From Washington DC/Baltimore: Take I-70 west to I-68 west. Exit 14A (Route 219 South Deep Creek Lake). Continue on Route 219 South for 18 miles. Turn left onto Glendale Road. Continue on Glendale Road for one mile, crossing over the Glendale Bridge. Immediately after crossing the Glendale Bridge, turn left onto State Park Road. Continue on State Park Road for one mile until you see the information sign for the state park facilities.
Situated in the Allegheny Highlands of western Maryland, Deep Creek Lake State Park, is one of Maryland's most popular year-round outdoor recreation spots. People come to mountain bike and hike the challenging Meadow Mountain trail system or to fish, swim or paddle on Deep Creek Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Maryland. In the winter, the park offers six miles of snowmobile trails.
Park features include one mile of shoreline along the lake, a sandy beach with a roped off swimming area with lifeguards during the summer months, a 112 campground site campground, bath house and hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, shelters and playground.
The park's mature hardwood forest is home to wildlife such as black bear, wild turkey, bobcat, and white tailed deer. Small mammals such as squirrel, chipmunk, raccoon, skunk, opossum and beavers are frequently seen.
Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center:
The Discovery Center is a 6,000 square foot facility, where historic, cultural and natural heritage features are interpreted. It is a fun, educational experience for people of all ages. Children can put their hands in a black bear paw print, touch fossils from times long gone, and sneak a peek under a microscope to learn about Deep Creek Lake's under-water ecology.
Trails are open for hiking, wildlife viewing and mountain biking, unless otherwise posted.
Meadow Mountain Trail - 3 miles White Blaze (moderate to advanced)
Great mountain biking through mostly oak, maple and hickory hardwood forest on a wide, grassy linear road bed with steep inclines and some fallen tree limbs to keep things interesting. The trail begins at the entrance of the Deep Creek Lake Campground, goes out around the old Brant Mine and then coincides with the Indian Turnip Trail across the mountain ridge to where it ends at private property. There is a steep 500 foot climb from the trail head to the Fire Tower on the summit of the mountain. Riders will have limited views of the lake and perhaps catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer, turkey or ruffed grouse. In the winter, this becomes a popular snowmobile route as it crosses the mountain ridge.
There are several ride options for the return trip down the mountain. See trail descriptions below.
Option 1: At the halfway point, where the trail intersects the Fire Tower Trail, expert mountain bikers can opt to take this shortest and quickest way down the mountain.
Option 2: About three quarters of the way into the ride, the trail intersects with the 2.5 mile Indian Turnip Trail, a narrow foot path that returns to the trailhead. Most riders use both of these trails to make a loop, which is a little over 5.5 miles long.
Fire Tower Trail: 1.5 mile Black Blaze (expert only!)
A one-half mile, extremely difficult and strenuous climb (or descent depending on which way you are going) that begins at the entrance of the campground and ascends over 500 feet in elevation in about one quarter mile, to the top of Meadow Mountain. The loose, eroded rocky trail surface and steep slopes, stinging nettles and briars make this trail a real challenge. During the fall foliage season, the colors are rich and partial views of the lake are possible. The fire tower at the end of this trail was once used by the Maryland Forest Service during fire season, but has been inactive since the 1970s.
Indian Turnip Trail: 2.5 miles Blue Blaze (moderate)
A linear footpath trail that starts at the entrance of the campground at 2500 feet elevation and ascends to 2950 feet elevation. It winds along Meadow Mountain and travels across the ridge top where it meets the Meadow Mountain Trail. The terrain is rocky and you will encounter fallen tree limbs. This is a scenic mountain bike ride that offers many opportunities for wildlife and wildflower viewing. Bring plenty of water as there is none along the trail.
Brant Mine Trail: 0.5 mile Red Blaze (moderate)
This trail can be easily reached by taking the Meadow Mountain Trail. The highlight of this short mountain bike tour loop trail is the historic Brant Coal Mine and Homestead site. Interpretive hikes to the mine are conducted throughout the year. Call the Discovery Center for details.
The park is the site of the historic Brant coal mine and homesite, where a restored mine entrance preserves a typical drift or adit mine. The mine was worked for several years by the Brant family and it supplied bituminous coal for heating and blacksmithing in the local community.
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