Top 8 Deep Creek Lake Winter Activities for Non-Skiers

It’s a common conundrum – what’s a non-skier to do when friends and family are hitting the slopes at Wisp Resort?  Deep Creek Lake winter activities offers lots of options that can keep every member of your crew entertained.  It’s a great way to enjoy a weekend getaway near Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or Washington, DC.

Here are just a few of our favorite activities for the non-skiers staying at a Deep Creek Lake vacation rental:

Activities for Non-Skiers

Hiking at Swallow Falls State Park
Crisp white snow makes this beautiful place even more spectacular, and it’s definitely a must see throughout all four seasons.  If you’re up for some serious hiking, explore trails to all three of the waterfalls – Swallow Falls, Muddy Creek Falls, and Tolliver Falls.  There is also a handicap accessible trail and view platform at Muddy Creek Falls for those that need an easier route or just want to take a short stroll.   Be sure to bring your camera and wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots.  Trails can be slippery during the winter months.  Get more info.

Guided Snowshoe Tours
Weather permitting, All Earth Eco Tours offers another great way to experience Swallow Falls State Park.   Their snowshoe tours are a “no experience required” way to cruise through the woods and take in the scenery.  For those seeking high adventure, ask about their trips to Big Savage Mountain and Lost Lands.
Sleigh Rides at Deep Creek Lake

Sleigh Rides
Take a ride back in time as you swish through open fields and over hills listening to the sound of muffled hoof beats in the snow.  Sleigh rides at Pleasant Valley Dream Rides are an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors no matter what your age.

Sled Riding at Blackwater Falls State Park
Within one hour of the Deep Creek Lake area, you’ll find the ultimate sledding hill!  Head to Blackwater Falls State Park to ride up on a conveyor, sled to the bottom, and repeat!  Bring your own sled or rent one on-site.

Cross Country Skiing
With minimal instruction, you can kick and glide on cross country ski trails at Wisp Resort, Herrington Manor State Park, and New Germany State Park.  Rental equipment is available at each location, and Wisp offers intro lessons as well.

Shops & Antiques
Avoid the cold temperatures when you visit area shops and antique stores.  Schoolhouse Earth, Bear Creek Traders, and High Mountain Sports are a few of our favorites at the lake.  Take a short drive to Oakland to browse antiques at Englander’s or Cabin Fever.

Museum Tours
While you’re in downtown Oakland, history buffs should stop at the two museums operated by the Garrett County Historical Society.  Return to the past as you explore area treasures, learn about early settlers, and check out Model T Fords.

Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center
Fun for kids of all ages, the Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind environmental center with hands-on exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland.  Children can enjoy special programs each weekend like pine cone bird feeder making or feeding some of the resident critters.

Big Changes for Our Deep Creek Lake Real Estate Team!


Now Team Taylor-Made! Karen Myers, Karen Doerr, Betsy Spiker Holcomb, Bob Holcomb

Recently, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales proudly announced that Betsy Spiker Holcomb is now a co-owner of our Real Estate Company. The excitement continued when we got to announce that Betsy also brought her Real Estate Team with her which consists of Bob Holcomb, Karen Myers, and Karen Doerr. Each member has worked with Betsy for many years and together the team brings a true sense of unity as well as their vast knowledge of Deep Creek Lake and Real Estate experience.

Bob Holcomb has over 23 years of experience in golf course construction including the impressive Lodestone Golf Course on top of Wisp Mountain. He quickly fell in love with Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County. As a Buyer Specialist, he uses his extensive knowledge and wisdom of the area, to assess his client’s needs and is a true asset to the Real Estate Team. Asking Bob how he felt about joining the Taylor-Made team he quoted, “I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity with such an amazing group of people. Taylor-Made is a family-based business that treats their employees and clients with integrity and respect.  You can feel the positive and professional aura when you walk through the door.  With the combination of a strong support staff and the use of cutting-edge technology, I think we can represent a significant portion of the real estate market share at Deep Creek Lake.”

