Deep Creek Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Question: How safe is Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County?
Answer: Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County are very safe. Crime and violence are virtually non-existent in Garrett County. View the Garrett County Sheriff’s Department website for more information: http://www.garrettcounty.org/Sheriff/Main.aspx?tabid=1
Question: How big is Deep Creek Lake and what is its temperature?
Answer: The lake is approximately 13 miles long with 65 miles of shoreline. The deepest point is approximately 75 feet with an average depth of 25 feet. Surface temperatures generally top out in the low 70’s in the summer.
Question: Who actually owns and manages Deep Creek Lake?
Answer: The State of Maryland actually owns the lake bed, the water, and Buffer Strip of land around the entire lake. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages and patrols the lake. Brookfield Power owns the dam and hydro-electric facility. The Maryland Department of Environment regulates how much water Brookfield Power can release from the lake – ensuring proper lake levels throughout the boating season.
Question: What are the boating restrictions on Deep Creek Lake?
Answer: Boating restrictions are numerous but the main ones are as follows:
1. No boats longer than 26 feet are permitted (excluding pontoons).
2. No speed restrictions except in designated areas.
3. There must be a personal flotation device available for every passenger on board.
4. No Personal Water Crafts (PWC’s) or Jet Skis are permitted on the lake between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends.
5. Anyone born after 1972 must complete a Boater Safety Course to be eligible to operate any type of watercraft.
For a full list of Rules and Regulations please view:
Question: How many houses are around Deep Creek Lake?
Answer: While the number of houses fluctuates there are approximately 1,800 homes around the 65 miles of shoreline and another 700 homes with access to the lake and in the general watershed vicinity.
Question: What are the temperatures and climate like in Garrett County?
Answer: Since Garrett County and Deep Creek Lake are at an elevation between 2,400-3,000 feet above sea level, the outside air temperature is usually 5-10 degrees cooler than the surrounding metropolitan areas. If it’s 90 in Baltimore, it usually is in the low 80’s at Deep Creek. This allows people to escape the heat and humidity of the city in the summer. In the winter the elevation results in more snow with an annual average of approximately 90 inches. Some winters result in more snow than others. In fact, two of the past five winters have resulted in more than 200 inches of snow!
Question: What activities are available?
Answer: The easier question to answer would be “what isn’t there to do?” The activities available in Garrett County and Deep Creek are numerous and much more than other resort areas in the East. Activities include but are not limited to the following: Alpine (downhill) Skiing, ATV (Four Wheeler) Riding, Backpacking, Road Biking, Bird Watching, Boating, Camping, Canoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Dog Sledding, Fishing/Ice Fishing, Fly Fishing, Kayaking, Golf, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Rollerblading, Sailing, Scuba Diving, Sledding & Tubing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing, Skateboarding, Swimming, Tennis, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Whitewater Rafting and Windsurfing.
Question: What are the restaurants and night life like?
Answer: There are nearly 50 restaurants in the Deep Creek Lake area, including franchises, fine cuisine, and good old fashioned local restaurants. The nightlife revolves around the various bars, taverns and night clubs around the lake. If you are looking for more family friendly things to do, the area boasts a state of the art eight screen movie theatre in addition to multiple family arcades with go-karts, mini golf and laser tag.
Question: Are there any arts and cultural activities?
Answer: Not only does the Garrett Lake Arts Festival run throughout the summer, but the town of Oakland has the weekly Little Yough Summer Music Festival that’s held every Friday. Also the Stage Wisp is home to an exciting concert series, hosting nationally known musicians. Our Town Theatre puts on various plays and productions throughout the year as well.
Question: I really like the creature comforts of my primary residence, what services are available to me?
Answer: Don’t worry, your cell phone will work up here in the mountains. Other than a few dead spots in the county you should be able to get good signals wherever you are. Also, most communities and homes now have access to high speed internet – whether it’s a DSL line or a cable modem.
Question: What plans are in the works for improvements to the Wisp Ski Resort and additional public sewer service around the lake?
Answer: Most of the improvements are planned to take place at Wisp Ski Resort on the northern end of Deep Creek Lake. The Wisp Ski Resort continues to add new trails, skiable terrain, and higher capacity chair lifts. This has resulted in less wait time and overall better skiing conditions. As for public sewer, the officials of Garrett County have set a goal to have the entire Deep Creek Lake watershed on public sewer by the year 2030.
Question: Is Deep Creek Lake turning into Ocean City, MD?
Answer: No. Even though Deep Creek Lake has grown over the years it is still a peaceful mountain get-away. With current zoning regulations and a scarcity of available commercial property it’s hard to ever imagine Deep Creek Lake turning into a highly commercialized resort.