Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland is J. R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth in miniature. A realm of: mystery, discovery, fantasy, adventure and escape. Experiencing Deep Creek can ebb and flow like the wind; explore the area through adventures with companions or live as humbly as a hobbit in the Shire.
Like Rivendell, the elvish sanctuary in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Deep Creek, retains its promise of peace and reclusiveness although accessible. Deep Creek clings to a simpler time however prospers. Deep Creek is in a state of transition, but residents recognize how lucky they are to call Deep Creek home. Patty Wells owner of Animal-Cracker: Pet Grooming appreciates the serenity. Marta Schroyer of Deep Creek Times believes that Deep Creek has been a wonderful place to raise her family.
“I’m blessed to live in such a great place,” said Schroyer
Deep Creek offers amusement for all. Thrills and bliss depends on the season. Schroyer looks forward to winter’s Deep Creek Dump. Every February volunteers plunge into the frigid lake to raise money for the Special Olympics. Patty Wells takes dance classes, ranging from ballroom to ceremonial Native American, at Garrett College. The Art and Wine Festival has become increasingly popular.
Wells and Schroyer, can’t wait for the 48th annual Autumn Glory Festival. Two large parades, concerts, competitions, art and craft exhibits, delicious food, fireworks, antique shows, and more are squeezed into a five-day celebration. It will be held from October 7-11, 2015. It is fun for everyone.
Wells and Schroyer walk their dogs daily in Deep Creek or Muddy Creek state parks. It doesn’t take long for a Tolkien fan to imagine that they are wandering through the thicket of an ever-green Fangorn Forest on the outskirts of Rohan. Or the Crimson, bronze and gold Mirkwood Forest of the High Elves.
Wells enjoys visiting Herrington Manor in Garrett State Forest. It was erected in the 1930s. A 53-acre lake was formed by damming Herrington Creek, and 10 cabins were constructed on a wooden knoll above the lake. Herrington Manor was designated as a state park in 1964 and encompasses 365 acres. She suggests: swimming, canoeing, playing tennis or volleyball, kayaking or picnicking.
Wells implores tourists to look at the Native American and Early Settler exhibits on display at surrounding state parks. Take a tour at the Deer Park Water headquarters and plant in Arbutus, Maryland. Or watch a glass blowing demo and workshop at the Simon-Pearce Factory and Outlets in Mountain Lake, Maryland.
Deep Creek is a mecca for extreme sports and outdoors-men. It is home to a thriving year round fishing, water and action sport industry. There are also designated hunting grounds. During the spring and summer. Schroyer enjoys kayaking and boating on Deep Creek Lake. Braver souls indulge jet-skiing and wake-boarding at the local Aquatic Center on the lake.
Schroyer recommends riding Mountain Coaster at WISP Resort. WISP Resort renowned for its winter amenities, introduced the Mountain Coaster. It’s an alpine slide-roller-coaster that zips in and out of the mountain via gravity, passengers can control their speed with hand-brakes. The ride is pricey but worth it, a single ride is $14 and a double ride is $19.
Visit WISP on the right day, during the right season and its artificial snow trails, in McHenry, Maryland resemble the Misty Mountains; a mountain range that splits Tolkien’s fantasy world east and west. WISP has expanded its changes to suit a variety of guests. It now includes: golf courses, obstacle courses, log cabins and reserved sections of Deep Creek Lake. WISP has introduced a circulating white-water rafting course off of the banks of the Youghiogheny River. WISP even hosts weddings and corporate conferences.
Deep Creek hosts the annual world-famous triathlon, the Savage-Man Festival. The Savage-Man Festival occurred from September 19-20, 2015. It is also the greatest tour of Garrett County venturing through: Amish and Mennonite communities, farmland and back to Deep Creek: competitors must swim Deep Creek Lake, trek Deep Creek State Park and circumnavigate Garrett County.
Deep Creek residents are proud of their small business. Such as the Alley, simply a bowling alley and arcade in McHenry or the Garrett 8 Cinemas off of Garrett Highway in Oakland. It brings authenticity to their quaint, rustic existence and small-town vibe.
“The only franchise that holds a monopoly on Deep Creek is a Wal-Mart,” said Schroyer.
Tourists, seasonal residents and locals celebrated Deep Creek’s 90th anniversary. The Youghiogheny Hydroelectric Company started the Deep Creek Project in the 1920s across the Youghiogheny River. Construction began in 1923 and completed in 1925. The dam became operational at 4p.m. on May 6, 1925.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Pennsylvania Electric Company a license to own Deep Creek Lake in 1968. The dam was bought from Penelec. in 1991 and the lease was renewed by Deep Creek in 2011. Deep Creek Lake is the largest man-made lake in Maryland. It has 3900-acre surface area with a 35 mile shoreline stretching across McHenry and Oakland, Maryland.
Albert Einstein, former presidents, celebrates, foreign dignitaries, Pittsburg’s and Washington D.C.’s elite have found tranquility in Deep Creek, devoid of any drama of their frantic lives out side the cozy blanket of Western Maryland. Patty fears that Deep Creek’s reticence is dissolving as its remote location disappears.
“The atmosphere has changed,” said Wells.
I used to be able to hear a creek near my house trickle downstream, instead it’s muffled by increasing traffic” said Wells.
Schroyer has a different opinion. She is convinced that without the growing tourism Deep Creek wouldn’t have the infrastructure they have recently obtained. Second home owner property tax, specifically, has made much it possible. Schroyer believes that the growth has dissipated.
“People can’t wait for the weekend to get away from it all,” said Schroyer.
Settle-in or dash outside at your own pace Deep Creek isn’t going anywhere. The charm of the town, the harmony with nature and the exciting adventures leaves an impression that lasts a lifetime. Deep Creek has so much to offer that the experience extends unto trips somewhere in the future.