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.

A Pat on the Back & Snow?

Exciting things have been going on at the Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales office lately. The first is a shout out and giving props to ourselves! Recently voted #3 in Best New Websites for 2015 by VRM Intel Magazine, we are rather proud of our newest accomplishment. If you haven’t had the chance to check out our new website, please do . Not only is it very User Friendly but the guests are able to basically access any information about the house they are interested in reserving. Bright, bold pictures help you get the complete visual and the list of amenities lets you know what to expect the home to provide. This can be very useful throughout the year but one prime example of this is if the home has Air Conditioning or not. Because our temperatures tend to run lower than most of our surrounding cities, some of the homes do not have AC and simply rely on open windows and ceiling fans. An important fact to check on if this is an essential amenity for you and your guests. Have a really picky and somewhat fussy multi-family that you will be hosting? Go on the interactive floor plan so that you can maneuver your way around the home. This is great when you are trying to figure out sleeping arrangements or just to see the general layout. We’ve also added lots of great local information, your rental information and some fantastic photos as well. Well worth checking out.

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The Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching and we highly encourage those visiting us during that time to stop over at the Garrett County fairgrounds for the Festival of Trees on the 27th and 28th. Featuring all kinds of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, crafts and more, it is truly like walking through a winter wonderland. The kids will love getting their picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as getting to sit in Frosty’s sled. A very fun, family friendly way to start off this festive time of year!

Speaking of getting ready for festivities, if you are one of those guests that love to take advantage of Black Friday Specials, then don’t forget to keep an eye out for our mass e-mail, website, and Facebook for some incredible deals on your next Taylor-Made vacation (1-866-351-1119 if you would like to speak to one of our Reservationist!) The weatherman has been whispering the “S” word over the last few days so there is a chance we may see some of the fluffy stuff this weekend. A perfect time to come to the mountains, give us a call. We can’t wait to see you at the lake!

Did you really say “Winter”?

Wisp SnowThe month of October is sailing by and although the days have been gorgeous and sunny, the colder temperatures in the evening and morning are definite signs that ski season will be here before you know it! Please don’t be mistaken and think that it’s too soon to book your winter vacation. Holidays in particular tend to book up very quickly so it’s always best to call a few months in advance to secure that reservation. Parents should try to take advantage of any longer weekends that the kids may have off (those Teacher Planning days are awesome!) to come up for the weekend to ski or snow tube! Only 3 ½ hours from Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas and even less for those over near Pittsburgh, it’s a fairly easy drive. Think about how grateful the family would be to know that this winter they were going to take a weekend to tackle the ski slopes at Maryland’s only ski resort! (And think how awesome you look Mom and Dad for planning the whole thing). Not sure if skiing is your thing? There are so many more fun activities to do! Cross country skiing is an easy sport to learn, can be invigorating and relaxing at the same time, and it’s a great workout as well! Snow-shoeing is also highly recommended and trust me on this, if I (Super Klutz!) can figure this out and love it, then anyone can. Crede Calhoun from All Earth Eco Tours ( does some amazing tours at Swallow Falls State Park. If you’re familiar with Swallow Falls, then you know how beautiful it is there, however, one of the most unique aspects about Crede’s tours is that he chooses to take you to the areas of the park that we rarely venture to see. Once you get used to the show shoes, it’s easy to just plow along while taking in the dazzling winter wonderland before you! Again, highly recommend!


Also depending on what kind of winter getaway you are planning, we have multiple options for you to choose from. Are you looking for the convenience of a ski in/ ski out home? Just want everyone to come and go on the slopes at their leisure and would rather not worry about driving? We have some wonderful homes up in the Kendall Camp community where the ski lift is literally right out your back door. We also have several townhomes located in Deep Creek Villages that offer an easy stroll across the road to Wisp’s ticket window. Not really planning on skiing to much but love the thought of being in a mountain chalet with exquisite mountain views? We have those too! So, there it’s been thrown out there, it’s time to start planning your winter escape! Don’t let the winter blues attack this year! Call us here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations @ 1-866-351-1119 & Sales (or online and let us help you start planning your winter trip! We can’t wait to see you at the lake!


Hey Chipmunks! We Challenge You!

Today is one of those days at Deep Creek that look like it could come straight from a postcard. Bright blue skies and lake sparkle against the lush mountainside, truly a breathtaking sight. Watching so many people having such a fun time, whether they are speeding along on a speed boat, hitting the waves on a jet ski, or taking the family tour on a pontoon boats, the squeals of joy and laughter are ringing loudly across the lake! For those that may be wandering if there are any activities to do that are not on the lake and the answer is “Of Course”! One place I love to suggest to families is to head over to Wisp’s Adventure Park. Generally when we speak of Wisp, we think of the mountains heaped in snow as people take on the ski and snowboarding trails but in the warmer months, Wisp offers a large variety of activities for all ages. For the young kids, the Chipmunk Challenge Course is a must try! This canopy tour is designed to test your kid’s prowess and athletic abilities while having at a blast at the same time. Participants are suited up with a harness, helmet, and are given the needed safety instructions. They then begin to maneuver the course which consists of everything from a Spider Net that must be crossed to a Tarzan Vine Rope. Each task requires the participant to pay close attention to their surroundings while using precision in balancing. They finally finish with the final zipline which sends them plummeting down 200 feet of cable. While the kids may not take in as much of the scenery, they do get to witness some of the most breathtaking views of the McHenry Cove when perched on top of the course. A fun activity that the kids will talk about for months afterwards and parents get some fantastic photo and video ops as well! While there are many more things to do at Wisp (golfing, disc golf, mountain biking, etc) this particular activity is perfect for kids 4 years and up that weigh at least 40 pounds.
If you have not made your summer plans to come and visit us here at Deep Creek, now is the time to do so! We have opened all homes up for partial week stays in July, ideal for those that are not able to get a full week off of work but still deserve a relaxing getaway. Give us a call here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales (1-866-351-1119 or online ) and let us help you find your families vacation dream home! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #DCLlakelife #DCLvacationrentals

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

Smile and Say “Cheese”!

