Snow Shoeing with All Earth Eco Tours

The quiet blanket of snow hushes the forest and creates a peaceful silence only broken by the gentle laughter of Snowshoers and the occasional call of the chickadee. The forest canopy drops a sprinkle of diamond sparkled snowflakes and areas long hidden by brush and undergrowth now become new discoveries as we move over the soft blanket of white peace. The frozen waterfalls and immense old growth forest create a winter wonderland that truly is one of the most places in the world.

All Earth Eco Tours is again offering Snowshoeing Tours (our tenth year) on Saturdays and Sundays at 10AM and 1PM, at Swallow Falls State Park. We provide state-of-the-art snowshoes, a fun loving and expert local guide and hot coco along the trail. These amazing affordable tours are designed for just about all ages and we go at a suitable pace for the ability and physical condition of the group. Tour participants will learn about safe winter travel in the woods, local flora and fauna as well as have easy access to great picture taking opportunities. Conditions have arrived early this year and tours begin this weekend December 11th-12th. Advance reservations are required by calling toll free 1-800-446-7554. Our expert adventure consultants are ready to answer any questions your guests may have to guarantee that they are properly prepared. In addition we are offering custom high adventure snowshoeing tours to athleltic groups.

Western Maryland Santa Express

Saturday, December 4th, was a blistering day in Deep Creek Lake. With the holiday cheer in the air, I decided to take my son on his first ever (and mine as well) train ride. We went on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and chose the Santa Express in Cumberland (only about 45 minutes east of Deep Creek Lake). What a sight was the large steam engine as it rolled into the station and Santa Claus waving out of the conductor’s window! Brody was so exicted, not only to see Santa Claus, but to get on his first Choo Choo Train. The train was huge, we had to go through 8 carts before getting our seats. Santa came through each cart giving out candy canes and talking with the kids. That was the only time I could get Brody away from the window. The ride to Frostburg took about 1 hour. We went and had lunch at a restaurant pub in Frostburg before heading back to Cumberland. The narration on the train was excellent and we got to hear about the caves and horseshoe tracks along the way.

Couple of helpful hints.
  1. If you can splurge, get the 1st class tickets (they are a bit more but they include lunch and great seats), and you get to your seats quicker (only matters if it is freezing outside)!
  2. Brody had a blast, but he is 2 – perfect age. If I had taken my older neices and nephews I would suggest to bring snacks, drinks, and a DVD player to keep their interest going.
  3. The tickets are free for any lap child. Brody was on our lap the whole time so he could see out the window.
  4. Stroller was key for the Frostburg excursion. You can keep it between the seats folded up during the train ride.
  5. If you have infants bring a blanket – it was a bit chilly for Jorja, my newborn.

We had a great time and will be looking into the Murder Mystery Ride the Spring!

Wisp Grand Opening December 9th

Maryland’s only ski operation – Wisp Resort – Opening for 2010/2011 Winter Season!

Deep Creek Lake, MD (December 3, 2010) — After several inches of snowfall on Thursday & Friday, December 2 & 3 along with plummeting temperatures in the Deep Creek Lake region, winter has arrived at Wisp Resort. Maryland’s only ski resort has exercised its snowmaking system with 3 consecutive snowmaking days and counting. Wisp Resort’s opening weekend is set for Saturday and Sunday, December 4 & 5, 2010 with the beginner trail Belly Flop and the conveyor carpet operating from 9am – 5 pm both days. Reduced rate lift tickets are $10 for adults or juniors. The Ice Skating Rink and Mountain Coaster will operate Saturday, December 4 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, December 5 from 10am-4pm. Mountain Operations have been working around the clock to prepare more terrain for a ‘Grand Opening’ on Thursday, December 9 for an early kick-off to Wisp’s 55th Birthday Celebration Weekend. The Birthday Celebration features $7 1-day lift tickets on Sunday and Monday, December 12 & 13 along with half price sport rentals and group lessons, plus music, games and a very special birthday cake presentation on Sunday by Baltimore’s famous Charm City Cakes. With more cold temperatures and snow in the forecast, snowmaking efforts continue. Visit www.wispresort.com for updated mountain conditions, to view Wisp web cams and sign up for snow reports and My Wisp Mail.

Opening Weekend – Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5:

9 am–5 pm – Belly Flop Trail & conveyor carpet

Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 10am-4pm – Mountain Coaster & Ice Skating Rink

Grand Opening – Thursday, December 9: 9 am – 5 pm – Terrain & Lift Operations TBA