It’s no secret that the mountains of Garrett County are a sight to behold! Our mountainous terrain and mild climate make for adventurous year-round hiking! Garrett County is home to seven state parks, several state forests, and Maryland’s highest point, too!
Did you know Garrett County contains more state-owned land than the rest of the state combined?! Our parks and state lands are protected and maintained, keeping the beauty of our area preserved and accessible for visitors and locals! Almost all of the parks offer several trails that are mapped out and vary in difficulty.
Swallow Falls State Park is a beloved favorite, mostly because it’s home to Maryland’s tallest free-falling waterfall, Muddy Creek Falls! The trail at Swallow Falls gently loops around the park, offering breathtaking views of the other falls in the park.
Deep Creek Lake State Park offers several more trails and rugged terrain, perfect for mountain biking and hiking! You can also hike to the Thayerville Fire Tower on certain days and take in an unforgettable bird’s eye view of the lake.
If you’re looking for a little less altitude and longer hikes, Herrington Manor State Park and Garrett State Forest offer wonderful trails that are usually longer but relatively level. In fact, a 6-mile trail connects Herrington Manor to Swallow Falls and runs through Garrett State Forest!! This trail once served as a transportation route, so it’s wide and flat.
Garrett Trails is a location organization that has mapped out some trails not in state parks but that are accessible to the public. You can find more information about hiking spots at Fork Run Recreation Area, visiting Maryland’s Highest Point, and more on their website.
If you’re a frequent flyer (or even a local!) and have been to most of the main spots, don’t forget about Savage River State Forest and New Germany State Park! Well worth the 15 minute drive from the lake, both of these spots offer some of the best hiking, nature, and landscape in our area! New Germany State Park has a lake, several trails, and hosts a slew of wonderful events all year. Savage River State Forest is where you’ll find nature in its purest form – from the natural flora to the wildlife, it’s hard to beat the serenity there. There’s also a river, of course, which is wonderful for photography and fishing!
Deep Creek Lake is very pet-friendly, and hiking is one of the many activities you can do with your dog! It’s a great way to get the whole family out and about and into nature. Most parks do require leashes for your dogs and may have restricted areas (the sandy beach at Deep Creek Lake State Park!), so make sure to call or visit them online to verify the rules.