Well-known throughout the area, Karen Myers is a true real estate consultant and brings a wealth of Garrett County Real Estate knowledge and experience to both buyers and sellers. Her list of accomplishments is immense as she as taught the real estate pre-licensing course or trained nearly 40% of Garrett County Realtors, assisted in the development of 50 subdivision communities, guided a Planned Residential Development and dealt with governmental regulation at all levels- local, state and federal. It’s easy to see how her keen insight into Deep Creek Lake real estate will benefit area buyers and sellers as well as our team.

Karen Doerr is a licensed Assistant, Transaction Coordinator and Marketing Specialist to Betsy and her team.  She has handled the marketing of hundreds of properties over the last 12 years and is the very best at what she does. Clearly her experience and background will be greatly appreciated by both the Taylor-Made Team and to the clients that she interacts with on a daily basis.

If you’re interested in more information on Deep Creek Lake real estate, call 1-866-351-1119, Ext. 3 or browse area listings now.

Wisp Night 2
Stunning Photo of Wisp’s Ski Slopes @ Night!

As the Taylor-Made Family continues to grow in both the Real Estate field and Vacation Rentals, our goal of “Creating Memories & Exceeding Expectations” is still and always will be a #1 priority. We can’t wait to see you at the lake!


A little savage, something new, and a festival!

Sunrise-2BWe are sailing into fall and are now starting to see the first changing of the leaves. This weekend is the big SavageMan Triathlon where athletes flock to our mountainous area to tackle our hills with their bikes, swim in Deep Creek and race down our roads! Definitely a competitive sport and one that is intense to watch! Of course we welcome these athletes and their families with open arms! We love that they can participate in such a great charitable event and experience the beauty of our area at the same time. We are also being gifted with dream like weather this week with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. Temperatures have been ideal and in the mid-70s. This is also the perfect time for evening bonfires. Many of our vacation rentals have outdoor fire pits so if you are planning on visiting us, make sure you let your Reservationist know this so she can help you find one with this particular amenity. Call us at 1-866-351-1119 or go online and click this option when you are putting in your requirements for your search. Speaking of going online, have you checked our newly launched website. As before, it is very user friendly but also has a fresh new look. Not only is it easy to search for a home with your certain criteria but you also see our vacation packages, check out our photo gallery, read our policies and procedures and more. You can also easily navigate over to our Real Estate section for those that are thinking of buying or listing a home. As I continue to somewhat boast, there is also a very thorough and informative 3D virtual floor plan that we now offer for our homes (not all have one right now but they all will in the near future). This is a great tool to have when you trying to see if a house would work out for you and your family. You can go in and maneuver throughout the rooms and floors, perfect for trying to decide who may be sleeping where. I highly recommend you check out (plus it’s kind of fun!)
The Autumn Glory Festival will be here shortly. The entire festival kicks off on Wednesday October 7th and the big parade held in Oakland is Saturday the 10th. There are so many fun filled family activities to do that weekend! By tradition if you do join in the celebration, don’t forget to pick up your turkey dinner. There are numerous dining establishments in the area who join in with awesome local tradition and offer a full turkey dinner with all of the trimmings! Again, give us a call and let us help you find your Deep Creek home! We can’t wait to see you at the lake!


Soups On! Who’s Hungry?

