Big, Bad, BBQ - Summer BBQ'ing at Deep Creek Lake

Big, Bad, BBQ – Summer BBQ’ing at Deep Creek Lake


Memorial Weekend has passed and summer is now officially upon us at Deep Creek Lake. With summer comes one word that is on everyone’s mind at Railey Mountain Lake Vacations: BBQ! Whether it’s enjoying delicious food at one of our local BBQ restaurants or grilling lakeside at your vacation rental, summers at Deep Creek are all about enjoying life on the lake with friends and family, along with cocktails and some great grilled food.

Our favorite Deep Creek BBQ restaurant, is Archie’s Barbeque in McHenry, MD, hands down. This family owned and operated restaurant has been dishing up some of the best pulled pork, beef brisket, and baby back ribs around since 2007. For those with a serious BBQ appetite, Archie’s is home to the Mountain Man Food Challenge. Anyone that can take down baby back ribs, a half BBQ chicken, an Archie deluxe sandwich, 4 pieces of cornbread, a small hot side, a small cold side, and a 16 oz soft drink ($50 value) in 1 hour gets the meal for free and plenty of bragging rights!

Diners can relax in the Archie’s dining room or choose to sit under the umbrellas outside – bonus, the outdoor seating is pet friendly! Or call ahead and take a BBQ feast to go from Archie’s Drive Thru. Archie’s also has a mobile smoker, perfect for weddings, reunions, and other private events.

For those that prefer to barbecue from the comforts of home, all of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations’ house rentalscome equipped with gas or charcoal grills. Local grocery stores, including the Deep Creek Shop ‘N Save, Arrowhead Market, and Walmart Supercenter, can supply all of your grilling needs, from fresh meat to local produce, condiments, buns, and snacks. All of the kitchens in Railey’s Deep Creek vacation rentals come equipped with everything you’ll need to grill and cook at home. There’s nothing better than enjoying a day out on the lake and then firing up the grill for an outdoor lunch or sunset dinner. With the beautiful weather the summers bring to Deep Creek Lake, why not spend as much time as possible outdoors? We know that we’ll be grilling and chilling this summer, and we hope you will as well!

Creative Concierge at Deep Creek Lake

Creative Concierge at Deep Creek Lake


Creative Concierge is a unique personalized service that is designed to enhance your stay while celebrating spring in our beautiful rental homes here at Deep Creek Lake.  Our knowledgeable staff is delighted to provide our personal shopping service or direct you towards popular activities and local dining options.  We also offer a variety of customizable celebration baskets starting as low as $20!


We provide three tiers of basket options to make your spring celebration at Deep Creek Lake an unforgettable experience. These baskets can be customized with items provided by local businesses. Celebration basket items may include flowers, chocolate, beer, wine, cheeses, candy, popcorn, balloons and additional items by request.  You can choose from our Deluxe, Premium, and Elite baskets to create a unique surprise for someone special.  No matter the occasion, Creative Concierge at Railey Mountain Lake Vacations will help make your spring getaway to Deep Creek Lake a Celebration!

Railey Mountain Lake Vacations Adds a Charming Farm Property to Our Deep Creek Rental Inventory

Railey Mountain Lake Vacations Adds a Charming Farm Property to Our Deep Creek Rental Inventory

Railey Mountain Lake Vacations is pleased to announce a unique property recently added to our Deep Creek vacation rental inventory: Haley Farm. This charming mountain retreat is set on 65 beautiful acres, just minutes from Deep Creek Lake. Haley’s Manor House, Haley’s Carriage House, and Haley’s Barn Suites can be rented individually, but we recommend getting a group together and renting all three at once. It can be the perfect Deep Creek getaway with family, friends, or even colleagues for a corporate retreat! This sprawling farm is tucked away in a quiet valley, but guests will marvel at the close proximity to Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort, Swallow Falls, and many of the area state parks. The grounds are simply breathtaking at Haley Farm, and the centuries old barns, farm equipment, and silos will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The Manor House at Haley Farm offers five bedrooms and five bathrooms, each with a jetted over-sized tub and fireplace. The house is comfortable and cozy, with plenty of room for 10 guests. The front porch with rocking chairs is the perfect place to enjoy a morning coffee or a spectacular sunset overlooking the farm. Haley’s Carriage House is a quaint, two bedroom, two bathroom home (also with two jetted bath tubs) in the original carriage house. An upper level deck overlooks green pastures, a barn and silos, and lovely rolling hills. The third Haley Farm property, the Barn Suites, offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gas fireplace, and an outdoor firepit in a cozy setting. What makes Haley Farm even more fabulous is the wellness center and spa services offered on-site. For an additional fee, guests can plan wellness retreats, group fitness sessions, or even cooking demonstrations. Arrange yoga classes, massages, facials, meditation sessions, a nutrition assessment, personal training sessions, and more. And in between all the wellness fun, guests can get out in nature by visiting nearby state parks, Deep Creek Lake, and just exploring the 65-acre property. Now is the time to get a group together and plan a special weekend at Haley Farm!
Colorful Spring Adventures in Deep Creek

