A Guest Blog by Cat Murphy– Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and going on long hikes anywhere and everywhere in nature.

There are plenty of options for both residents and visitors to enjoy nature in beautiful Garrett County, Maryland. Choose from a wide variety of state parks and resorts as well as artisan areas in order to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine of the region. There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors in Garrett County you could be lost in the beauty of nature for weeks.

  1. Swallow Falls State Park

The breathtaking scenery of Swallow Falls State Park will capture guests and make first timers repeat visitors. This park located in the mountains 9 miles north of Oakland, features many waterfalls as it borders the Youghiogheny River. Muddy Creek Falls is a highlight of the park as a 53-foot waterfall that provides an excellent background for pictures. A short 1 mile hike takes visitors to Swallow Falls which is another beautiful display of nature at its finest. Visitors should be aware that all of this beauty is caused by a very rapid flowing river that has several hazards including deep pools, rough terrain, and underwater hydraulics. Camping is a popular activity in Swallow Falls State Park as well as fishing rainbow trout in the spring.

  1. Spruce Forest Artisan Village

Artists are allowed to showcase their work at the Spruce Forest Artisan Village located in Grantsville. The purpose of the village is to preserve the heritage of the Allegheny region where historic buildings are used daily for both education and artisan purposes. Visitors will learn about the Amish and Mennonite communities that lived in the area as well as the importance of agriculture that helped to build up this area. A favorite includes Stanton’s Mill which was recently restored to showcase the importance of a saw mill in the 1800s. Spruce Forest Artisan Village is free to visit for anyone who wants to learn more about the historical background of the area as well as enjoy unique pieces from local artisans.

  1. Deep Creek Lake State Park

On the Western portion of Garrett County lies Deep Creek Lake State Park which consists of over 1,800 acres surrounding a 3,900-acre lake. The lake itself is manmade and was constructed in the 1920’s by a hydroelectric project. There are plenty of activities to enjoy including swimming beaches complete with lifeguards as well as areas to have a picnic or grill out under a picnic shelter. Fishing is a popular activity but visitors also use the lake to enjoy paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. Hikers will enjoy Beckman Trail and Deep Creek Lake State Park is widely known for its extensive campground that offers overnight opportunities for guests to enjoy nature as well.

  1. Wisp Resort

For those more adventurous visitors to Garrett County, Wisp Resort offers plenty to do outdoors that will leave you breathless and exhilarated. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful golf course as well as take a ride on the Mountain Coaster during the summer. Other summertime activities include mountain biking, gem mining, archery and orienteering. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are also available for those looking for fun things to do on the water. Thrilling options like the Flying Squirrel Canopy Tour, Chipmunk Challenge Course, and Spider Monkey Adventure will keep young and old visitors happy and full of adrenaline as they enjoy nature outdoors as Wisp Resort.

  1. Herrington Manor State Park

This beautiful park is located within the Garrett State Forest and was developed in the 1930s. Herrington Manor State Park covers over 365 acres of land and also includes a 53-acre lake on Herrington Creek. Visitors can enjoy swimming, hiking, and canoeing and the area is very well known for its kayaking rentals for a quick day trip out on the water. Overnight guests can rent one of the 20 furnished log cabins to enjoy a quick weekend getaway in nature. Fishing is a popular activity here with the lake offering rainbow trout, catfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Fall visitors can see fun demonstrations like how to make apple butter and maple syrup as well.

Maryland is a state known for high quality of life, but Deep Creek takes it to a whole new level. From the many hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and water activities between the area state parks that canvas this region, visitors will have a hard time deciding what to choose. Be sure to check out the Spruce Forest Artisan Village as well as the many activities offered at Wisp Resort in order to round out the long list of outdoor activities that are great #ways to enjoy nature in Garrett County.


Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and going on long hikes anywhere and everywhere in nature.