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.

Deep Creek Lake Winter Update

Wisp1.11.15-7After much anticipation, Deep Creek Lake winter weather has arrived! Wisp Resort is getting ready to operate on full gear very soon.

Currently there are 8 trails open including the snow tubing park, mountain coaster and ice skating rink so now is the ideal time to visit Deep Creek Lake.

For those that like to try something a little different, snow shoeing is also another adventurous activity to try while you are in the area. All Earth Eco Tours does some amazing tours throughout the Swallow Falls State Park area and is the perfect activity for the whole family (As one who is well known to be Adventure Challenged, i.e. clumsy, even I can say that I can accomplish this and I loved it!)

There are also various places to go cross country skiing around the area so don’t forget to ask about some of our favorite places to go when you call in! It’s always so surprising that we still get asked “What things are there to do at Deep Creek?” when we always answer “Everything!” Offering lots of terrific last minute specials on our Deep Creek Lake rentals, our Reservationists are ready to help you find the perfect home for your winter getaway! Give our office a call today (1-866-351-1119 or online at


If you haven’t made plans yet, don’t forget that the 18th Annual MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk is coming up on February 20th. What has truly become a true Deep Creek Lake tradition for many, it is also a wonderful opportunity to help adults and children with special disabilities so that they may experience the joy of participating in the Maryland Special Olympics! Granted taking on the frigid waters of Deep Creek is no easy task but great fun is had by all and the costumes and outfits that you get to see is so worth it! Kiss, Pee Wee Herman, and Teen Wolf are just some of the many creative people you get see run in the water! Again, all for a great cause. Do you dare to dunk?  DSC_0104

Again, you must call us here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and let us help you find the home that fits your needs! The Snow is here! We can’t wait to see you at the lake! #deepcreeklake #skiwisp #daretodunk

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


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!

I do @ Deep Creek!

Amanda @ the TMDCV booth!
 I recently had the privilege of attending Cavanaugh’s Bridal Show held in Pittsburgh with our Event Coordinator, Amanda. I was a definite 1st timer so with that in mind, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. First impression “Wow!” It was amazing and I know this sounds a little girly, if you may, but it was so pretty. Every detail that you would need to know in order to have a successful wedding, you would find here. How are you going to get to your wedding? Limo, of course. But here comes the interesting part, you now have options of what kind of limo? Certain color? Certain decorations? Music? Throughout the showcase, vendors were set up and ready to show the potential brides all of the different options that they offer. There were many mannequins dressed in bride gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses. On occasion, a Bride model would glide by. So many music options. There were many disc jockeys to choose from (I was little jealous that we weren’t closer to them as they were definitely the “fun group” to be around.) How about a violinist? Bagpipes? The choices seemed endless.                                              
Bridal Puppy!
Candy Buffets are very popular!
We were there, of course, as the “venue”. Why would you choose Deep Creek as your wedding destination? This is a no-brainer to us. Lush gorgeous mountains, a spectacular sparkling lake; clearly Mother Nature went out of her way to bless us. Surprisingly, a lot of people have not heard about Deep Creek so we were happy to tell them about it. The view from my window tells me that the snow is still floating down to the ground outside. Picture now, a winter wonderland wedding. We have that. Is Fall your favorite season? Our mountains pop with vibrant hues of orange, yellows, and reds creating a breathtaking backdrop for your special day. How about lakefront with Deep Creek shining blue and bold behind you? So, yes, we went to try to spread the word about Deep Creek.
In the meantime, we also came home with a plethora of new ideas to provide to our brides. (Did you know that photo booths and candy buffets are very “in” right now in the wedding world?) Amanda made a great deal of new contacts, which adds to list of services and knowledge that she can bring to her brides. All in all, it was a very successful trip and we came home ready to brainstorm.
Again, the snow is still coming down so now would the perfect time to plan a weekend ski getaway. Wisp is going full force so take advantage of the weather and come and play in the mountains. Give us a call @ 1-866-351-1119 or go online and we can assist you in finding the ideal vacation home for you and your guests. We look forward to seeing you at the lake! 

Calling All Bookworms!!

Super Fun Kids Section!