Colorful Spring Adventures in Deep Creek

It’s been a snowy, cold winter for Deep Creek, Maryland and much of the East, which has been great for skiing and snowboarding and all the great winter activities we enjoy. But around this time of the year, many of us start to get a little “spring fever” as we start to daydream about green grass, colorful flowers, and warmer temperatures. Spring is a beautiful time to visit Deep Creek, when trees start to bud, grass comes back to life, docks are put into the lake, and the rivers start to rush. With a wide variety of spring activities to enjoy at Deep Creek, now is the time to beat those winter blues with a Deep Creek Lake spring getaway. Mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding are an excellent way to get out in nature and take in the beautiful scenery of the forests and open space parks. The fresh smells and sounds of spring simply cannot be beat, and the Deep Creek area offers thousands of acres of trails to enjoy on horseback, bike, or foot. The rivers and waterfalls really come to life in the spring with the snowmelt and runoff from the winter’s snow – it is a sight to see! Spring is also a nice time to get out on the lake for canoeing, boating, or fishing. The temperatures start to warm up, docks are put back into Deep Creek Lake, and there is less boating traffic in the spring. Enjoy a peaceful, quiet day at your favorite fishing hole or stream, or canoe along the shores of the lake and take in views of colorful wildflowers and newly budding trees. Deep Creek Lavender Farm, an 8-acre farm just north of Deep Creek Lake, opens to visitors on May 24, 2014 – this is a real spring treat! Breathe in the wonderful scent of lavender as you tour the farm and shop for homemade lavender gifts to bring home to friends and family. Swallow Falls State Park holds maple syrup demonstrations in the spring, which is a fun activity for the whole family. Participants will learn how maple syrup is made and pure maple syrup products are available for sale. There is nothing better than fresh maple syrup straight from the source. Herrington Manor State Park also offers a maple syrup demonstration with a pancake breakfast afterwards. Railey Mountain Lake Vacations still has plenty of availability this spring, so browse online or call us today at 877-624-3677 to book your cabin rental.
Get Ready for the 7th Annual Oakland Winter Fest 2014

Get Ready for the 7th Annual Oakland Winter Fest 2014

If you’re planning a visit to Deep Creek, Maryland during President’s Weekend this year, you’re in for a treat. The 7th Annual Winter Fest is set for February 15 and 16 in downtown Oakland, and this annual winter celebration is fun for the whole family! Winter Fest is held each year over President’s Day weekend, and it’s the perfect celebration of all things winter.

With 80 inches of snow at Wisp Resort already this season, 2014’s Winter Fest is definitely going to be a year to celebrate winter! The skiing is fantastic, Deep Creek Lake has never looked more beautiful, and the ice sculptures of Winterfest are guaranteed to stay frozen.

Expert ice sculptor Bill Sandusky will be back for his seventh Oakland Winter Fest, and he’ll be doing live carvings on February 15th at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm. His company, Erie Ice Works, has been a member of the National Ice Carver’s Association since 1999. Additionally, the ice sculptures will be illuminated at night for a truly beautiful sight!

Other Winter Fest events include a book reading and signing from 10am-3pm at the Oakland B&O Museumby local author Deborah Wagner Brenneman, who co-wrote “Look What’s Under my Bed” with her daughter, Danielle Brenneman, who also works for Railey Mountain Lake Vacations. Readings will be at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm, and children are even encouraged to get cozy in their pajamas for the readings.

Craft vendors will be set up at 203 South 2nd Street on both February 15 and 16, and Winter Fest participants can also enjoy a Wine Tasting from 12pm-3pm at The Book Mark’et, live music by the Terah Crawford Band from 12pm-4pm by the gazebo, sleigh rides by Pleasant Valley Dream Rides from 10am-2pm between the gazebo and Oakland B&O Museum, and an open house at the Mason Lodge from 9am-5pm.

Additionally, the crowning of the “Snowflake Toddler” takes place at 3pm in front of the gazebo.

Find more Winter Fest information here: and make sure to contactRailey Mountain Lake Vacations for lodging needs!

Deep Creek Set to Host the Whitewater World Championships This Fall

Deep Creek Set to Host the Whitewater World Championships This Fall

Submitted by Railey Mountain… on Wed, 01/22/2014 – 12:24

There is a great deal of buzz right now in Deep Creek as the Whitewater Worlds Competition is scheduled to return to the United States for only the second time in history. 25 years ago, the ICF (International Canoe Federation) Canoe Slalom World Championships were held on the Savage River right here in McHenry, Maryland, and this incredible event is slated to return to Deep Creek this coming September. On September 17-21, Deep Creek welcomes the world!

