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Winter at Deep Creek Lake

Life in the mountains brings beautiful highs for each season, and winter is no exception, with more than 100 inches of snow falling annually.  Winter is a favorite season among locals and visitors. Our home ski resort, Wisp Resort, offers more than 35 trails and has advanced snowmaking technology, providing a perfect blend of natural and man made snow.

Wisp Resort Activities

The biggest attraction during the winter months is definitely Wisp Resort. Generally open for winter activities the first week of December through the end of March, Wisp offers plenty of action and adventure for all ages and skill levels. Covering 172 acres, Wisp Resort offers more than 35 slopes and 7 lifts. Wisp hosts several competitions throughout the year, from tricks in the terrain park to slalom skiing, there are events almost every month, all winter long. Wisp offers much more than just downhill skiing and snowboarding, though! The adventure park features downhill tubing with two carpets bringing tubers up the hill. The adventure park also has an ice rink and the year-round Mountain Coaster.  On the other side of the resort is cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!

Outdoor Activities

Once the landscape changes into winter wonderland mode, we’re ready to play! The lake freezes solid, creating a new kind of lake life. Ice fisherman can be seen almost all winter in their huts, carving holes in the ice trying to lure a big one. The frozen lake is also suitable for snowmobiles. You can always walk on the ice, too!* Cross-country skiing is also very popular in our area, especially the state parks. Most walking paths are suitable for cross-country skiing once the ground is snow covered. Herrington Manor Park even grooms their trails.  But, if you get snowed in, you can always have a snowball fight and build a snowman. Find videos of popular winter activities here!

Indoor Activities

While snow creates a beautiful scene, it can also keep you in.  Unlike nearby cities, when we have a snowstorm approaching, we don’t grab the milk and bread. Instead, most locals choose to make a night of it. Grab a make at home pizza, some drinks, and a couple good movies, and you’re ready to get snowed in! We do have an excellent roads crew, so even 2 feet of snow doesn’t scare us, and you won’t be snowed in for long. If you’re venturing out, but looking to stay warm inside, winter is a great time to try some of the local restaurants you haven’t tried yet. Head down to Oakland for bowling and small-town shops, or stay at the lake and browse some of the shops surrounding the lake. The Christmas Chalet is the perfect place to explore before Christmas to pick up the perfect Deep Creek Lake gift to add to your normal decorations!


Winter is a fun time to be at Deep Creek Lake, and there are several favorite events during this time. During the Christmas season, there are several local events, like Christmas in the Village, the annual tree-lighting ceremony in Oakland, and the Festival of Trees. Each take place in a different part of the county and offer artisan crafts and fun displays. Wisp Resort hosts several events throughout the winter, including several races and terrain park competitions. Winterfest in Oakland is a local favorite, and features live ice-carving demonstrations as well as other ice sculptures on display and horse drawn carriage rides through town! Probably the biggest event is the Deep Creek Dunk. Sponsored by the Maryland State Police and Natural Resources Police, this event benefits the Maryland Special Olympics, and has raised more than $250,000. Participants take a plunge into the icy waters of Deep Creek Lake in mid-February while spectators enjoy watching the show! The dunk brings hundred of people together for a great cause and is an excellent way to spend an afternoon at the lake.

*Thin ice is very dangerous, do not go on the ice without first knowing if it’s safe. The ice is generally thinner towards roads, shore and near bridges.