Boating -- Summer activities focus on watersports. You can rent just about any kind of powerboat, from a ski boat for one to a pontoon boat for 12. Paddleboats, canoes, and fishing boats are also available at many marinas around the lake. A water-ski boat costs about $90 for 2 hours, runabouts are $25 to $50, and a pontoon boat runs around $65 an hour. Some of the leading firms along U.S. Route 219 at Deep Creek Lake are Aquatic Center (tel. 301/387-8233), Bill's Marine North (tel. 800/607-BOAT  or 301/387-5677), Bill's Marine Service (tel. 301/387-5536), Crystal Waters (tel. 301/387-5515), and Deep Creek Marina (tel. 301/387-6977).
If you don't want to rent a boat, Wisp Resort (tel. 301/387-4911) offers pontoon and kayak tours of the lake and Savage River Reservoir kayak tours.
If you want to sail, you'll have to bring your own boat, as none are available for rent. Or you can learn to sail at Deep Creek Sailing School (tel. 301/387-4497; www.deepcreeksailingschool.com). Courses run 5 days and cost $235 to $250. Private lessons may also be arranged.
Camping -- Deep Creek Lake State Park (tel. 301/387-5563) offers 112 improved campsites (26 with electric hookups) plus a yurt, Adirondack-style cabin, and two minicamper cabins. Facilities include bathhouses with showers. Rentals are $25 to $65 a night. Reservations are recommended; call tel. 800/432-2267. Pets are permitted in designated loops. See the Garrett County section of "The Great Outdoors in Western Maryland," earlier in this chapter, for other camping options.
Cross-Country Skiing -- Cross-country skiing is available at Herrington Manor State Park (tel. 301/334-9180) and New Germany State Park (tel. 301/895-5453), both described in "The Great Outdoors in Western Maryland," earlier in this chapter. Deep Creek Outfitters (tel. 301/387-2200), Allegany Expeditions (tel. 800/819-5170), and High Mountain Sports (tel. 301/387-4199; www.highmountainsports.com) rent cross-country skis.
Dog-Sledding -- A local outfitter offers dog-sledding in area parks. The weather must be cool enough for the dogs (50°F/10°C or lower). If there's no snow, sleds on wheels are available. Reservations are required. They even have kennel visits ($15 a person) available if all you want to do is get to know one of these Siberian or Alaskan beauties. Husky Power Dogsledding (tel. 301/746-7200; www.huskypowerdogsledding.com) offers dog-sled rides and learn-to-mush tours around local forests for $150 to $195.
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding -- Deep Creek Lake is the home of Maryland's only ski area. With an elevation of 3,115 feet and a vertical drop of 700 feet, the Wisp Resort, 296 Marsh Hill Rd., McHenry (tel. 301/387-4911; www.skiwisp.com), offers 32 ski runs and trails. Beginners can ski or ride on several of the long, scenic trails, while black-diamond skiers can head for the face, which is straight down the front of the mountain with lots of moguls. Trails through the forest can be fast enough for both intermediates and experts. Lift tickets range from $39 on weekdays to $57 on weekends, with reduced rates for night skiing, 2-day tickets, early- or late-season skiing, and children. Kids 6 and under ski free. The ski season runs from early December (sometimes Thanksgiving weekend) to March. Wisp also operates a ski school for kids 3 to 14, child-care facility, rental service, and ski shop.
White-Water Rafting Without Fear -- A white-water course at the top of Marsh Hill enables rafting wannabes the chance to get their feet wet before venturing over to the Yough. Adventure Sports Center International (tel. 877/300-2724; www.adventuresportscenter.com) offers 2-hour sessions for beginners. Or bring your own raft or kayak. The course can be changed to accommodate the rafters' abilities, from easy for first-timers to Class IV for a white-knuckle thrill.