Taylor-Made 5th Annual Soup Cook Off
Yesterday was Earth Day. Mother Nature played a little surprise trick on us by decorating our mountain tops with some fresh fluffy snow. Just another part of the adventure of mountain living! Speaking of which, our spring generally comes a little later than most places but the reawakening has started and we are so excited. Buds are forming on trees, the grass is getting darker and brighter, and the wildlife is starting to come out and play! Now is the perfect time to get away for the weekend and come to Deep Creek to play. Our local golf courses are open and Wisp is still running the mountain coaster (a single ride coaster that winds down the mountain and you can control the speed. So much fun and a Must-Try!) Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales is offering some fabulous last minute discounts! Give us a call and let us help you find that perfect vacation home for you and your family (1-800-851-1119 or online
Today marks an important day in the Taylor-Made world as we held our 5thAnnual Company Soup Cook Off! This is where we call on all Taylor-Made employees to show off their culinary skills by bringing in their favorite soup in an attempt to win the coveted title of Soup Cook Off Champ! Over the years, we have seen many different soups from Jambalayas, Seafood Bisques, Veggie, Chili, etc. Basically if it can be made in soup form, it was at some point entered into the contest. The one conclusion we come to each year is this: our employees have some mad cooking skills! Each year we pick our “Celebrity Deep Creek Judges” who are responsible for judging each soup and rating them accordingly. They must then get together and judge who the real winner is going to be. Not an easy task for any man, I can assure you of that. This year our grand prize when to Chris R in Reservations for her entry of Creamy Crab Soup. This was followed up with 2nd prize to Rita in Accounting for Potato Bacon & Tied for third, Jason and Heather from Housekeeping/ Laundry with their soup entries of Mexican Tortilla and White Chicken Chili!

It’s also just a fun way to take time away from the usual hustle and bustle of a daily schedule to mix and mingle with coworkers. We love it when all of our departments can take a short time out to get together and enjoy each other’s company. (Throw in yummy food and it’s a win-win for everyone!) A great deal of fun was had by all and a huge thank you to all who participated, both by entering and judging!)
Signs of Spring!
Have we mentioned that now is the ideal time to plan a short getaway? So close to Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. & the surrounding areas, why not just take advantage of some awesome deals, pack up the car, & in just a few short hours spend an amazing weekend resting and relaxing with your favorite people! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #taylormadevacatonrentals #springfling  

Time to be “Rest Assured”!

It’s a TGIF kind of day here at Deep Creek Lake! I think the warmer weather has everyone going a little stir crazy lately. It’s that time of year where you see the lawn crews begin to come out, small little armies of men (and women!) packing rakes and backpack blowers! It may sound silly but I love it! Soon the grass will begin to get green & grow lusher, daffodils are slowing starting to peek out, and I love the sight of a freshly cleaned spring lawn! If you haven’t made plans yet for the Easter Holiday than you should consider bringing your family to the mountains. We are just over 3 hours from the Washington D.C. area & 2.5 from Pittsburgh. Easy drive. We are being overly generous with last minute discounts on our Deep Creek vacation homes so call us today (1-866-351-1119 or online
Rest Assured Dining/ Kitchen Area

Speaking of visiting Deep Creek Lake, I would like to give a shout out to one of our newest homes to join the Taylor-Made family. “Rest Assured” is a phenomenal 5 bedroom home that sits on some of Deep Creek’s most premiere lakefront locations! From the moment that you step inside this luxury home, you will be taken in by all of the very many special touches that the homeowners has put into the home. Personally, I fell in love with the many cute and funny signs throughout the kitchen while admiring the fact that it looks like something out of Pinterest. The Great Room offers elegant furnishings, gleaming hardwood floors, and an impressive stone fireplace. However the real eye catcher is when you walk further into the room and are suddenly drawn into a 180° degree view of Deep Creek and the surrounding mountains. It’s one of those views that never ceases to amaze. Each bedroom has been lovingly decorated. Offering 3 Master Suites and 2 bedrooms with singles/ bunk beds makes this home the perfect choice for the multi-family getaway! Easily enough room for everyone!
Great Room with amazing lake views!
That being in mind, imagine bringing your family here for a full week in the summer. The kids will be thrilled and boredom is never an option. Not to mention the numerous activities to do in our area, in the summer, you can just spend your days swimming, fishing, and lounging at your own private dock! It’s also located off a quiet little lane (this home is almost at the end) so the kids can bring their bicycles and the parents don’t need to worry about a lot of road traffic! Choose another season to visit and you will also fall in love with the close proximity to Wisp Ski Resort and area shopping and dining! We are so excited to welcome “Rest Assured” to our rental market! We know that this is going to be a home that so many families will call their “Home Away from Home” and will want to return time and time again. The summer weeks are going to fill up very fast for this vacation home so please call soon to book your stay! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #summertime #familyfun

It Wasn’t an Accident!