The competition will be held in McHenry, Maryland’s own Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI), as Olympic level athletes from over 35 countries battle for the Canoe Slalom gold. ASCI operates the world’s only mountaintop whitewater course, and the Deep Creek area is a mecca for adventure sports. Railey Mountain Lake Vacations is the legacy sponsor for this exciting event – we are honored to be able to welcome these elite athletes back to Deep Creek!

On January 18, Wisp Resort unveiled the Whitewater Worlds Exhibition Wall, and Railey was there to share in the excitement. The 60 x 40 foot Exhibition Wall displays the Deep Creek 2014 Commemorative Poster, created by artists Laura and Mark Stutzman, and the wall celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Whitewater Worlds’ return to Deep Creek. Pictured below is Jeremy Bittner with Eddy, the Deep Creek 2014 Otter, as well as a view of the Exhibition Wall at Wisp Resort.

    Tickets go on sale March 1, 2014. Stay tuned for more information and be sure to book your Deep Creek rental before lodging fills up!

Ace's Run WOW"s into Winter at Deep Creek

Ace’s Run WOW”s into Winter at Deep Creek


When you think of the cold winter months, you want to be dreaming of cozy interiors, dim lighting and warm comfort foods. It’s also a nice bonus to be in a location that is surrounded by beautiful scenery and a majestic view of winter in the mountains. A visit to Ace’s Run Restaurant and Pub at Will O’ The Wisp Resort, located in the heart of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, should be on your 2014 list of Winter “Must Do” experiences!

On a recent trip to this lakefront restaurant, we indulged in some fantastic culinary treats. Opened in the spring of 2013 at the Will O’ The Wisp Resort, the completely redesigned restaurant was transformed into a family inspired restaurant and pub with the Heise Family in mind. Created by Brenda McDonald of the very successful Brenda’s Pizzeria and Trader’s Coffee House, she brought her vision to life in a short amount of time, paying homage to a well-known family who pioneered the on-site lodging resort and the original Wisp Ski Mountain.

If you’re looking over the menu for a feel-good salad, you must order their Warm Winter Salad, and don’t worry about getting the small for $5.95. After one bite, you’ll have wished for the large at $11.95. A bed of mixed greens topped with bacon, hard-cooked eggs, walnuts, and goat cheese sounds like a normal salad, but when you bite into their oven roasted beets, it changes everything. For those that are sticklers for ordering their usual salad dressing on the side, you won’t need to because the maple-balsamic vinaigrette makes the entire salad whole, and provides a light, yet delectable, winter salad.


We all know the feeling when a waiter, or waitress, asks if we want to start off with an appetizer and the guilt sets in – but it’s always good to have something to hold you over until the main course comes out. Opt for their Buffalo Chicken Dip served with freshly fried tortilla chips and you’ll be inspired by this creative take on a classic dish. Chunks of fresh chicken and just the right amount of cheese on top make this a favorite appetizer for the whole table.


The Knucklehead sandwich is a slow-roasted Black Angus beef knuckle masterpiece. Seriously, you have to try this sandwich topped with sautéed onions, Swiss cheese and horseradish mayo, and served with beef au jus on the side. If you wanted something even more on the comfort food level, then the Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes entrée is the go-to choice on this menu. Taking you back to the childhood winter dinners you’d have after a day on the sledding hill, this classic American meal will fill you up and keep you warm. Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of condos and cabins on-site if you need a place for a long winter’s nap after this meal!

Need something sweet while you enjoy the company of others overlooking the beautiful lake? Finish off your meal with the Ace’s Run Banana Nutella Bread Pudding with dark rum sauce while you lounge in the Pub on the red couches and fireplace.

Ski on over to Ace’s Run at Will O’ The Wisp Resort this winter for some truly amazing culinary treats in a fun, relaxed environment. Did we mention their famous Pasta Nights every Wednesday from 4-8 PM for only $15.95 per person? A “Must Do” Deep Creek Experience year round!

Beat the Cold with the 2014 Deep Creek Powder Pass

Beat the Cold with the 2014 Deep Creek Powder Pass

The entire country seems to be in a cold snap right now, and most ski resorts have been getting a nice dusting of snow lately. If it’s going to be cold and snowy, we might as well be somewhere we can enjoy it, right?! A long weekend in Deep Creek is just the ticket – get out of the city and beat those winter blues. We suggest heading to a cozy cabin, start up a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy watching the snow as it falls on the lake. And there’s nothing quite like sitting in an outdoor hot tub while the snow falls around you. Better yet, take advantage of the great ski conditions at Wisp Resort, as well as ice skating, snow tubing, and nordic skiing.

