Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

State parks, lakes, trails offer plenty of outdoor opportunities

WV News

When people think of outdoor recreation and Garrett County, Maryland, they most likely think of Deep Creek Lake. After all, it is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, covering 3,900 acres and 65 miles of shoreline.

Nearing its 100th anniversary, the manmade lake got its start in 1925 as a hydroelectric project, and while it remains active, the lake has grown to mean much more to the region and state, generating millions of dollars in revenue from the more than 1.4 million visitors annually.

Deep Creek Lake is a near year-round vacation spot, attracting water sports fans in spring and summer, leaf-peepers in the fall and skiers in the winter months to enjoy Wisp Ski Resort and Lodge.

In the summer months, thousands flock to enjoy the rental homes and cabins, lounging lakeside or hopping on a boat or jet ski for a trip around the lake.

Deep Creek Lake is also home to numerous special events, concerts and great private businesses and public facilities to enjoy year-round.

But Garrett County’s outdoors recreation is more than Deep Creek Lake, as there are nine other state parks in the county that provide a variety of recreational opportunities and events.

Most offer picnic and fishing areas, while all but Casselman River State Park have hiking paths, according to state park officials.

Mountain biking is big in the area, with the state parks providing trails and paths. Swimming areas and boat launches and rentals are available at Deep Creek, Herrington Manor and New Germany state parks. Rental cabins are available at Herrington Manor and New Germany.

Here are a few tips and highlights of each of the other state parks:

Big Run State Park (Swanton): This is a primitive camping location, “situated at the mouth of the Savage River Reservoir, Big Run State Park is the perfect base camp from which to enjoy the surrounding Savage River State Forest​. Campers at Big Run have easy access to fishing, boating, hiking or hunting opportunities.”

Casselman River Bridge State Park (Grantsville): Casselman River Bridge State Park is a 4-acre parcel, popular for picnicking, fly fishing and photography, according to the state parks website. The 80-foot bridge was once an important link on the National Road and is popular for photographers.

Herrington Manor State Park (Oakland): This 365-acre park is located within Garrett State Forest, It offers swimming, canoeing, kayaking, biking, picnicking, hiking, tennis, basketball, volleyball and 20 furnished log cabins for rental use year round.

New Germany State Park (Grantsville): Some of this park’s visitors call it a “best-kept secret,” as it is beautiful and rural, nestled between the 2,900-foot Big Savage Mountain to the east and the eastern Continental Divide along Meadow Mountain to the west. The park features trails and a small lake for fishing, swimming and paddling. The park has no cell service.

Sang Run State Park (McHenry): Once a homestead dating back to the early 1800s, this is one of the state’s newest state parks, having been deeded to the state for that use in 2008 and officially enacted in 2017.

The original home site, farm and store feature the perfect place to hike, fish, picnic or just sit and relax along the beautiful Youghiogheny River​. A mile-long trail traverses the farm fields highlighting large old trees, wildflower meadows and passes by a private family cemetery. During the summer months nature programs such as hay rides, guided bird hikes, and Dutch oven demonstrations are held, according to the state website.

Swallow Falls State Park (Oakland): As one can imagine, this state park is known for its scenic 53-foot waterfall, rippling rapids and some of the state’s most breathtaking scenery.

Wolf Den Run State Park (Kitzmiller): This 2,039-acre multi-use park provides opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, birdwatching, hunting and ORV riding. It features protected wetlands areas, as well as two cold-water trout streams.

Youghiogheny River State Park (Friendsville-Oakland): Home to some of the state’s most challenging and dangerous whitewater, this state park also offers trails, hunting and some less challenging water opportunities.

More than state parks

Garrett County is also home to about 40 recreational trails, from those easy to traverse to those more challenging, according to Evan Byrne of Garrett Trails.

Garrett Trails is a “nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to developing and maintaining a network of sustainable trails providing access to the county’s historic, municipal and environmental treasures with minimal impact to the environment,” according to Byrne.

He wrote that “there’s a trail in Garrett County for everyone wanting to step off the beaten path and into the kind of adventure that only a meandering trail can bring. Explorers of these trails will take away more than a sense of adventure, as time in the outdoors can bring increased peace and relaxation, new personal achievements and countless family memories.”

Some of the trails are paved while others are just grassy paths. Still others are rocky and challenging to bikers and hikers alike.

Byrne wrote that, “Most trails are mixed-use and accommodate activities including walking, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, geocaching and orienteering. Some trails are also designated for all-terrain vehicles.”

“Garrett County’s trails are all easily accessible and will leave users with lasting memories, along with increased health and well-being,” Byrne wrote in an article in the Garrett County Republican. “Everyone will find a favorite among the scores of trails in Garrett County. Whether you’re seeking a quiet hike in a familiar area or a fast transit on a mountain bike through new terrain, when on a Garrett County trail, be advised that either its beauty or its terrain may take your breath away.”



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.