FAQs From The Internet

by on under FAQs
11 minute read

The following are extracts from various Deep Creek Lake websites. Each has their own take on what’s important and stated some ‘facts’ they found elsewhere to make their cases. This was initially generated in 2010 and has been updated in 2017 if possible. Otherwise it’s moted as ‘link no longer active.’


Source: Deep Creek Lake FAQ’s (No longer active)

  1. How safe is Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County? The answer is very safe.  Crime and violence are virtually non-existent in Garrett County. View the Garrett County Sheriff’s Department website for more information.

  2. How big is Deep Creek Lake and what is the temperature? 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.

  3. Who actually owns and manages Deep Creek Lake? 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.

  4. What are the boating restrictions on Deep Creek Lake? 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 here.
  5. How many houses are around Deep Creek Lake? While the number of houses fluctuates there are approximately 1800 homes around the 65 miles of shoreline and another 700 homes with access to the lake and in the general watershed vicinity.

  6. What are the temperatures and climate like in Garrett County? 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!

  7. What activities are available? 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.

  8. What are the restaurants and night life like? 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.

  9. Are there any arts and cultural activities? 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.

  10. I really like the creature comforts of my primary residence, what services are available to me? 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.

  11. What plans are in the works for improvements to the Wisp Ski Resort and additional public sewer service around the lake? 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.

  12. Is Deep Creek Lake turning into Ocean City, MD? 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.

Source: Deep Creek Lake Questions

Source: Welcome To The Deep Creek Hydro Website

Source: Deep Creek Lake Deep Creek Maryland MD Vacation Rentals Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations - Deep Creek History

Source: Maryland Geological Survey: FactSheet 15

  • How was McHenry Maryland named? Dr. James McHenry, Secretary of War during the administrations of Presidents Washington and Adams, purchased almost 1,000 acres in the Buffalo Marsh area which is today known as Marsh Run Cove or McHenry Cove. After James and his son William died, a nephew, John McHenry, moved to the Buffalo Marsh property. After the death of John and his wife, the land passed through many hands but today we know the area as McHenry.

  • *Deep Creek Lake-Garrett County History. Long before Deep Creek Lake came into existence it had plenty of history pre-dating the area as we know it now. Native American artifacts uncover that many tribes like the Cherokee, Delaware (Lanape), and Shawnee have extensive history here in Western Maryland. The Mingo Tribe were indigenous people to the area who annually returned to mountaintops to hunt, fish, plant crops, and trade. There is evidence left from floods through the Potomac River Valley that indicate that some villages have been in existence for over 2000 years.
    The first known permanent resident /settler of the Garrett County area was John Friend Sr., who came from the Colony of Virginia with his brother Andrew and son Gabriel in 1762. Eventually they ended up at an Indian village along the Youghiogheny River, which now bears the family name, Friendsville.
    In 1872, they divided Allegheny County and formed Garrett County, which was the last County to be formed in Maryland. The county was named after railroad executive, industrialist, and financier John Work Garrett who served as president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from 1858-1884. An interesting fact to note is that the Maryland-Pennsylvania line was surveyed and marked by astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon. This famous dividing point became known as the Mason Dixon Line, which symbolized the cultural boundary between the Northern and Southern United States, Garrett County representing the South.
    In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed a bill from the United States Congress setting aside money for building the National Railroad. This was to be the first federally constructed highway in the nation stretching from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling, West Virginia. As Americans, we all are very fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world that possesses abundant history and keeps us grounded on where we have been and where we are going in life.

  • Q1: Is it true that Maryland does not have any natural lakes? 
A1: Yes, there are no natural lakes in Maryland. All of Maryland’s lakes are manmade by damming rivers. Some have been named lakes (e.g., Lake Habeeb in Allegany County and Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County), but most have been named reservoirs (e.g., Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County).
  • Q2: Did Maryland ever have any natural lakes in the past? 
A2: Yes. We know of at least one, and there could be more. The one clearly documented case is Buckel’s Bog, which was a 160-acre, shallow periglacial lake (actually a glade) that occupied the headwater region of the North Branch of the Casselman River in Garrett County during the late Pleistocene (19,000-14,000 years ago). [Reference: Maxwell, J.A. and Davis, M. B., 1972, Pollen evidence of Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation of the Allegheny Plateau, Maryland: Quaternary Research, 2(4): 506-530.]
  • Q3: Why are there no natural lakes in Maryland? 
A3: There are about a dozen major types of lakes, meaning there are about a dozen ways lakes form. None of those is found in Maryland. Some 74% of all lakes are glacial in origin, but glaciers never entered Maryland during the last Great Ice Age. Glacial lakes may form in bedrock depressions gouged out by glaciers or in areas where detached blocks of stagnant or retreating ice sheets are surrounded by other glacial deposits, such as sand and gravel outwash. When the blocks of ice melt away, the remaining depression, known as a kettle, may fill with water to form a “kettle lake.” Other major types of natural lakes include those that result from faulting, volcanic activity, and landslides blocking a river.
  • Q4: Why are some manmade lakes called lakes while others are called reservoirs? 
A4: There are no hard and fast rules about naming. However, in general, the primary use of the manmade lake/reservoir determines what the body of water is called. If the primary use is recreation, the body is often called a lake (e.g., Deep Creek Lake, Greenbrier Lake, and Lake Linganore). If the primary use is water supply, hydroelectric power, and/or flood control, the body is more likely called a reservoir (e.g., Prettyboy Reservoir, Loch Raven Reservoir, and Triadelphia Reservoir). Q5: What are some characteristics of the larger reservoirs or lakes in Maryland?
A5: The following table summarizes some of the main characteristics of those reservoirs in Maryland that have a surface area greater than one square mile. They are listed in the order of decreasing surface area.

Source: Why Pick Deep Creek Lake

Source: Railey Realty - Buyer’s FAQ

Source: Deep Creek Lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Deep Creek Lake is the largest inland body of water in the state of Maryland. It covers approximately 3,900 acres (16 km2) and has 69 miles (111 km) of shoreline.[1] Like all lakes in Maryland, it is man-made.[2] The lake is home to a wide variety of freshwater fish and aquatic birds. The Wisp ski resort is located nearby.[3] This resort is home to a thriving winter tourism industry and has expanded its offerings to include some summer activities as well. Fishing is extremely popular on the lake, for species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Recreational boating is popular in the summertime as well.

Source: History of Deep Creek Lake

Geography divides the Lake into three distinct parts: the northern and central parts contain the major commercial areas and heaviest developments, being adjacent to the first major roads in the county and the Wisp Resort. By contrast, the southern end of the Lake enjoys the largest open water, with low density residential development mainly along the shorelines.

The Deep Creek Yacht Club: Located on Thousand Acres property Railey Realty: Local real estate sales and rentals Long and Foster Realtors: Local real estate sales and rentals Coldwell Banker Realty: Local real estate sales and rentals Source:

PLV - First published: 12/24/2010)
ID: DCL027

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