     Although the air outside was a bit chilly, the sun was shining brightly
 when I decided to head out for the day into downtown Oakland. On the agenda, stopping in at the Oakland Bookmark’et and Antique Mezzanine. I am the first to admit that I am a bit of a “Book Nerd”. Even when I was little, I used to love to go inside book stores and wander aimlessly. The possibilities always seem endless. A good love story? A science fiction novel? Perhaps just a collection of random poems? I had finished my latest book about a week ago and was looking forward to something new and different. When I first walked into the shop, I was excited about the immediate warmth that enveloped me, followed by a bright and cheerful greeting from the cashier. Warm and cozy are definitely terms that come to mind inside the shop. A quick scan gave me the gist of the layout. The newest and most popular releases were prominently displayed in the front of the store. Cute little signs and plants added to the bright décor. Turning a little nook, I discovered the kids section and was in awe. Books, toys, learning displays, doll houses, and stuffed animals stretched from floor to ceiling and my inner child was thrilled! What a phenomenal place to bring the kids to let them choose a book to take home! I continued to wander around where I found the teenage section, the travel section, self-help and finally Viola! The cook book section! (Okay, just to let you in on a little secret of mine, I absolutely love cook books! The actual cooking part, I can certainly do without but I still love to read over recipes and daydream of creating fabulous feasts! )

Cook Books!!

I continued to happily wander about looking at the huge selection. Finally, I narrowed my selection down, paid for my purchases, and headed outside to embrace the fresh mountain air! An afternoon spent happily browsing and shopping in the picturesque town of Oakland. A must-do on your next visit to the area!

Slopes, anyone?

     Speaking of Oakland and fun things to do, don’t forget about the 7th Annual Winterfest held from February 15th– February 17th. Walk through the town and see some of the amazing ice sculptures, let the kids’ play ice bowling, check out the local vendors, and don’t skimp on the hot chocolate. This held on both Saturday and Sunday from 10-6 and is a wonderful event for the whole family to enjoy. Now is the perfect time to book that last minute ski trip with your friends and family. Be sure to call Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations 1-866-351-1119 or visit us online ( to find out about the latest specials and deals we are running (don’t forget we offer discounted lift tickets as well!) We can’t wait to see you at the lake!

It suddenly “Dawned” on us….

Dawn & her hubby!

Pride & dedication are 2 words that automatically come to mind when I think of our featured employee of the month for January, our very own Mrs. Dawn Kight! Now, one may think that my opinion is slightly askew as I happen to think that Dawn is possibly one of the sweetest and kindest ladies I know. This makes me proud to call her my friend. Her strong work ethic and her willingness to always step in and offer a helping hand makes me proud to call her my coworker. Dawn started working with Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacationstheir first winter in 2008.  She began in housekeeping where she often received positive compliments on her stellar work and attention to detail. In July 2012, she made the move into our Laundry Department. So, essentially she is to thank for all of those crisp clean towels and linens that are provided for guests to use throughout their stay. Dawn resides in Mountain Lake Park with her husband. In her spare time (of which she says there is very little of) she enjoys crocheting and getting inked (she is a fan of the tattoos and wears them well). Due to our many various company cook offs, I also know that she is a very talented chef as well. Dawn also has a daughter, Amy, of whom she is immensely proud. Amy is following her mother’s footsteps and is following her dream to become a registered nurse. (Dawn was a nurse for many, many years and glows when she speaks of Amy pursing this passion). So, this month we give a big shout out to Dawn. We are so lucky to have you as part of our team!

Looking for last minute specials? Now is the perfect time to call us here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations (I-866-351-1119 or online )and speak to one of our reservationist about our “Ski Free Stay Free Package”.Also, for those that are staying with us over Valentine’s Day weekend, we can help you plan a special surprise for your loved one when you ask about adding our Romance package. The slopes are open, the air is crisp and we can’t wait to see you at the lake!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland….

Our Gigantic Christmas Tree!

      It’s finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Mother Nature has been rather fickle for the majority of December often giving us warm days up into the 60s. This week, however, is more typical of Garrett County. We thought “Snow” and here it is fluttering to the ground as I type this. This month has been a busy one here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations. We started off the month with our annual charity drive. This year we chose to send care packages to soldiers that are stationed overseas. We chose 3 different soldiers and sent items according to what they specifically asked for. Popular requests were snack foods, baby wipes, chap stick, foot powder, hygiene products and more. All in all we gathered approximately $700 worth of goods that were shipped. So, this is big shout out and thank you to my coworkers who used stellar teamwork to get these out in time for the holidays. You guys are the best!

Who’s the lucky winner?

