Maryland might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of premier skiing destinations, but it would be a shame to overlook the snowy wonderland that is Deep Creek Lake in winter. Once the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall, visitors trade their hiking boots for snowshoes and their fishing poles for ski poles and head to Wisp Mountain.

Even if you aren’t interested in downhill skiing or snowboarding, the mountain offers plenty of winter-centric activities to occupy visitors of all ages. Wisp Mountain is also easy to get to, sitting just one mile from the town of McHenry and less than 20 miles from Oakland, so if you’re staying at a nearby vacation rental, you can sleep in, grab breakfast, and still be one of the first people down the mountain.

Deep Creek Lake Skiing and Snowboarding

Night skiing at Wisp Mountain
Photo courtesy of Matt Capriglione

Wisp Mountain has a diverse mix of terrain, making it appealing for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The area sees an average of 100 inches of snow each season, but even if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, 90 percent of the mountain’s skiable terrain is equipped with energy-efficient snowmaking machines. Seven ski lifts provide access to the mountain’s 34 runs, which are groomed nightly, guaranteeing fresh corduroy in the morning. Wisp Mountain also offers night skiing, if you’re interested in braving the cold for a unique ski experience.

Other Winter Activities

snowshoeing at Wisp Mountain
Photo courtesy of Karen Neoh

If you need a break from the slopes, check out Wisp’s ice skating rink, which has the distinction of being the only ice rink in Garrett County. Skate rentals are also available. Want to explore the mountain at your own pace? Rent snowshoes or a pair of Nordic skis and hit the trails on Fantasy Valley Golf Course. And if you’re looking for a little adrenaline, head to the Mountain Coaster, which combines a the feeling of an alpine slide with the mechanics of a roller coaster to create a two-person thrill ride that stretches along a 3,500-foot-long track

Après Ski (Or Après Snow)

Heineken in the snow

Once you’ve had your fill of snow and ice, fill up on appetizers and cocktails at one of the on-site restaurants, such as DC’s Bar & Restaurant at the mountain’s base or the Pumphouse Cafe, located next to the White Water Lodge on the mountain’s peak. There are also several outdoor stores on and around Wisp Mountain, so if you find yourself in the market for new skis or a slightly warmer jacket, you won’t have to go far. And if you’re staying at a Deep Creek Lake vacation rental that includes a hot tub, nothing soothes sore muscles quite like a long soak.

Whether you’re an accomplished skier or just getting to know the slopes, if you’re interested in Deep Creek Lake skiing, definitely consider spending a day or two on Wisp Mountain. With a variety of terrain and numerous other snow-centric activities to choose from, a trip to Wisp Mountain is sure to check all of your boxes—and leave you planning your return trip!

Featured photo courtesy of Erin Eve

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Author: Madison Schultz

Madison grew up in western Kansas with a family that loves to travel. She is a highly accomplished roadtripper, having driven from western Kansas to Portland twice—the second time, in a moving van. Her favorite places include Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Innsbruck, Florence, York, Edinburgh, Ely, the San Juan Islands, Taos, and Lawrence.