Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Fall 2023 Trout Stocking to Begin Across Maryland

Fishing spots to receive trout allotments in October

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will begin fall trout stocking in early October. Department crews will transport thousands of state hatchery-raised brown, golden, and rainbow trout and release them in select creeks, rivers, lakes, and ponds across the state. 

Due to several variables that can alter schedules, stocking sites and times are not announced in advance, but are available immediately afterward. Anglers are encouraged to sign up for email updates to receive the latest stocking information. 

Starting in October, anglers can call the trout stocking hotline at 800-688-3467 on Fridays for a weekly update on all locations stocked. The department publishes daily stocking updates on its trout stocking webpage and posts them on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Illustrations comparing brook trout and brown trout

As a reminder, regulations are in effect requiring catch-and-release fishing only for brook trout in all put-and-take trout areas and all waters east of Interstate 81. Anglers should take time to properly identify brook trout, which are not stocked by the Department of Natural Resources. Some stocked streams have seasonal restrictions so anglers should consult the current Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing for all regulations and restrictions.

Information on fishing licenses, trout stamps, and other related products are available on the COMPASS online licensing portal or the Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Services website.


The public is advised that bridge inspection will be taking place on the date of Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Sang Run Road Bridge over Youghiogheny River.  During this timeframe, the bridge will be closed to traffic.

Alternate routes of traffic during this temporary closure include Oakland Sang Run to Swallow Falls Road and Cranesville Road to White Rock Road.

The public can address any questions regarding the temporary bridge closure to the Garrett County Department of Public Works – Roads and Engineering Division at 301-334-7488 or Tracy Kelley at 301-334-7482.


The Department of Public Works – Roads Division has been advised that Glendale Road is planned to be re-opened to traffic  on Friday, September 29, 2023.

Zeddock Miller will be temporarily closed for approximately four weeks for the purpose of completing tie in to the Glendale Road realignment. 

Alternate routes of traffic during the closure will include Paradise Point Road and Paradise Heights Road.

56th Annual Autumn Glory Festival

Enjoy the beauty of the fall season in the mountains as Garrett County celebrates the 56th anniversary of the annual Autumn Glory Festival, which features two large parades, live music, band competition, antique and craft shows from Oct. 11-15. Team One GMC is the title sponsor of the festival.

Take in the breathtaking views of the spectacular fall foliage by driving or biking one, or both, of the county’s Autumn Glory Fall Foliage tours. Head to visitdeepcreek.com/autumnglory or the Garrett County Visitors Center in McHenry to pick up the full map and directions.

On Oct. 11, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Autumn Glory Kickoff Dinner, sponsored by UPMC Western Maryland, features networking, dinner and a recognition of the annual Autumn Glory golden ambassador.

Oct. 12 features a fireman’s parade and the week continues with the town of Oakland’s Autumn Glory Carnival, Turkey Trail dinners, royalty court, Autumn Glory sales, corn maze, farmers markets and craft and antique shows.

The Official Maryland State Banjo, Fiddle & Mandolin Championships are slated for Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at Southern Garrett High School and will feature banjo, fiddle and mandolin contestants of all ages competing for top honors.

On Oct. 14, the town of Oakland’s annual Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade, sponsored by First United Bank & Trust, begins at 1 p.m. Over 100 entries include floats, clowns, bands, antique vehicles and more. Saturday will also feature the Western Maryland Tournament of Bands at 6 p.m. at Southern Garrett High School with a high school field show competition.

Antique and craft shows continue throughout the county on Oct. 15 along with the Autumn Glory Festival Car Show by Mountain Top Cruisers in downtown Oakland from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more details, please log onto visitdeepcreek.com/autumnglory or call 301-387-4386.

County Commissioners Announce Public Meeting Agenda

Monday, October 2, 2023
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

Meeting will also be Live Streamed at https://www.facebook.com/garrettcountygovernment/
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

The Board of County Commissioners may close a portion of this public meeting and move into Executive Session to comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicial requirement that may prevent public disclosure about a particular proceeding or matter.

