Deep Creek Lake in Maryland has been a wonderful vacation spot for decades bringing in families all over the United States. From the endless boating to hiking and skiing, Garrett county has welcomed frequent visitors into Western Maryland, creating memories that could last a lifetime. Though the lake and state parks draw in thousands of people each year, the area has not always been known as the four seasons vacation destination that it is now. Here is a look into the Deep Creek Lake history and the surrounding area.

Early 1900’s

In the early 1900s, Deep Creek Lake was once littered with farms, schools, and private residences. The idea to bring power and electricity to the area by implementing the use of the Youghiogheny River is the turning point for the area. The planning began in 1908 however, they were not successful.  In 1921, the Youghiogheny Hydroelectric corporation was given access to start the construction of dams across Deep Creek and the Youghiogheny River. In 1923 they began looking for their real estate transaction that would cost $55 in total. This would cover the price of entire farms that were purchased, not because they would be flooded by the dam or lake but because the road to travel to them would be compromised. The surveys laid out four  Deep Creek dams and three powerhouses, one of which would be located near the confluence of Deep Creek and the Yough.  Even though plans were drawn for all four dams and three powerhouses, by the time of completion only the original dam and powerhouse were finished as it would be financially self-sufficient.

After taking almost 2 years to complete the project the plant opened on May 26, 1925. Today the earth in rock hill dam remains much as it was then. Reaching up to 1340 feet long and about 1.75 miles upstream, the water from the lake is transported to the powerhouse three 7000 foot power tunnels.

Recreation Of The Lake

Photo Credit: R Q via Flickr CC2.0

But all the locals certainly got their fair share of enjoyment out of the lake, tourism wasn’t quite as popular back then. The winters were spent with the lake being frozen over, which caused the local residents to use their imaginations when it came to navigating outside. Local mechanics would build ice boats or even areas to go ice fishing. This made the lake an enjoyable place to be no matter what season.

As the Deep Creek Lake activities started to become more popular, anglers all over started to travel to the lake in hopes of writing a pontoon and catching the best fish around, or coming to experience ice fishing. People would come from surrounding areas like Baltimore, Oakland, Pennsylvania,  Pittsburgh, and much more to see what all the chatter was about.

The Deep Creek Lake Today

Photo Credit: lebo151 via Instagram

Today Deep Creek Lake is owned by the state of Maryland and is managed by the department of natural resources. It is currently holding the title of Maryland’s largest freshwater lake as it spans approx 13 miles long and 65 miles of shoreline. It takes up about 3900 acres and is on average about 25 feet in depth. Visitors from all over still come to experience Deep Creek Lake and take a swing on the golf course, or ski down Wisp resorts mountain. Whether you come to stay in the lakefront house and enjoy boating activities, or you come to experience nature by biking or hiking you won’t be disappointed.

Deep creek lake has evolved to be quite a popular destination. At Red Barn Vacations, we strive to provide premium vacation rentals to make your Deep Creek Lake area getaway as special as possible. Whether you are coming to go whitewater rafting or explore Mchenry, we hope to see you soon in our historic town on your Deep Creek Lake vacation.