Railey Mountain Lake Vacations is offering a great deal for those looking to get away to Deep Creek this winter. Th2014 Deep Creek Powder Pass offers the third night free when you book two nights in one of our Deep Creek rentals. Additionally, you’ll get a Weekend Warrior Ski Pass for just $99, which offers skiing at Wisp Resort from Friday at 5pm through Sunday at 5pm. This is an incredible deal for two full days of skiing plus a twilight session Friday evening. Our Deep Creek Powder Pass also gives you $5 to spend on lunch at Wisp Resort, and hand warmers upon check-in!

This great weekend ski getaway package runs Jan 3 – March 20, 2014, so make sure to reserve your Deep Creek vacation rental today. This offer is applicable on Railey Mountain Lake Vacations’ 1-6 bedroom properties. The Deep Creek Powder Pass is your ticket to the slopes, so call today to book! 866-544-3223

*Holidays and the weekend of 1/16-1/19/14 are excluded

Deep Creek Lake community recognizes the bicentennial of the Casselman River Bridge

The story behind the Casselman River Bridge exemplifies the pioneering spirit and ingenuity of our ancestors. From its conception in the early 1800s to its preservation and renovation in the 1940s and again in 1979, the Casselman River Bridge still stands today – 200 years later.

In celebration of the bicentennial event, a collaboration of organizations, (including the Casselman River Bridge State Park, Town of Grantsville, Spruce Forest Artisan Village, the Maryland National Road Assoc. and the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area) will host a 3-day commemorative event. From September 20-22, 2013, the Casselman River Bridge State Park and the Town of Grantsville will host various events and activities to mark the occasion.

Recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge was originally constructed as part of the National Road Project to help geographically unify the young republic. In the early 19thcentury, Little Crossings, the area near the bridge, grew from one Inn to a thriving center of commerce and transportation, thanks in part to the construction of the 80-foot long bridge. Stage coaches, horsemen, wagons and foot traffic transported people and supplies over the Casselman River (then known as “Little Youghiogheny”) along Braddock’s Road.

Two hundred years ago, a public celebration was held to remove the supports and officially open the bridge. Historical records indicate that many locals thought the bridge would collapse once the supports were removed. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the bridge superintendent privately removed one of the key supports the night before the opening in 1813 to make sure it wouldn’t collapse during the public celebration. Ironically, the bridge still stands, two centuries later.

Today, the bridge proudly sits as the centerpiece to the Casselman River Bridge State Park. Although it is currently undergoing repairs, the bridge will reopen to foot traffic in time for the bicentennial celebration in September. Join with local history buffs and community members in this tribute to the resourceful engineers who constructed the longest single span stone arch bridge in America at the time, the generations of people who traversed the bridge on horseback or automobile and future generations who will recognize the significance of this historic landmark.

Experience the SavageMan Triathlon at Deep Creek Lake this September

Experience the SavageMan Triathlon at Deep Creek Lake this September

Early in the morning of September 14th and 15th on the shores of Deep Creek Lake, men and women will gather to face the grueling physical challenge of the SavageMan Triathlon. As the name suggests, this brutal race is not for the faint of heart. In fact, Triathlete Magazine named it the “hardest race on earth.”

As much as participants label this event as one of the most difficult triathlons, they also rave that the scenery is stunning through rolling hills of autumn color. Athletes begin with the swim in the crystal clear water at Deep Creek State Park, followed by the bike through the rolling hills of the rugged Mountains of Western Maryland. The final leg of the race leads runners on Deep Creek State Park trails and local lakeside roads.

There’s something inspiring about watching these determined athletes conquer geographical, physical and psychological challenges. Spectators cheer on the participants as they attempt to climb the famed Westernport Wall, the steepest climb in all of triathlon. Successful savages earn a personalized engraved brick laid in the wall – tantamount to triathlon immortality.

Event watchers can ride shuttles back and forth from the start/finish area to the celebratory Westernport Wall Block Party where rowdy crowds blow horns and ring cowbells to encourage the athletes through town. If you’re in the Deep Creek area in mid September, this event shouldn’t be missed. It’s truly an inspirational experience!

The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation receives 100% of the net profits from the SavageMan Triathlon. As melanoma continues to threaten the lives of all outdoor sports enthusiasts, the SavageMan Triathlon proudly contributes to research, advocacy and education established to fight this life-threatening cancer.

Race Distances

Saturday’s race:

0.9 mile swim, 22.9 mile bike and 6.2 mile run

Sunday’s race:

1.2 mile swim, 55.7 mile bike and 13.1 mile run

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