      We then continued the holiday cheer with our annual Holiday party! I must admit, no one knows how to celebrate quite like the crew at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations! Because we now have the space with are new, bigger office, we held the party here. Angie Bosley and her crew did a remarkable job of catering the party. They had our main Great Room elegantly decorated in gorgeous hues of red and gold and accented with lots of lights. The food was absolutely delicious (her meatballs are to die for!!) So, a big thank you to Angie and her help for the fabulous food and display. We continued our tradition with our “Yankee Swap” where everyone vied for various gift cards and crafts. I came away with a gift certificate to McHenry Beverage, which will come in handy with some bubbly for New Years. Another thank you also goes out to Joe, Jodi, and Chad for once again being so thoughtful to your employees and hosting a wonderful party.
      If you are going to be in the area this Monday, December 24th, please stop by our office. Santa Claus will be here from 10 am- 12 noon where he will be reading Christmas stories to the little kids. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served as well. Bring a camera, the family, and come visit us! It’s going to be a great time and we would love to see you!


      Wisp Resort is currently cranking out the snow so it’s a great time to call in and begin planning your winter getaway. As usual, we are offering some great specials and don’t forget about our “Ski Free Stay Free Package” where you stay and ski for 3 nights for the price of 2. Call and speak to one of our reservationist (1-866-351-1119 or online about this and the other great packages we are offering.
      Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations would like to take this time to wish our friends, homeowners, and guests a truly wonderful and safe holiday season! We will see you at the lake!

Last Tuesday evening, the employees and employers of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations celebrated their annual Holiday company party at Dutch’s at Silver Tree restaurant. A fabulous evening was had by all! This was my first time in the restaurant since it opened earlier this year although I had been hearing nothing but rave reviews from everyone. Our party was held downstairs in the lower level next to the bar. They had it cheerfully decorated for the holidays which added a wonderful ambience to the already festive atmosphere. We began our party with some sincere and heartfelt thanks from our employers. Chad, then in return, decided to be Chad and poke fun of the whole gang with his homemade videos. I have to give kudos where kudos are due. They were hilarious (check out some of them on our facebook page) but also very heartfelt. We had a buffet of food that was to die for. The prime rib was delish and everyone told me repeatedly that the twice baked potatoes were awesome (that’s what I get for trying to stay away from the carbs!). I also want to say what a fabulous job Dutch’s waiting staff did that evening. They were very on top of everything from refilling the water glasses, cleaning off dishes, or just getting you anything you needed. We concluded the holiday party with our annual Yankee Swap. It was a great deal of fun and it’s always interesting to see what you are going to take home with you. Perfect food, perfect setting, and perfect company made it a spectacular evening! Thanks once again to Dutch’s for your top notch service and to Joe, Jodi, and Chad for being the wonderful employers that you are! We are truly lucky to be part of such a wonderful team! In the meantime, as Wisp continues to crank out the fluffy goodness, we continue to fervently wish for snow (which seems to be working at the moment!), we look forward to seeing you at the lake!

An Exciting New Winter Adventure

I will be the first to admit that when Jodi first told me that Taylor-Made employees were invited to go on a snowshoeing tour with Crede Calhoun from All Earth Eco Tours, I volunteered with some serious trepidation. I tend to lack coordination and have been known in some small circles as umm, well…”Klutzy”. But the cabin fever has been building up, so I decided to give it a try. Wow! What an awesome adventure! We met up with Crede at Swallow Falls State Park, where he gave a brief tutorial on gearing up and how to maneuver our new “duck feet”, and then we were off! I was amazed at how easy it was, and everyone in our group, right down to 7 year old Chase, caught on quickly. Crede took us over the bridge that crosses Muddy Creek Falls and suddenly we were in a whole new winter wonderland. With the snow falling gently to the ground, there was a brief moment where I saw myself as Lucy, the little girl who walked through the closet, and stepped into the magical world of Narnia! As a born and raised “Garrett County Girl”, I have spent a great deal of time at Swallow Falls but Crede took us to some true off track trails that I have never been on. He gave us some interesting information on the trees and wildlife and we even saw a bear’s den! Joe swore that he could see the bear’s head ( which freaked poor Billie Jean out!). I simply took his word for it, chickened out, and shoed on! Much to everyone’s surprise, not only did I not fall and injure myself, but I easily made my way through the snowy maze. This just proves that if I can do it, anyone can! We took some great pics (see our facebook page) and in general, had an amazing time! This is a terrific activity for families and groups! Priced extremely cheap (only $22 per person for a 2 hour tour!), it is a Must Do if you are visiting us in Winter. Tours tend to fill up quickly, so call head to reserve your spot! Thanks again, Crede, for an amazing day! We had a blast!! (P.S. Your hot chocolate tastes “just like mom used to make”!! So yummy and seems cliche to say, but it really DID hit the spot!)
Author: Angie, Reservations & Snowshoeing Queen