Deep Creek Lake in winter is full of activities for the whole family. In this guide, we break down the best Deep Creek Lake winter activities so you can take advantage of everything the area has to offer.
There is a lot to do in Deep Creek in winter, snow or not. With the magic of technology, Wisp Resort, like most ski areas, can make snow in cold enough temperatures so there’s lots of snow activities too. Some other activities like snowshoeing and cross country skiing are dependent on natural snow, so you’ll need to watch the weather forecast depending on the types of winter activities you wish to do.
Here are just some of the things to do in Deep Creek Lake in the winter that we’ll explore:
⛷️ Snow tubing
⛷️ Cross-Country Skiing
⛷️ Ice Fishing
⛷️ Mountain Coaster
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding at Wisp Resort
With 34 slopes of varying levels Wisp is a mountain that the whole family can enjoy.
There are many options for ski school and lessons for first timers and for both kids and adults who just want to brush up on their skills.
Wisp has 33 ski slopes. Of those slopes, 24% are for beginners, 45% for intermediate and 33% are considered for experts. Night skiing is also available, typically Tuesday thru Saturday, and 90% of skiable area is well lit if you’d like to try night skiing.
Wisp Kids offers half day and full day lessons for kids and adults ages 3 and up. Both private and group lessons are available. Each package includes the lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson.
Private tickets start at $139 and group lessons start at $44.
If you do not need lessons, you still have many options for lift tickets at Wisp. There are:
- Full day tickets (open to close)
- 4-hour flex (time begins when you enter)
- Night tickets (Wednesday through Saturday only + holidays)
- Kids 5-years and under are free with a $5 processing fee
- Seniors 75-years and older are free with a $5 processing fee
Both junior (ages 6-12) and adult (ages 13+) are available.
If you’re not up for lessons or want to do something different, you should definitely try snow tubing!
Wisp’s 12, 750-feet lanes of snow tubing, give families a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the thrill of heading downhill with no skill involved!
The facility has its own “magic carpet” which takes you up to the top of the hill with your snow tube. You can ride down solo or connect 2 or 3 tubes together for some family fun.
Restrictions: each rider needs to be 42 inches tall and at least 4-years-old to participate.
Tickets: weekend tickets for 2 hour snow tubing sessions are $39 per person. During the week you can book a 4-hour snow tubing session for only $29. Sessions begin at the top of every hour.
You can call ahead to reserve tickets for a specific time slot.
👉 READ NEXT: 9 Best Snow Tubing Spots Near Washington DC
Horse Drawn Carriage Sleigh Rides
Believe it or not, you can actually take a horse drawn carriage ride only 20-minutes from Deep Creek Lake.
Your sleigh driver will tell you about the local area and let you enjoy the piece and quiet in the winter openness.
If you want to ride in the snow and take the sleigh on rails instead of wheels, it’s best to make a reservation from mid-December through March.
Prices: Ages 3-12: $17, ages 13+: $21 or $75 per couple (private ride)
Closed on Sundays
Advanced reservation required.
Snow Shoeing Tours
About 45 minutes from Deep Creek Lake is Swallow Falls, a beautiful place for a family hike during the summer months at Deep Creek Lake. During winter you can do snow shoes at the same area and join a 2-hour guided tour of the area. We went with All Earth Eco Tours.
With snowshoes you are able to walk in areas you would otherwise not be able to walk during the snow. The snowshoes help you stay on top of the debris underneath or pack down a trail as you go.
If you want things to be easier for you, don’t be the first person in line. 🙂
Keep your eye out for animal tracks and slides to see what’s been nearby in the snow!
These family friendly tours are $40 per person which includes the snow shoe rentals, guide and a cup of hot cocoa served in the backcountry. Advance reservations are required for all tours.
If you’d like to stay closer to Wisp Resort, you can also rent snowshoes from there as well. The Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park also has snow shoe rentals.
Did you know you could go ice fishing on Deep Creek Lake? That’s right, the lake has 69 miles of shoreline over 3,900 acres and is 25-feet deep so there is plenty of space for ice fishing.
You’ll cut a hole in the ice and give it a go! Do note that a Maryland fishing license or permit is required. Many local venues sell them so you’ll be able to easily grab one.
It’s best to wait until the ice is 4-6″ so it’s safe. January and February are typically the best months for ice fishing at Deep Creek Lake State Park.
Cross Country Skiing
The Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park is a great place to check for local venues currently offering cross country ski equipment rental. Also check the Nordic center at Wisp Resort for rentals.
There are many good nearby trails such as:
- Deep Creek Lake State Park
- Backbone Farm (you can find instructors there as well if needed)
- Blackwater Falls State Park (rentals also available)
- New Germany State Park
- Herrington Manor State Park (rentals also available)
Herrington Manor State Park has has 10 miles of cross country trails that you can explore on your own if you are not in need of a lesson. You can get skis, boots and poles for $10 per hour or $25 per day.
Herrington Manor State Park also has sleds that can be rented for $6 per day or $3 per half day.
Even better, Blackwater Falls State Park has an amazing 1/4 mile long sled run you just may want to check out. In fact, it’s the longest sled run on the east coast!
You’ll take a 5-minute ride on your sled to the top of the hill and it will take just about 1-minute to slide down to the bottom. Each sled session is 2-hours long.
Sledding, snow shoes and cross country skiing all require natural snow, so make sure to watch the weather report before going. We recommend calling ahead for current conditions.
Winter Fun at Deep Creek Lake
We look forward to visiting the Deep Creek Lake area again this winter! This area typically receives more than 100 inches of average annual snow fall so there is plenty of time to enjoy Deep Creek Lake winter activities. Will we see you there?