The Drane House
It has been a little easier these past few days to #thinkspring since we are finally beginning to see some warmer temperatures here in our Maryland Mountains. March definitely came roaring in like a lion as just last week we were hit with another big snowstorm. Today, however, is nothing but bright blue skies and a high of 40°+, it feels like a tropical paradise (okay, so that may be a slight exaggeration but compared to those negative temps, we will happily take it & enjoy!)
 I recently had an opportunity to make a few stops in Accident Maryland, a small town just a short 10 minute drive from Deep Creek Lake and one that many visiting us pass through on their way in or out of McHenry. If you haven’t been there ever or in a while, I recommend checking it out. For those history buffs, a must see stop at the historical Drane House which is thought to be the oldest standing structure in Garrett County and a key part of our Western Maryland heritage is needed. It holds significant importance due to its architectural significance that used a unique combination of log and frame structure techniques. It is suggested that you go onto their website to check time for tours of this wonderful old home. 
Goodies from Firefly Farms
 Your next stop is Firefly Farms off of Main Street. Here you can taste and buy their award winning goat cheeses most of which are made on-site. Artfully handcrafted and aged to precise perfection, many of Firefly’s cheeses have won numerous national and international cheese awards. The shop also features many types of wine and specialty items, basically everything you need to host a small gathering with friends or family. My personal recommendation is for the Black & Bleu goat cheese which offers a buttery and dense texture with a creamy robust flavor. Not sure which one to choose? They are very generous is allowing their patrons to taste the different varieties and then offer stellar advice on which pairs best with which wines and specialty food items. Trust me, you want to stop here.
Don’t feel like cooking but in the mood for a good old fashioned home cooked meal? Annie’s Kitchen Country Restaurant serves everything from enormous portions of subs and sandwiches to bakery items, breakfast served all day and so much more. A warm and cozy atmosphere, this relaxing little diner is well worth the stop and very friendly on the wallet.
Blue Skies & Sunshine
Next time you are heading to Deep Creek Lake, don’t forget to check out these true gems on your way in or while you are here. In the meantime, Wisp continues to keep the slopes open and the skiing conditions are awesome. We are running some fantastic last minute discounts or are always happy to help you plan your summer getaway. Don’t forget to give us a call here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales (www.deepcreekvacations.comor 1-866-351-1119) and let us help you plan your next Deep Creek stay. We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #westernmaryland #springgetaway #lakelife

Let’s Spring Forward Already!

Swallow Falls State Park
As February crawls to a close, we are officially entering that time of year where the zeal for winter is just about over and need for spring is here. Record snowfalls have been hitting the East Coast for a while now. People are jumping out of windows into snow banks (those crazy Bostonians) and now that all the major winter festivals and holidays are over, it just seems like time to move on. What better way to ward off the winter woes than to plan a spring getaway. Somewhere fun. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere like Deep Creek Lake. If you have not experienced spring in the mountains then I highly recommend that you put this on your Must Do list! Whether you are witnessing the lake beginning to peak out of the ice or the deer & other wildlife venturing out, you will definitely appreciate the beauty of watching the mountains “spring” to life. “Doesn’t seem like there would be anything to do?” We hear this sometimes and can’t wait to tell our guests how wrong they are! J If you enjoy the outdoors, it is the perfect time to walk and hike through our state parks. Always #1 on that list, of course, is Swallow Falls State Park which houses the largest waterfall in the state of Maryland. Muddy Creek Falls is a crashing 53 feet, a breathtaking sight any time of the year. The main trail that winds down around the falls will also lead you to several smaller waterfalls and some insanely gorgeous photo ops! Many of our state parks also have some great mountain biking trails! Looking for something a little more soothing?
Hole in One!
Fore! Golf, anyone? We have several top notch golf courses here in our area and many of our vacation rental homes are within walking distance or just a short drive away adding to the convenience. Always a great escape for a guy’s weekend away! For the ladies, maybe they just want some time to gather and catch up, check out some our wonderful little shops, plan a massage? Many of our vacation homes are specifically designed with a nice open floor space making gathering with friends fun and easy!
Spring Sunrise!
Call us here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales (1-866-351-1119 or online and let us know what type of spring getaway you are planning and we would be more than happy to help. Tell us about your group and we will find the perfect home to fit the needs of you and your guests! Don’t forget to ask us about any last minute or spring discounts that we may be running (3 nights for 2 now through the end of April!) In the meantime, for those of you that are visiting us this weekend or in the next several days, enjoy the sunshine! The slopes are freshly groomed and currently the weather is calling for warmer temps and lots of Vitamin D over the weekend. We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #springfling #weekendgetaway

