get something great to eat. They have an arcade and lazer tag. When the weather warms up in late spring, they usually open outdoor activities that include mini golf, go carts, and bumper boats. More info.
Fishing – Garrett County’s lakes and rivers offer tons of fishing opportunities. Get your Maryland fishing license and head out to one of our lakes or rivers. Deep Creek Lake State Park and Herrington Manor State Park are kid friendly spots. The Casselman and Savage Rivers are popular for fly fishing. Check out our fishing guide for more details.
Winter 2021 has been absolutely incredible at Deep Creek Lake! Conditions for winter sports have been amazing. Lots of snowfall and cold temps have made our area an absolute winter wonderland.
Winter 2021 Weather
Nearly every week throughout January and February, we saw snowfall. There were storms right before MLK and President’s Day weekends that brought fresh powder for skiers. It was not unusual to have 8-10 inches dropped on the area several weeks in a row. Wisp Resort is reporting 109 inches for the season so far. Temperatures are warming up a bit as we head into March, but Garrett County winters shouldn’t be underestimated.
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.
Deep Creek Lake spring activities offer something for everyone. As we say good-bye to winter weather, it is a time to enjoy the outdoors, visit local businesses and explore the area. This quieter season is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
I put together some of my favorite indoor and outdoor Deep Creek Lake spring activities. Be sure to check availability as opening dates may vary for some of the options listed.
Deep Creek Lake Spring Activities
–Golf typically begins in April (weather dependent). The four Garrett County courses are Lodestone, Fantasy Valley, Thousand Acres and the Golf Club at Oakland.
-Our eight state parks offer miles of hiking trails. Water levels can be high during the spring months making it a great time to check out Swallow Falls State Park. If you are looking for family friendly experiences, I put together a list of 5 easy trails.
Deep Creek golf courses will start their season in just a few months! The are four courses to play in Garrett County. Each offers its own unique challenges.
About Deep Creek Golf Courses
Lodestone Golf Course This stunning course was designed by Hale Irwin, 3-time U.S. Open Champion. It is laid out to highlight the contours of the mountaintop terrain. Lodestone was ranked the #2 public course in the state of Maryland by GolfWeek Magazine. Players will appreciate the stunning lake as well as mountain vistas. The tentative opening date for 2020 is May 1.
Fantasy Valley Golf Course This course is a long-time favorite that opened in 1980. There have been many changes and improvements since then. It surrounds the base of Wisp Resort. The tentative opening date is April 17, 2020.
Deep Creek Lake events are picking up as we enter late spring and early summer! Almost every weekend offers something fun and most are family friendly happenings.
Garrett County Celtic Festival June 1, 10AM-6PM, Friendsville Town Park Celebrating all things Celtic, there are tons of fun activities throughout the day along with great food and beautiful music. Traditional Irish dancing, pipe & drum bands, a Celtic marketplace and history presentations are just a few of the highlights.
Family Day at Spruce Forest Artisan Village June 8, 10AM-2PM, Spruce Forest Artisan Village Village volunteers will offer crafts and activities, a display of Native American artifacts from the region shared by a local archaeologist, music and more. You can stroll through the historic buildings in the Village to learn of their background, and meet with the artisans in their studios.
My 5 favorite Deep Creek Lake spring activities celebrate this quieter season. It is a time of year that has a slower, more leisurely pace. You feel like you have the Deep Creek Lake area all to yourself. It is easy to enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family.
Deep Creek Lake Spring Activities
Here are some of the highlights of a few favorite things to do during the spring months.
Deep Creek Lake spring fishing starts as soon as the ice melts on the lake. McHenry Cove is a popular spot where you will often see lots of fisherman lining the banks.
Deep Creek Lake State Park is also a great spot for fishing. You can go to the fishing pier or fish from the shoreline (excluding the beach area). You can get your fishing license at the Discover Center or you can buy one online as well. This is definitely my pick for fishing if you are taking your little ones. If they fishing loses their attention, there are several different playgrounds to enjoy. Plus, the Disovery Center has lots of great environmental exhibits.