Yummy bread basket!
A few years ago, Jodi was telling me about this great new shop that opened in Accident (this is the darling little town that many of you pass through on your way to McHenry) where she bought some amazing goat cheese and wine. She suggested I check it out for a future blog. I have been hooked and a big fan ever since. The shop itself is quaint and charming with a wonderful mural spread across the back wall. Of course the first thing I noticed was the large showcase of cheeses. They have a little area set aside where they put various cheeses, crackers, and jams so that you have the chance to sample the different varieties. A large open window allows you to actually watch them make the cheese, a very interesting process to say the least.  They have a nice variety of everything you want with your cheese; wine, crackers, condiments, etc. My favorite by far is the “Black and Blue” which is a black encrusted cheese with a rich, buttery taste. (Tastes great on a spinach salad) The Merry Goat Round is also a must. It’s a beautiful, soft-ripened bloomy round with a nice creamy texture. As mentioned, they will slice samples for you so that you have the chance to pick the ones that would best fit your taste. Not sure on what kind of wine would pair up nicely with your choice? Ask. The customer service is very friendly and helpful. Due to the fact that Mother Nature has decided that we still need more snow, I imagine curling up in front a toasty fireplace enjoying a glass of wine and an assortment of crackers and cheese. So, if you are on your way in to the area this weekend and are passing through Accident, stop in and try some samples. You won’t regret it.
Coming Soon!

Speaking of snow, Wisp is still going strong to the end of the month. Lines are not long and we have been told that skiing is great. Give us a call here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and we will do our best to find that perfect vacation home for you and your guests. (1-866-351-1119 or online We can’t wait to see you at the lake!

Sunshine & Lattes!

Caramel Latte!
See yourself here!
I believe that there has been a collective sigh of relief heard throughout much of Garrett County this past week as the last snow storm basically missed us. We here in the mountains scoff at anything under 6 inches so the last snowfall had very little impact but did add fresh powder to Wisp’s ski slopes. Today the sun is a bright surreal blue and with the temperatures climbing into the 30’s, it feels like a wonderful heat wave. If you are looking for a last minute getaway, now is the best time to call as we are running some fabulous discounts here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations. Give us a call and we happily assist you in finding a home for you and your guests (1-866-351-1119 or online

       When the temperatures drop, it’s always good to have a backup plan of ways to stay warm. Mine now has formed into an addiction of caramel lattes from Trader’s Coffee House located here at the lake. Although I’m not actually recommending that caffeine be your fix, I do highly suggest that you stop by and see Brenda and her crew. A very warm and comfy vibe is felt from the minute you step inside and the smell of fresh baked goods is mouthwatering! They have a toasty fireplace which would the perfect place for reading your morning paper while you sip your coffee. They also offer free wireless internet so for those that need to stay connected, they can do so while stuffing their face full of one her yummy muffins or scones. She also serves a variety of other breakfast and lunch items that are definitely worth trying. Don’t know the difference between a latte or a frappe or undecided on which to choose? Ask Brenda’s staff. They are definitely top notch when it comes to customer service and go above and beyond to help.
The view from my window is shouting “sunshine & fresh mountain air” and there is a caramel latte waiting. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you at the lake.

Deep Creek Dunk~ Do you dare?

Flip flop daydreams!
It appears that we may be getting some warmer temperatures here at Deep Creek Lake this weekend with a high in the 50° realm. A universal “Yay” is being shouted, I’m sure. Living in the mountains of Maryland, we are used to an abundance of snow and colder temps and we take it like champs. However, this is about the time that we all begin to have flip flop daydreams or at least some hope of seeing some color other than white. The timing is perfect since this weekend is the 16th Annual MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk! This is such a wonderful cause to support as it helps the Special Olympics of Maryland! People gather donations and rally together to “Dunk” themselves into the icy and frigid waters of Deep Creek Lake! The proceeds of the event go towards helping individuals with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in year round Olympic type sports. This allows them to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with other Special Olympic athletes and the community.
The Dunk activities actually start tomorrow (February 21st) with a kickoff celebration at The Honi-Honi Bar with “Goosebumps and Grapes; An Evening of Fire & Wine” From 6-9 pm, with a $20 donation (to the Special Olympics) you can gather around the large bonfire and taste a variety of wines. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun and again the proceeds go to a great cause. On Saturday, Dunkers and spectators will gather at Uno’s & The Honi-Honi for an afternoon of entertainment, fun, food, and prizes. Over 18 inches of ice was cut out of the water this year so it’s definitely going to be entertaining to watch the waves of dunkers go in and out. People usually get very creative and the costumes can be a hilarious sight to see! The evening concludes with a Post Dunk Bash held at Black Bear Tavern where there will be live entertainment. If you are unable to attend but would still like to donate, please go the website and do so.

Brody ruling the slopes!
Otherwise, the skiing conditions continue to be awesome and there is still time to take advantage of our “Stay 3 nights for the price of 2!” discount we have going on for some of our participating properties. Give us a call and let us know what you are looking for in a vacation home and we will do our best to find something that works for you ( or call 1-866-351-1119). In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you at the lake.