Welcome Aboard Archie’s BBQ!

A True Winter Wonderland!
 We here @ Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales are busy gearing up for another exciting holiday weekend. Hard to believe that we are half way through February and President’s Day weekend is already upon us. The following weekend (February 20th) is the 17th Annual MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk where people donate money to watch their friends jump into the frigid waters of Deep Creek Lake in the winter! It’s such a fun event and the money that is raised by the Maryland State Police and Natural Resources Police goes toward the Maryland Special Olympics! It’s held at The Honi-Honi Bar/ Uno’s Pizzeria and starting at 2 pm, all the dunkers start being lead in to the water in waves! People come from Maryland and surrounding states and they usually “Dress to Impress” meaning there are some extremely creative costumes to witness! If you haven’t made plans to attend this event then give us a call (1-866-351-1119 or online at and let us help you find that perfect vacation home for you and your friends.
“I Got This!”
Archie Fans!

Many of our past guests may already be aware of this but when renting with us here at Taylor-Made, we offer those staying in our homes a “Local Vendor Discount Card” which is a card that they can take around to some of our area’s participating establishments and receive a certain discount or specialty item. The list of the participating businesses is listed in the home’s “House Book” and explains what each one offers. We are proud to add this expanding list and this week we are adding Archie’s Barbeque ( which is a dining restaurant here in McHenry. This is your go-to if you are craving some authentic smoked barbeque food. Ribs, wings, chicken, turkey, brisket; the list is long, the servings are insanely huge, and the food is awesome. Locally owned and operated since 2007 and proud to announce that they were “Awarded the “Best of the Best” across America for our Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket and Baby Back Ribs by the National Barbeque News Magazine!”, the Archer Family is committed to providing exceptional service to their guests whether they are now just stopping by for a meal or if they are considering having an event catered. They are also now using a really neat new system where you can earn points for every dollar you spend. Your points can then earn you free food or merchandise. Definitely a win-win for the customer! (We would suggest checking out their website or asking about this the next time you visit for full details!) So, Welcome Aboard Archie’s BBQ! We love your food & can’t wait to tell our guests to stop by for a great meal!
In the meantime, the snow is falling and we can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #winterwonderland #yummybbq #deepcreekdining #MarylandMountains

Wisp Ski Resort~ A Little Look Back!

Today’s snow making equipment

As I sit here daydreaming & staring out my office window, I can’t help but watch the people zig-zag their way down the ski slopes. For the most part, they all seem to be floating gracefully although on occasion you will witness a bit of a crash and burn. As we here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales gear up for another busy weekend, we can’t help but feel proud that so many people have chosen Deep Creek Lake as their choice for a weekend winter getaway! Granted, our location is key since we are only a mere 3-4 hours away from Washington D.C and 2 ½ from Pittsburgh. However, most come to enjoy the outdoor adventures that our area has to offer. While hiking and snow shoeing are my preferred activity choices, most come to spend the weekend at Wisp Ski Resort which offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating and more!

