As is the case all over the world, the lakes of Maryland are a popular destination for locals and tourists looking to relax. They are a focal point for outdoor recreation, fishing, and enjoyment of the natural world. Unlike many places, though, not a single one of the lakes in Maryland was formed naturally. Most natural lakes are formed by glaciers, but during the last Ice Age, glaciers didn’t reach the area that is now Maryland. Other lakes are caused by faulting, volcanic activity, or landslides, which again didn’t happen in that area.
There are now over 100 artificial lakes in Maryland, and though they were the result of human development, especially due to the need for hydroelectric energy, nature has made good use of them. Some of the most beautiful of these lakes have become an important part of the area’s ecosystem and are now part of larger parks. The land, plants, and animals have adapted to the lake’s presence, so these parks have become important habitats for fish, birds, and animals large and small.
Deep Creek Lake
As the largest lake in the state, Deep Creek Lake is also perhaps the most well-known of Maryland’s lakes. It can be found near Oakland, in Deep Creek Lake State Park, which sits high on a plateau in the Allegheny Highlands. Created as the result of a hydroelectric dam, it has been an important source of energy for the area since 1925.
The lake itself covers approximately 3,900 acres and is surrounded by 69 miles of shoreline, some of which is sandy beach. The lake is a popular spot for fishing and boating of all types. Nearby, the state park offers cabins, camping spots, and over 100 miles of trails from which to try to spot elk or mule deer. But the park is also home to bobcats and black bears, so caution to all hikers is recommended. Also in the park is a 6,000 s6,000-square-foot Discovery Center with an aviary that features rescued eagles and ospreys.