*To comment on agenda items – please send to comments@garrettcounty.org

3:00        Administrative Session

  • Discussion – Letter from Garrett County Planning Commission requesting amendment to the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance prohibiting the use of shipping containers as dwelling units
  • Board Appointments
  1. Garrett County Health Planning Council – 2 Members – Three Year Terms
  2. Garrett County Mental Health Advisory Council – 1 replacement
  3. Garrett County Police Accountability Board – 1 member – Three Year Term
  • Mr. Null will review a number of administrative and managerial matters under his authority and jurisdiction with the Board of County Commissioners

4:00       Call to Order of Public Session, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

               County Administrator – Additions/Deletions to Public Meeting Agenda

               Approval of Public, Administrative, and Executive Meeting Minutes

4:05       Proclamations:  I Can Swim Month – October 2023
                                       National Digital Inclusion Week – October 2-6, 2023

4:10        Recognition – Sunrise Sanitation – 45th Anniversary

4:15        Garrett County Department of Financial Services – Purchasing Division

  • Contract Award – Request for Proposal #23–0815 – Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Reports Chestnut Ridge & Jennings Sewer Collection System

4:20       Public Commentary

4:25       John H. Frank – Recognition of Director Frank’s Retirement

Adjournment of Public Session

Public Issues or concerns that are to be presented to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during any Public Meeting should be scheduled with Carol A. Riley–Alexander, Executive Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners/County Administrator.     

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 PM.

Habitat for Humanity Auction Raises Nearly $30,000: 40 Years of Building Hope

In a heartwarming celebration of community spirit and dedication, the Garrett County Habitat for Humanity Dinner/Auction recently marked its 40th year of service. Held at Brodak’s Event Hall, this special event managed to raise nearly $30,000, all of which will be channeled into their new home construction campaign. Steve Bortz, the organization’s executive director, expressed his gratitude, saying, “Many thanks to all the businesses and individuals who donated items and experiences for the event and also those in attendance for spirited and fun bidding.”

The evening was not only about fundraising but also about honoring the roots of Garrett County Habitat for Humanity. Three founding members, Duane Yoder, Ida Maust, and Ginny Grove, were present and received plaques in recognition of their dedicated service. Though Shirley Brandes was unable to attend, her contributions were acknowledged as well.

Garrett County Habitat for Humanity traces its beginnings to a small group of local friends and neighbors who shared a common vision. Steve Bortz reflected on these humble origins, noting, “Garrett County Habitat started from humble beginnings with a grassroots group of local friends and neighbors before anyone would or could call them a board of directors.” In November of 1983, Duane Yoder drafted the official Articles of Incorporation, which continue to guide the organization to this day.

The first house constructed by Habitat for Humanity in Garrett County was built to replace an existing home on family-owned land. This project was undertaken without a substantial budget, highlighting the organization’s commitment to making a positive impact on the community. Ginny Grove, one of the founding members, shared, “There was no running water in their current home, no insulation, and the toilet facilities were out in the back.” Shirley Brandes, another founding member, added, “In building these homes, we all found out we were changing the lives of the families we were trying to serve, but we were also changing all our lives in the process.”

Over the course of four decades, Garrett County Habitat for Humanity has come a long way. Today’s homes are far more modern, and the organization has even embarked on complete neighborhood development projects. However, the essence of their mission remains unchanged: assisting hardworking families in need and maintaining unwavering faith in their cause.

This year, the organization proudly broke ground on its 85th new home in the county. As Steve Bortz aptly put it, “A lot has changed over the years, and a lot also hasn’t. Today’s homes are far more modern, and GC Habitat has even constructed a complete neighborhood development. However, they still help the hardworking families in need, and they still have faith.”

The Garrett County Habitat for Humanity Dinner/Auction serves as a powerful reminder that even the most ambitious dreams can take root in the most humble beginnings. With the support of the community, the organization has managed to transform lives, one home at a time, for four decades. As they continue their mission to build hope, one can only imagine the positive impact they will make in the next 40 years and beyond.

Arrowhead Cove Pilot Dredging Project to begin


Garrett County Government and Maryland Environmental Service (MES) have announced a Notice of Intent to Proceed with Byco Enterprises for the Arrowhead Cove Pilot Dredging project.

Arrowhead Cove, at Deep Creek Lake, is selected as a priority area for a pilot dredging project to remove accumulated sediment from the lakebed.

“We are thrilled to see this project begin to take shape,” said Bruce Michael, Garrett County watershed coordinator. “This project will evaluate the pros and cons of dredging within Deep Creek Lake and determine if dredging other sediment-impacted Deep Creek Lake coves is a viable and cost-effective strategy for improving water recreation, water quality, and fish habitat.”

The dredging project at Arrowhead Cove represents a significant investment in the environmental health and future of Deep Creek Lake. Garrett County is committed to preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of this community asset.

For more information about the dredging project at Arrowhead Cove, including project updates and community engagement opportunities, visit ArrowheadCove.GarrettCounty.org.

Contact Bruce Michael, Garrett County Watershed Coordinator, at bmichael@garrettcounty.org or 410-570-4554 for questions or more information.

