Why I like Deep Creek Lake
By Steve Hull
1 Getting there is easy. once you clear i- 270, driving to deep Creek lake is a
straight shot, with all but about 15 miles on
interstates. plus, you get to pass through
towns with names like “Flintstone” and “
Accident” and by a giant half-built replica of noah’s
Ark along i- 68 in Frostburg. (A local pastor
claims that God told him to build the ark in
1974, but progress has been slow.) The best
part of driving to deep Creek lake: every mile
you go is a mile farther from the bay bridge.
2when i go on vacation, i want to feel ike i’m really away. The times i’ve visited bethany or rehoboth, i’ve felt like i was
back in bethesda. every car there seems to
have been purchased at Jim Coleman Toyota
or Chevy Chase Cars and sports a “whitman
lacrosse” or “Msi” sticker. And i frequently
run into people i know. Many people from the
bethesda area go to dCl as well, but we’re in
3The lake is serene in the early morning and evening—when it’s not buzzing with
activity. it’s surrounded by mountains (or at
least what we Marylanders call mountains)
and the water shimmers with the reflection of
the sun. it feels much farther from the hubbub
of bethesda than it is.
4Mornings and evenings on the lake are good for more than just contemplation;
they’re the best time to go waterskiing. i grew
up waterskiing on a manmade lake nestled in
the hills of western Connecticut (which might
just explain my love of deep Creek lake). And
there’s something about cutting back and forth
on glassy water that’s both exhilarating and
relaxing. (As i get older, it’s also exhausting.)
waterskiing is great exercise and can easily be
taught to even young children—and boat rent-
als are available by the day or week.
5Truth be told, midday on deep Creek lake is like rush hour on the beltway—with no
lanes. Motorboats dart in all directions and the
resulting waves would make passengers on a
luxury yacht queasy. but the conditions make
it ideal for tubing—an activity that kids love
(although why is beyond me). Tubing involves
being on a large rubber tube pulled by a rope
behind a boat. it sounds boring until you combine constant turns, changing speeds and big
waves. it’s not for the faint of heart.
6After a few days on the lake, i’m ready for a change. And deep Creek lake offers
many options. within a short drive are miles
of hiking trails; rivers for swimming, fishing
and world-class white-water rafting; and wisp
resort. wisp will never be mistaken for Vail,
but in the summer you can (for a price) take a
ski lift to the top of the mountain and hike (or
mountain bike) down; ride on the Mountain
Coaster; play golf; or go rafting on the extraordinary manmade white-water course at the
top of the mountain.
7iin our risk-averse world, there aren’t many places left where you’re free to do
even slightly risky things. somehow the lawyers have missed swallow Falls state park.
The Youghiogheny river flows through gorges
along the park’s border, creating a series of
spectacular waterfalls. And the falls are open
to all comers to dive from and swim under.
it’s risky business—a park ranger told me that
about an ambulance a week is called for broken bones or lacerations—but it’s a blast.
8A family vacation is all about a change of routine. And at deep Creek lake, one of
the nicest changes is that you can get to most
of the places by boat. You can drive your boat
and park (for free!) when you go out to dinner,
the movies, shopping or for ice cream.
9There’s less to do at night at the lake than at the beach, which is a good thing. rather
than going out most nights, we make a fire
in the outdoor fireplace at the home we rent
(many homes there have them), and we drink
cocktails, play music and games and talk until
the wee hours. we’re outside, together and far
removed from anything and anyone else.
10There are no jellyfish in deep Creek lake.
Editor-in-chief and Publisher Steve Hull is originally from Connecticut and has been going to
Deep Creek Lake for eight years.