ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports about 5,000 hikers took advantage of sunny and mild weather New Year’s Day, joining the DNR in the state’s annual First Day Hikes initiative.
Hikers logged more than 10,000 miles on trails in parks and public lands all across Maryland, according to DNR.
Park rangers, staff and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels ringing in the new year on the trail. With 43 hikes at more than 30 locations, the Maryland Park Service registered 3,834 hikers participating in guided hikes, while 1,152 people hiked 1,516 miles on their own — a grand total of 4,986 hikers, not counting many who didn’t check in with a ranger. Even more people hiked in Maryland’s state forests, wildlife management areas and other public lands.
MCHENRY — Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County have seen record increases in tourism during fiscal 2019, which ended June 30, with an 8.7% increase in county accommodations sales, 8.8% in admissions and amusement collections, 14.09% in visitors to the chamber of commerce website and 3.2% in guests to the Visitors Center in McHenry.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce attributes the continued growth in tourism to its strategic and effective marketing efforts.
According to the Maryland Office of Tourism, Garrett County’s recent increases even outpaced Maryland’s tourism growth. For FY 2019, Maryland grew sales tax revenues specific to tourism 4.0%, while Garrett County’s tourism sales tax revenues grew 4.4% during the same time period.
Garrett County grew lodging sales tax collections 5.1% and Maryland grew .8%. Due to county lodging growth over the previous three years, the chamber secured an 8.9% increase in state tourism marketing match grant funds for fiscal 2020.
“We have capitalized on the strong economy by being strategic and innovative with our marketing,” said Nicole Christian, chamber president and CEO.
Deep Creek Lake holiday events keep things festive in the mountain of Western Maryland throughout late November and early December. If you love unique, local art or are looking for fun kids’ activities, you won’t be disappointed.
It is easy to catch the spirit of the season when you experience fun activities with friends and family. The best way to start is to choose your perfect mountain home – maybe one with a cozy fireplace or bubbling outdoor hot tub – and then plan your trip around one of these favorite Deep Creek Lake holiday events.
FESTIVAL OF TREES GARRETT COUNTY November 29-30 at the Garrett County Fairgrounds Benefitting the Dove Center, there are lots of family activities to enjoy. Breakfast with Santa, crafts, face painting, and more will keep the kids entertained. Plus, you can shop for holiday gifts from local artisans and vendors. Beautifully decorated trees are found throughout the exhibit hall, and they are auctioned off at 6PM on Saturday as the grand finale. MORE INFO
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING November 30 at Honi-Honi Bar, 7PM Fun for the entire family, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Honi Honi Bar also features photos with Santa Claus and live entertainment from 8-11pm. MORE INFO