Deep Creek Lake State Park lies just west of the Allegheny
Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegany
Highlands. Its location at the southernmost end of Meadow
Mountain places it west of the Eastern Continental Divide
and within the Mississippi River watershed. It gets its name
from Deep Creek Lake, a hydroelectric project constructed
on Deep Creek in the 1920's by the Youghiogheny Hydroelectric
The park boasts one mile of shoreline on Deep Creek Lake,
which is Maryland's largest freshwater lake. Visitors enjoy
the lake for boating, canoeing, swimming, paddling and fishing. Several
picnic areas offer excellent views of the lake with easy access
to the beach and other facilities. Park trails on Meadow Mountain
provide opportunities for ATVs, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, wildlife
viewing and snowshoeing on a variety of terrain. Camp sites are also available for reservation. Historic,
cultural and natural heritage features are interpreted at
the Discovery Center, which hosts scheduled park programs
throughout the year.
Shoreline View from Park
Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center:
Nestled along the shores of Deep Creek Lake at Deep Creek
Lake State Park, the Deep Creek Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind
educational venue for people of all ages. Through hands-on
exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland,
families can learn about the flora and fauna, wildlife, cultural
and historical heritage that have turned this former logging
and coal mining region into a popular modern day vacation
Through colorful artwork, photographs and artifacts, the facility's numerous natural resources exhibits provide a behind the scenes look into Deep Creek Lake and its watershed, industrial development in the area, and conservation issues facing the region today. History buffs will enjoy learning about the cultural and historical heritage of the region, including coal extraction from the former Old Brant Mine, and the role the mighty Youghiogheny River played in timber logging at the turn of the century. The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center also features an aquarium with native fish and other aquatic species from the lake and river, and a raised relief map that gives visitors a unique perspective of the mountainous terrain.
On-site naturalists, rangers and volunteers lead daily educational programs, from leisurely hikes that focus on birdwatching, tree identification and wildflowers, to more extensive educational programming that touches on such subjects as black bear management, endangered species of the Youghiogheny area, submerged aquatic vegetation, boating safety, and trail stewardship.
The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center's 6,000 square foot facility also includes a classroom and conference areas complete with audio visual technology that is available for complimentary use for educational purposes. Don't forget to stop by the Nature Shop, where you'll find a variety of environmental and educational gifts including toys, souvenirs from the region, field guides, and books with a natural resources theme.
The Discovery Center has fall hours of operation Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am - 4pm and will be open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week between December 25 and January 2, 2004. The center will be closed on December 25. Deep Creek Lake State Park is located at 898 State Park Road in Swanton, Maryland. For more information about the Deep Creek Discovery Center call (301) 387-7067.
Memorial Day-Labor Day $3/person;
Labor Day-Memorial Day $3/vehicle.
add $1 to all day use service charges.
$10/vehicle, out-of-state residents $11/vehicle
Campsites with electric:
Bear Den: (3-sided camping unit complete with wooden floor,
roof and fireplace)
Yurt: (a round, fabric tent with floor and furniture)
Picnic Shelters: (75 capacity)
$40/day non-holiday weekdays, $80/day holiday weekdays/weekends
Visiting the Park:
Headquarters is located at the intersection of Brant and State
Park Roads. Information can be obtained here during business
hours Monday through Friday. If you need emergency assistance,
call the Forest and Park Service communication center at 410-461-0051
or dial 911. General park information can be obtained at 301-387-5563.
The Discovery Center can be reached at 301-387-7067 during
Interpretive programs, consisting of evening campfire programs,
and talks and hikes on the natural and cultural resources
of the park, are led by a park naturalist and are available
at various times throughout the year. Activity schedules are
posted on bulletin boards throughout the park and at the Discovery
Meadow Mountain campground has 112 campsites that are available
by reservation from the spring through the fall. Each site
is conveniently located near heated restroom facilities complete
with hot showers. Twenty-six sites offer electric hookups
and a dump station for self-contained units. The Bear Den
(an Adirondak-style shelter), two mini-camper cabins and a
Yurt are also available for campers. The maximum length of
stay is 2 weeks. Pets are permitted in certain designated
The boat launch facility is open most of the year except
when winter weather or ice conditions prohibit access. Fishing
is generally good on the lake with stocked trout, walleye,
bass, and yellow perch being the most abundant.
Hunting is permitted in the park's backcountry areas during
regulated hunting seasons. The managed hunting areas are posted
and applicable regulations including license requirements
Meadow Mountain offers opportunities for hiking. Trail difficulties
range from moderate to difficult. A trail guide is available
at Park Headquarters and at the Discovery Center. Pets are
allowed on trails and must be kept on a leash. Four season
opportunites exist for mountain biking, cross country skiing
Picnicking is available in the park's waterfront area. Tables,
grills, shelters, playgrounds, and restrooms are available.
Shelters may be reserved in advance for a fee. Please note,
pets are not permitted in the waterfront area of the park.
Swimming is available at the park's beach with lifeguards
being stationed during the summer months.
Forest wildlife species, such as black bear, wild turkey,
bobcat and white-tailed deer have grown in numbers over the
past decades as habitat has improved and wildlife management
tools have been successful. Evidence of the activities of
small mammals such as squirrel, chipmunk, raccoon, skunk and
opossum, are frequently seen.
The park's mature hardwood forest provides an ideal habitat
for birds, such as the red-tailed hawk or great horned owl,
that nest high in the trees. Various warblers, as well as
many other small songbirds, dart through the summer foliage
and provide colorful sights and sounds.
Deep Creek Lake offers several handicap accessible campsites,
available by reservation. Waterfront area offers some accessible
restrooms. Two accessible fishing docks are available at the
park's boating facility. A disabled hunter access area is
designated in the parcel north of the developed park.
Park Passes The State Forest and Park Service offers four different kinds of park passes. Select the pass that best meets your needs and link to the appropriate application that can be downloaded and mailed to the State Forest and Park Service for your convenience.
Park passes provide substantial discounts for admission and services at all Maryland State parks.
- All Season Pass -- Entitles free day-use entry, for everyone in the vehicle, to Maryland's state forests and parks; free boat launching; and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concessions and boat rentals.
- Youth Group Pass -- Entitles youth groups free day use admittance to Maryland State Parks and free camping in those parks that have designated "Youth Group" areas subject to site availability. This pass is not valid for day use entry on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- Golden Age Pass -- Entitles adults, ages 62 and older, free entry (cardholders only) to all State Parks that charge service fees. The pass is also valid for half price camping Sunday through Thursday.
- Access Maryland Pass -- Entitles free lifetime entry to State Parks for individuals with disabilities.