Experience the beautiful mountains of Garrett County as you climb to the top winding through Deep Creek Lake’s best hiking trails.  Between the breathtaking state parks, forests, mountains, and open-space areas hikers of all experience levels will have a wonderful time. Explore over 80 thousand acres perfect for hiking and experiencing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat as you climb the trails. The sights you will see are unlike anywhere else in Maryland.  Here are a few of our favorite spots to go hiking in Deep Creek and a few hiking tips as well. 

Hiking Tips

Hiking in Deep Creek will offer some of the best views in Garrett County. Whether you decide to hit the trails on your own or choose to go on a guided hike, safety must come first. Especially in the Winter, many of the trails are in natural areas that can present safety hazards such as slippery trails, so make sure you bring good footwear and a friend.  Some of our must-haves in our hiking bag are but are not limited to, first aid kit, snacks and plenty of water, sunscreen, rainwear, closed-toe shoes, and insect repellent. 

Big Run State Park

Big Run is considered the trailhead for a “hikers only” trail that is around 6 miles long. The trail is known as Monroe Run.  The trail was previously used by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early 1930s and has since become a popular trail in Deep Creek.  It is moderately difficult and the perfect way to experience nature. Be sure to wear your hiking boots as there are no bridges and several areas where you will have to cross water. However, the breathtaking views will be well worth it.

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park is located at the base of Meadow Mountain and has trails perfect for any experience level. The Meadow Mountain Trails like the Indian Turnip Trail are popular among many however, one of the most popular trails is the Brant Mine Trail, and it is a half-mile long and it leads its hikers to the historic Brant Coal Mine and Homesite, or take the high road and head to the fire tower. The coal mine was used by residents for heating and blacksmithing. The Park Naturalist and volunteers will often lead hikes and point out a variety of things like bird watching, wildflowers, and foliage identification. You can also opt for a signed and interpreted trail guide that can be requested from the discovery center. 

New Germany State Park

New Germany State Park offers hikers 10 miles of trails. The trails range from easy to advanced/ difficult.  They have a circuit trail system and it is popular year-round. Throughout the different seasons, you can see and experience the change of foliage. During the spring you can see beautiful wildflowers and even wild strawberries. During the summer you can see asters, milkweed and even daisies. Once fall arrives, you can start to see sugar maple, black gum, and red maple. Once the winter comes and the snow starts to fall, the mountain biking and hiking trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. 

Potomac Garrett State Forest

Spread throughout the southern and western parts of the county, this state forest has over 18,00 acres of land to hike. The western edge offers Swallow Falls State Park and Herrington Manor State Park.  The two parks are connected by a 5.5-mile easy trail. This beginner trail was formerly a logging road in the 1800s.  One of the more popular trails in Swallow Falls is the Canyon Trail and follows alongside the Youghiogheny River.  You will see many picturesque photo opportunities with 4 waterfalls, and 10 miles of trails located in the Herrington Manor that are perfect for those wanting to explore the forest and wetlands. 

Savage River State Forest

The Savage River State Forest is made up of 54 thousand acres running along the Savage River and the reservoir. It offers miles of rugged trails and is Maryland’s largest state forest. The long winding trails are perfect for those who enjoy a backpacking adventure with wonderful photo opportunities. A crowd favorite is the Big Savage Trail, a 17-mile long path that runs by the ridge of Big Savage Mountain. You can travel through the oak and hickory, right before reaching the beautiful view at High Rock. You will need to stop by forest headquarters to pick up a trail map and a backcountry permit. 


No matter what trail you decide to explore, you will have a great time. At Red Barn Vacations, we offer premium-style vacation rentals that can accommodate any of your needs, including room for your hiking, biking, or even kayak gear. Choose from a variety of lakefront homes. We offer rentals in a variety of areas so you are never too far from the trails. Many trails have parking lots that are available for all day-use while you enjoy climbing the Garrett Trails. A few other trails that you may want to check out our Beckmans Trail and Muddy Creek Falls. We look forward to seeing you on the trails soon!