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-Outdoor Activities -Summer Activities -Winter Activities

Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County are home to a great variety of wildlife, flora, and fauna. What better way to view them than by getting out in nature and taking a hike?  There are many Deep Creek Lake hiking trails that offer miles of hiking options for all ages and ability levels. Not only does Garrett County have seven state parks, but it also features the highest point in Maryland! Many of these state parks and forests offer a variety of self- guided hiking trails to travel at your own pace. Exploring the Deep Creek area is fun and exciting, where will you go first?


State Parks

When talking about hiking at Deep Creek Lake, Swallow Falls State Park always comes up. This park has beautiful trails and Maryland’s tallest free-falling waterfall! The trails here loop along the Youghiogheny River where you can view other spectacular waterfalls along the way.

Deep Creek Lake State Park also offers miles of trails on a more rugged terrain which is great for mountain biking or hiking. If you’re looking for trails with less difficulty, try checking out the trails in Garrett State Forest and Herrington Manor State Park. These trails are more level, for a bit of an easier hike. There is even a trail that connects Swallow Falls State Park and Herrington Manor State Park. If you plan to hike in a state park, all parks provide a trail map for free or for a minimal fee.

Garrett Trails

There are also other places to hike outside of local state parks. Garrett Trails is a local organization that focuses on the development and promotion of a wide network of trails throughout Garrett County. You can find more information on their trails at the Deep Creek Lake visitors center, or on their website.

Whether you’re bringing family, friends, or even the dog, hiking at Deep Creek Lake can be fun for everyone! It is a great way to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.



Each of the four seasons offer breathtaking hiking opportunities in Garrett County. However, each season brings different weather-related concerns.  It is important to remember that the weather can change quickly up here in the mountains.  Always make sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly before you go out for a hike.


Most of the trails in Garrett County are rocky and are often muddy. Keep in mind that when choosing your footwear, you will need a couple options.  Choosing a sock that is made of a “quick-drying” fabric, is a great way to keep your feet at a comfortable temperature during your hike.


With rapidly changing weather here in Deep Creek Lake, sometimes even in an hour’s time, it is important to dress in layers and bring a rain jacket with you. Even if the sun is shining when you start your hike, you want to be prepared for your adventure, all the way through.

Food and Water 

Food is your fuel! So, no matter the length of your hike, always bring food and plenty of water.  Popular hiking foods include trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars.  These items are lightweight and require no preparation.


While most animals try to avoid human interaction, encounters with animals inevitably occur. If you encounter an animal, do not try to pet or feed the animal. Share the woods!

Now that you have an idea of what to expect on a hike in Garrett County, come enjoy our Deep Creek Lake trails! For more trails throughout the Deep Creek area, check out our blog here.

Hiking at DCL | Deep Creek Lake, Maryland