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.

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.

Maryland Fall Foliage Forecast 2023

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources presents its fall foliage report as the first day of autumn approaches on the 23rd.

As autumn ushers in a boom of vibrant colors across the landscape, it’s a season that captivates our senses. The changing leaves, with their shades of orange, yellow, and red, have long been a subject of fascination and wonder. But what exactly causes this breathtaking transformation?

For years, scientists have dedicated their efforts to unraveling the intricate process behind the mesmerizing autumn foliage. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, three primary factors orchestrate this dazzling display: leaf pigments, the length of night, and the weather. Let’s dive into the science behind this natural spectacle.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources State Forest Manager, Melissa Nash, provides valuable insights into the role of leaf pigments. She explains that during the warm summer months, leaves don a vibrant green hue, courtesy of the chlorophyll pigment. However, hidden beneath this dominant green are pigments like xanthophylls and carotenes, which impart yellow to orange tones to the leaves. These are the same pigments responsible for the vibrant orange color of carrots.

The transition from the lush green of summer to the warm autumnal hues is a result of the interplay between the length of daylight and temperature. As autumn approaches, the days grow shorter, and temperatures begin to drop. These environmental cues signal to the trees that it’s time to prepare for the winter months.

Nash elucidates this process further, stating that as fall takes hold, the changes in daylight duration and decreasing temperatures disrupt the process of photosynthesis. This disruption leads to the breakdown of chlorophyll, causing the green color to fade away, revealing the underlying yellow and orange pigments. Simultaneously, some trees produce pigments called anthocyanins, which contribute to the striking red and purplish hues we associate with autumn.

for more information Maryland Fall Foliage Forecast 2023

Maryland named America’s third happiest state

In a new study released by WalletHubMaryland was named the third-happiest state in America.

With 50% of Americans saying they are “very satisfied” with the way their personal life is going, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Happiest States in America, as well as expert commentary.

To determine where Americans have the highest satisfaction with life, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 30 key indicators of happiness. The data set ranges from the depression rate and the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate.

Happiness in Maryland (1=Happiest; 25=Avg.):

  • 4th – % of Depressed Adults
  • 4th – Suicide Rate
  • 24th – % of Civilian Labor Force Unemployed 15 Weeks or Longer
  • 24th – Number of Work Hours
  • 29th – Volunteer Rate
  • 17th – Separation & Divorce Rate
  • 18th – Safety
  • 22nd – Share of Adults Feeling Active & Productive

Overall rank for Maryland: 3rd

original article Maryland named third happiest state in America, says WalletHub study (fox5dc.com)

Garrett County Community Action Committee Receives $220,000 Grant for Homeownership Program

In a significant stride toward making homeownership a reality for low- to moderate-income residents, the Garrett County Community Action Committee has been awarded a substantial $220,000 grant through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), this federal grant is set to empower first-time homebuyers by providing crucial financial assistance for down payments and closing costs.

The grant funds are poised to amplify the Garrett County Community Action Committee’s mission to foster homeownership opportunities. Over the years, the committee has made commendable strides, helping more than 500 individuals and families achieve their dreams of homeownership. Their initiatives, including the Garrett County Pathway to Homeownership Program and the Homeownership Education & Finance Program, have been instrumental in providing prospective homeowners with essential knowledge regarding financial, legal, and other aspects of the homebuying process.

One of the most significant barriers that low- and moderate-income first-time buyers face is the daunting down payment required to purchase a home. Paul Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners, expressed, “The Department award directly contributes to Garrett County’s goal that all County residents will be able to live in comfortable, safe, and affordable housing by assisting first-time homebuyers with the down payment assistance required to purchase a home.”

Katherine Shadel, the Asset Development Director at the Garrett County Community Action Committee, added, “Between the county’s Pathway to Home Ownership project and the CDBG award, over 70 households will be able to purchase a home in Garrett County.” This grant is not just financial assistance; it’s the key to unlocking the doors of homeownership for many families.

The $220,000 grant awarded to the Garrett County Community Action Committee through the CDBG program is a testament to the power of community development and collaborative efforts to make homeownership a reality for deserving individuals and families. It reflects Maryland’s commitment to creating safe, affordable, and vibrant communities that empower residents to achieve their dreams. This grant is more than just financial assistance; it’s a beacon of hope and opportunity for those striving to secure a place they can proudly call home.

For a full list of awards, please visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/PressReleases/SFY24-CDBG-Awards.pdf.