The Top 10 Ways to Live Like a Local at Deep Creek Lake

1. Eat at the local diner (Dottie’s Fountain & Grill) and peruse the antiques and cultural anthropological history of Garrett County at Englander’s Antiques in Oakland, Maryland, a short drive from the lake. Englander’s Drugstore first opened in Oakland, MD in 1946 and was later turned into an antiques mall. The old lunch counter at Englander’s was preserved and now operates as Dottie’s Fountain & Grill, complete with burgers, blue plate specials, milkshakes, and an incredible breakfast.

2. Explore the environmental richness of the Deep Creek Lake area at Swallow Falls State Park. Swallow Falls isn’t just for tourists – us locals love to visit this beautiful state park as well. Get out in nature and enjoy the peace, quiet, scenic views and wildlife at Swallow Falls State Park.

3. Take the kids to Funland and unleash them upon the kid-themed utopia that offers mini-golfing, arcade games, bumper cars, go-karts, a climbing wall, and much more! Funland website The arcade and mini golf are open from 10am to 11pm Sunday-Thursday, and till 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday during the summer. The rides are open from 10am to 10pm Sunday-Thursday and till 11pm on Friday and Saturday

4. Get near in the clouds and explore Deep Creek Lake from above through the Wisp Resort’s Canopy Tour and Chipmunk Challenge Course for the kiddos. The canopy tour features a series of zip lines and obstacles to complete, including a cargo net, a plank bridge, and two zips with beautiful lake views. The canopy tour is for younger kids that are up for some adventure.

5. Bowl with the locals at the recently renovated new bowling alley, “The Alley” in Oakland, Maryland.

6. Take a bite out of locally made goat cheese at FireFly Farms Creamery and Market‘s tasting and pairings, or shop the market for delicious cheeses and specialty food and drinks.

7. Visit the farmer’s market held every Saturday morning in the Oakland Town Pavilion.

8. Looking to belt out a personal anthem from your heart on a Friday night? Check out weekly karaoke at the Boardwalk Bar – a lakefront bar and grill! Fridays starting at 8pm.

9. A local favorite that’s sure to delight, “Pasta Night” at Ace’s Run at Will O the Wisp Resort is a tremendous experience coupled with delicious and decadent pasta. This night is revered by locals as the pinnacle of culinary concoction. Pasta night is every Wednesday from 4pm to 10pm. Adults pay $15.95 and kids 12 and under pay their age!

10. Just jump in! Deep Creek Lake life is as good as it gets. There’s nothing more fun or more relaxing than hitting the lake after a day of excitement and exploration, so just jump in! That’s what the locals do every chance we get!


Just Jump In! Fun Water Activities at Deep Creek Lake this Summer

Just Jump In! Fun Water Activities at Deep Creek Lake this Summer


Summer is here, and we couldn’t be happier at Railey Mountain Lake Vacations! The temperatures have climbed into the 70’s and 80’s, the trees are green and the wildflowers in bloom, and Deep Creek Lake is waiting for you!

In the summer, our guests love the spend most of their Deep Creek Lake visit on the water, boating, kayaking, fishing, jet skiing, sailing, or canoeing. With so many water activities to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here’s our guide for Deep Creek Lake water adventures this summer.

A lot of people like to rent a kayak (or two) so that the whole group can take turns enjoying a paddle around the lake. Single or double kayaks can be rented by the hour, the day, 3 days, or the week from Wisp Resort or Silver Tree Marine. For the ultimate in convenience, Wisp Resort will deliver your kayak to your rental home and pick them up for you when you’re done. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Reserve a kayak for your Deep Creek vacation today! Or if you’re not ready to rent your own, hop on an hour and a half kayak guided tour with Wisp Resort to get a feel for some kayak basics and to explore the calmer parts of Deep Creek Lake.

Many of our guests also love to rent a boat to keep at their Deep Creek cabin rental. A variety of pontoon boats and power boats can be reserved from Silver Tree Marine during your stay. Boat rental rates run from around $300/day up to $1500/day depending on the size and horse-power of the boat. What a great way to make your Deep Creek vacation even more memorable. Just remember, you need a boat license to be able to rent a boat. Jet skis can also be rented on Deep Creek Lake. Who doesn’t love feeling like a kid again and zipping around on one of these fun toys?!

The newest craze in water sports, Stand-Up Paddleboarding (also known as SUP), has taken off at Deep Creek in recent years.  Similar to surfing and kayaking, SUPers stand up on a large, buoyant board and paddle around the quieter parts of the lake. This activity is relaxing and fun, but it’s also a great workout as the balance required to stand up and paddle is great for your core. Wisp Resort offers guided tours as well as hourly, daily, 3-day, or weekly SUP rentals for ages 8 and up. This is a great toy to have at your Deep Creek vacation rental for the week!

Don’t forget that our nearby state parks have fantastic beaches to play at and enjoy as well! Deep Creek Lake State Park offers one mile of beautiful sandy shoreline, perfect for swimming, building sandcastles, lounging, fishing, and more. Bring the blow up raft, water toys, a kayak, or the boat and spend the day at this great beach. This popular state park also offers a playground, volleyball net, picnic area, and hiking trails, so you can spend the whole day here.

Swallow Falls State Park is also a favorite place to visit in the summer. The 53-acre lake with swimming area is a great place to unwind and enjoy a hot summer day. There’s also a picnic area and playground nearby, as well as two incredible waterfalls to check out – Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls.

It’s time to get out of the city and into Deep Creek Lake this summer! Let us know how we can help plan your Maryland vacation and water activities.

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: http://www.agreatsmalltown.com/winter-fest.html 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! www.willothewisp.com

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! http://www.willothewisp.com/aces-run-restaurant-pub

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

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