Oktoberfest comes to the Wisp

Celebrate the autumn season with fall foliage, seasonal beer, harvest festivities, lederhosen, and dirndls. Join us for another Wisp Oktoberfest to enjoy seasonal beer, live music including the Oompah Band, kids’ activities, artisans, authentic German food, and more – PROST!

Oktoberfest Tasting Ticket from $39.00 includes:

  • Tasting wristband (for ages 21+, ID required, beer vendors will only pour to guests with wristbands)
  • Souvenir Oktoberfest 12oz. Beer Stein (must have beer stein for beer vendors to pour)
  • 3 wooden tokens good for: 3- 12 oz. Pours of your choice from over 16+ beer choices

Oktoberfest Schedule

12pm – 6pm: Beer Vendors (while supplies last)Main Stage + McHenry Lodge
12pm – 6pm: Bavarian Food McHenry Lodge
12pm – 3pm: The Remedy Band Main Stage
12pm – 6pm: Artisan Village Lawn + McHenry Lodge
12pm – Kids Krafts (while supplies last) Lawn
1:30pm: Contest Main Stage
3:00pm: Contest Main Stage
3:00pm – 6pm: Oakland Volunteer Fire Dept. Oompah Band Main Stage
4:00pm – Contest Main Stage
5:00pm – Contest Main Stage

Oktoberfest Lodging Package

Starting at $345 pp*

Enjoy a 1 Leaf Peeping Scenic Chairlift Ride, entry into the Oktoberfest event, charcuterie board with Oktoberfest themed finger foods

to go Oktoberfest – Wisp (wispresort.com) to grab tickets!

Maryland’s Foliage makes Top ‘Hidden Gems’ list

Each Fall, images appear online showcasing some of the most stunning examples of foliage. However, many Americans are perhaps unaware of alternative ‘hidden gems’ to see Fall’s foliage.

Mixbook, a #1 rated photo book brand, carried out a survey of 3,000 respondents, asking them which under-the-radar destinations they would most like to visit to see fall foliage this year.

Maryland made the list a whopping three times. Sitting at #20 nationally is MD’s Swallow Falls State Park.

#20 Swallow Falls State Park:

Tucked away from the bustling city, its ancient hemlock and hardwood forests burst into a mesmerizing array of reds, oranges, and yellows during autumn. This off-the-beaten-path sanctuary offers not only stunning waterfalls but also a serene escape to witness the seasonal transformation.

Other locations within the state that were cited were:

#117 Gambrill State Park:

The park’s mix of oak and maple trees burst into a captivating array of red, orange, and gold hues during the autumn months, creating a picturesque contrast against the rolling hills and panoramic vistas. Its relatively undiscovered status ensures a more peaceful and authentic encounter with the changing leaves, making it an ideal destination to relish the stunning colors of fall while hiking its trails.

#150 Green Ridge State Forest:

Its vast expanse of diverse deciduous trees, from maple and oak to hickory and birch, erupts into a symphony of vibrant hues during autumn. A kaleidoscope of colors against the backdrop of the Allegheny Mountains creates an unforgettable and often overlooked seasonal spectacle.

Fork Run Recreation Area Offers New Accessible Trail

At the Fork Run Recreation Area, located in McHenry, recent work funded by Maryland Department of Natural Resources Local Parks and Playground Program has changed the look and feel of the trail system. A milestone for Garrett County is the highly anticipated “Acorn Loop,” a picturesque 0.65-mile or 3,466 ft trail designed to provide an exceptional outdoor experience for hikers and bikers of all skill levels and abilities.

Recognizing the need for accessible options, Garrett County Government is committed to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to Garrett County residents and visitors alike. The new Acorn Loop trail epitomizes this commitment, offering a wide crushed limestone surface that is free of technical roots and rock obstacles and can be hiked in about 20-minutes.

Starting at an ample parking area, the Acorn Loop is thoughtfully marked for easy navigation. Also, it seamlessly connects to our existing network of more technical routes and back-country exploration areas totaling just over 8 miles.

Additionally, note a realigned Yellow Trail provides a more efficient route to the ledges and rock-climbing face and the Silver Trail has rockwork and alignment enhancements. Maps reflecting the changes are at the trailhead parking lot or online at www.GarrettTrails.org. Plans are also in progress to create a connector trail from the Beige Trail to Adventure Way (at the top of Wisp Mountain) estimated to be completed in Spring of 2024.

As Fork Run Recreation Area continues to evolve, we invite you to join us at the trails. Together, let’s create a welcoming and joyful outdoor environment where everyone can find their own path to adventure.

For more information about Fork Run Recreation Area, the Acorn Loop trail, or upcoming events, please visit www.GarrettTrails.org or contact Siera Wigfield at 301-334-7477 or swigfield@garrettcounty.org.