Helmuth “Ace” Heise

It is with this thought that I can’t help but think of how this all came about because one man had a dream to make Deep Creek Lake a four season resort. Helmuth “Ace” Heise began vacationing with his parents and sister at Deep Creek Lake in the 1930s. He and his wife, Evelyn, later went on to buy property and construct a year round 10 unit motel. After noticing that there was very little money to be made in the winter months, Ace knew he needed to find a way to attract guests to this area for potential winter sports. He along with some other local business men formed Recreational Industries, Inc. and leased a farm pasture on Marsh Mountain. Winter skiing began the winter of 1955-1956 with one ski slope of which the skiers were pulled to the top of the mountain via a rope tow. The “Lodge” at the time was a one room hut warmed by a coal fired potbellied stove. The ski equipment was rented out of the bed of a pick-up truck. But, people came. Over the next decade, Mr. Heise went on to add additional slopes and lifts and even purchased state of the art snow making equipment (which at the time resembled lawn sprinklers that spat out pellets of frozen water). Wisp continued to grow and improve and as of today has over 34 slopes located on 172 acres. The lawn sprinklers have since been replaced by the world’s most energy efficient snowmaking equipment with computerized weather and pumping stations. Of course, over the years, they also added the snow tubing park, ice skating rink, and more! Again, this started because one man knew how to tun his dream into realty. Although Mr. Heise is no longer with us, we owe him a big thank you for helping make Deep Creek Lake a vacation destination all year long.

Vintage Wisp Lodge

With that being said, the sun is shining, the temperatures are warming up and Wisp is ready for the weekend! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #skiwisp #winterwonderland #deepcreeklake #dreamsintorealty #AceHeise


The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

The view from the Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales office states that someone clearly shook the snow globe. Our area has been covered in a few inches of fresh snow almost daily this week which makes for awesome outdoor play! I think it would be easy to say that now is the perfect time to visit our area since there is such a wide variety of activities to choose from. Do you just want gather some friends for a weekend away tackling the slopes skiing or snowboarding? Maybe you want to bring the kids and try out that cool mountain coaster or spend the afternoon snow tubing? Snowshoeing, hiking, cross country skiing, ice skating, or just a good old fashioned snowball fight! So many choices! However, now is also a great time to plan that romantic weekend getaway with your special loved one this Spring! Aaahh, spring! Flowers begin to bloom, the grass starts to peak out as the snow begins to melt, wildlife awakens, and love is in the air. (Insert Music Montage!) Actually, our Maryland Mountains are quite beautiful in the spring! Things are a little quieter around Deep Creek then so you can have that quiet, serene escape that is so needed after a long winter. Rates are also lower. True. It’s a good time to take advantage of lower rates and we tend to be more generous with last minute discounts. Imagine whisking your loved one away for a weekend escape (only 2 ½ hours from Pittsburgh; 3 from Washington DC) to the mountains. Spend your afternoons hiking in one of our many state parks (Swallow Falls State Park houses the largest waterfall in the state of Maryland and is absolutely breathtaking throughout the year!) Perhaps you want to spend some time strolling the streets of downtown Oakland which alludes friendly small town charm.  Have a quiet romantic dinner at one of our many great restaurants or prepare your own special meal at your vacation home in the fully stocked kitchen. Hmmm… starting to sound like a very nice way to ease into spring, don’t you agree?
 Want to vamp it up just a little more? Add our Honeymoon or Romance package to your reservation and we will have it as the home waiting to surprise your loved one when you arrive! The Romance Package (@ $35) gives you a $25 gift certificate to one of our local restaurants, a Specialty Item from Telli’s Deli, 2 Taylor-Made wine glasses, and a free early check in or late check out (If available & sorry, not applicable over the Summer season). The Honeymoon Package steps is up even further (@$55) and also adds 2 movie tickets, flowers, and chocolate truffles! Again, don’t forget that wonderful element of surprise that will definitely kick your weekend off to a wonderful start. Come play today for winter madness or surprise your loved one on Valentine’s Day with the promise of a romantic mountain getaway.
Call today and let us help you plan your next Deep Creek adventure ( or 1-866-351-1119)! We can’t wait to see you at the lake!
#lovedeepcreek #romanticgetaways #valentinesday #moutainmemories