Eco-Tours -- Deep Creek Lake State Park's Discovery Center (tel. 301/387-7067) houses an exhibit on local geology, fauna, and flora. It's also the starting point for fun (and, dare I say, educational) outdoor adventures. Interpretive programs, campfires, hikes, and star-gazing are among the possibilities throughout the year. Activity schedules are available here and at the visitor center on U.S. Route 219. It's open daily in summer 10am to 5pm, and other times 10am to 4pm Friday to Sunday.
All Earth Eco Tours (tel. 800/446-7554 or 301/746-4083; www.allearthecotours.com) offers adventure tours, from Savage Reservoir kayaking and photography workshops to cross-country skiing and hikes. Toddler Tuesdays at the Discovery Center are a big draw.
Fishing -- Deep Creek Lake is home to about 22 species of fish, including yellow perch, bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, chain pickerel, northern pike, walleye, and trout. Four world-class rivers in the area make this fly-fishing heaven. Come for the cutthroat, rainbow, brown, and brook (wild) trout. Fishing is best April through June, but ice fishing in January and February is becoming popular. The state of Maryland requires a fishing license, which can be bought at most tackle shops.
The Casselman, North Branch of the Potomac, and Yough rivers are good trout areas, too, of course. The Casselman is home to brook and brown, the North Branch has rainbow, and the Yough has rainbow and brown. A trout stamp is required if you intend to remove trout from nontidal waters.
Try Bill's Outdoor Center (tel. 301/387-3474), Deep Creek Outfitters (tel. 301/387-2200) or Deep Creek Marina (tel. 301/387-0732) for tours, equipment, and boat rentals. The Orvis fly-fishing shop at Wisp (tel. 301/387-4911) offers tours, too.
Golf -- The Golf Club at Wisp, Wisp Resort Golf Course, 296 Marsh Hill Rd., McHenry (tel. 301/387-4911; www.wispresort.com), has reconfigured its 18-hole, par-72 championship facility built beside (and on) the ski slopes. It's open daily from April to mid-October. Fees for 18 holes are $40 to $65. A pro shop and driving range are on the grounds. The Oakland Golf Club, Sang Run Road, Oakland (tel. 301/334-3883; www.golfatoakland.com), has an 18-hole, par-71 championship course and driving range, open April through October. Fees range from $25 to $58.
Hiking -- Five trails ranging from easy to challenging are in Deep Creek Lake State Park, south of McHenry on State Park Road (tel. 301/387-5563). The most scenic is Indian Turnip Trail, which is approximately 2.5 miles and winds along Meadow Mountain and across the ridge top. Entry fee is $2 per vehicle; the park is open daily from 8am until sunset in summer, until 4pm in winter. Wisp Resort (tel. 301/387-4911) offers scenic chairlift rides after the snow melts for a mountaintop view and a downhill hike. See the Garrett County section of "The Great Outdoors in Western Maryland," earlier in this chapter, for other hiking options.
Mountain Coaster -- Downhill thrills without snow! Wisp Resort (tel. 301/387-4911) has erected this roller-coaster-style ride on its slopes. Riders fly down the 5,000 foot track at a speed they are comfortable with -- these coasters for one or two people have brakes. Take it slow and the ride lasts about 5 minutes. Forgo the brakes and you'll be down in a minute and a half. It's $10 a ride.
Sleigh Rides -- Pleasant Valley Dream Rides (tel. 301/334-1688; www.pleasantvalleydreamrides.com) offers horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides on the hour, from 10am to 10pm; $14 for adults and $10 children 3 to 10.
Snow Tubing -- Wisp Resort offers the Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park (tel. 301/387-4911), a fast dash down a groomed run on a big inflatable tube and a tow back to the top. Two-hour sessions cost $15 to $20. Reservations are a must.
Swimming -- Deep Creek Lake State Park (tel. 301/387-5563) features an 800-foot guarded sandy beach with bathhouses and lockers nearby. It's one of the only public places for swimming. Entry fees to the park are $3 to $4 a person in season. Off-season fees are $3 to $4 per vehicle, with free admission for seniors and children in restraint seats. The park is open from 8am until sunset. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Thursday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.