hiking: best hikes in deep creek maryland

14 Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

There are many hiking trails near Deep Creek Lake that make it the perfect destination for avid hikers, mountain biking, snowshoeing, skiing, families, and anyone wanting to be out in nature. The best thing about Deep Creek is that you can go any time of the year for an incredible hiking experience.

Here are some of the best hikes in Deep Creek MD to go on next time you make a trip there!

Best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

Here are some of the best hikes to go on in and around Deep Creek. You will find short, simple trails for beginners, intermediate trails, and challenging trails for avid hikers, all close by Deep Creek in Western Maryland. Many of these trails are perfect biking trails too.

You can also visit some of the best lakes in Maryland for vacation, some of which permit swimming while a few do not. Most of these lakes also have lots of nature hiking trails.

1.   Swallow Falls State Park Canyon Loop Trail

This is definitely one of the best hikes to go on in Deep Creek because you will see multiple waterfalls! The main trail is a mile-long loop that is fairly easy. Along the path is Youghiogheny River all the way until you reach Muddy Creek Falls. This is a 53-foot waterfall that is simply beautiful.

During the hike, you will also see Swallow Falls, which is another stunning waterfall. If you want a slightly longer hike than that one to see another waterfall, take the side path, and you will reach Tolliver Falls.

It is another short and simple hike and will take you to see some smaller falls. Tolliver Falls is usually less crowded and perfect for families to enjoy some quiet time together.

Swallow falls state park is also one of the best state parks in Maryland and is one of Maryland’s hidden gems.

swallow falls state park the best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

2.   Snakeroot Nature Trail

The Snakeroot Nature Trail is the shortest hike you can go on and a great choice for families with little ones. It is not stroller-friendly but offers a quick short trail for toddlers to walk around in nature. It is a quarter of a mile and is a very easy trail. Sometimes it gets slippery after rainfall, but other than that, you won’t have any difficulties.

If you are wanting a nice stroll rather than a hike, go on the Snakeroot Nature Trail, located in the Deep Creek Lake State Park. Pick up a brochure before heading out and see if you can spot all the incredible plants, trees, and wildlife!

3.   Beckman’s Trail

Beckman’s Trail is another hike to go on in Deep Creek Lake State Park and is ideal for more seasoned hikers. It is a bit more challenging and is around two miles long. The hike begins with a gentle ascent before becoming more challenging.

You can learn about the Brant Coal Mine and all its history as you see certain landmarks along the way. You can even go and see the old mine as well. With this trail, you get to see stunning views of Deep Creek Lake as you make your way to the top of Meadow Mountain.

Hiking, the best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

4.   Indian Turnip Trail

For a challenging hike, try the Indian Turnip Trail. This is a 4-mile loop trail in Deep Creek Lake State Park. On this trail, you will find rocky terrain and some steeper inclines every now and then, plus a good amount of uphill and downhill areas to even out the trail.

You can see rocky gardens along the trail, and if you go during the spring, you will see Indian Turnip flowers. Sometimes you can even spot some deer and other wildlife animals!

5.   Thayer Trace Trail

The Thayer Trace Trail in Deep Creek Lake State Park is not as well known as the other hikes in deep creek maryland, but is a great hike for more advanced hikers. It is a little over three miles long and is considered a difficult trail.

This trail connects Deep Creek State Park and Savage River State Forest and goes down Meadow Mountain. You will find incredible rock formations and might see some obstacles to explore as well.

If you want a less crowded hike and are up for a workout, try the Thayer Trace Trail! Like most trails at Deep Creek Lake State Park, it connects with other trails in the park, including the Indian Turnip Trail and the Meadow Mountain Trail.

swallow falls state park, the best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

6.   Cherry Creek Loop

For a moderate hiking trail near Deep Creek, head to Cherry Creek Loop at the Deep Creek State Park. What is interesting about this trail is that you will pass through a variety of ecosystems as you journey up the top of Meadow Mountain.

Here you will find large rocks that act as stepping stones and some tree roots to watch out for, but other than that, it isn’t too challenging. It should take around an hour or so to complete it unless you make some stops along the way.

If it has been raining, the rocks on this trail are very slippery and make it a lot more difficult and dangerous to hike on, so it might be best to choose a different hike if it will rain during your stay.

7.   Lookout Trail

For a short moderate hike, try Lookout Trail. It is only around a mile and a half long, but it will definitely give you a nice workout. It was created to be a challenging trail for mountain bikers, but hiking should be just as fun!

You will have steep terrain with plenty of rocks. To get to the Lookout Trail, you need to either use Beckman’s Trail or the Indian Turnip Trial.

8.   Crosscut Trail

The Crosscut Trail combines a few of the other hiking trails in the Deep Creek Lake State Park and works like a shortcut across two trails. It is a mile long and connects with the Cherry Creek Loop.

On this trail, you can expect it to be a bit of a challenge, even though it is shorter, with the rocky terrain. But you get to see some of the best rock outcrops in the park! There is even a fossil you can spot along the way as well.

9.   Discovery/Sensory Trail

Some might not consider this to be a hike, but if you have small kids, this is the perfect hike in Deep creek Maryland for your family! This Discovery Trail is ⅕ of a mile and is extremely easy. It starts right by the Discovery Center and allows kids to explore nature with all their senses!

You can walk through the woods and along the lakeside with this simple trail. Your children will love exploring nature with their senses with this safe trail made just for them!

Along the trail, you will find a playground and a cool aviary to explore as well. If you continue down the lake on the path, you will eventually end up at the beach.

When you are finished with the Sensory Trail, head inside the Discovery Center and learn more about the wildlife and nature you just experienced!

deep creek lake, the best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

10. Meadow Mountain Trail

Another popular hiking trail at Deep Creek Lake State Park is Meadow Mountain Trail. This is a moderate hike that is around five and a half miles round trip.

While you can go hiking all year round here, if you want to see breathtaking views, you will want to go during the fall or springtime. Fall has so many vibrant leaves, and during the spring, you will see tons of bright, colorful flowers.

During the winter, this is a fun hike to go snowshoeing in too!

11. Lostland Run Trail

You will find the Lostland Run Trail in the Potomac Garrett State Forest, which is about 20 minutes from the bottom of Deep Creek Lake. It is one of the hiking trails near Deep Creek Lake worth hiking.

This hike is longer than most of the other ones around the area and is a harder hike to go on, so families with smaller children probably won’t enjoy the entire hike. The Lostland Run Trail is around seven miles long and takes a couple of hours to complete.

While it may be a bit challenging, the views you see are unique to anything else. Most of the trail runs right next to the Lostland Run Creek, which is not only beautiful to see but relaxing to hear as you make your way around the trail.

During this hike, you will also see Cascade Falls, and at the top, you will arrive at Potomac Overlook.

12. Herrington Manor State Park

Right next to Shallow Falls State Park, you will find Herrington Manor State Park, which has plenty of fun hikes to explore. Some hikes even end up connecting with Swallow Falls!

You will find the trails here to be a lot bigger than most, with wide grassy areas, and are great to go cross-country skiing in the winter on!

There are four different trails at this state park to hike on; some are easy, and others more challenging. The Herrington Manor Park Loop is an easy one that is around three and a half miles long and shows the lake.

There is also a five-and-a-half-mile-long hike that connects the two parks together. It is a great park to visit to go hiking and be in nature all year long, and it is only about 15 minutes from Deep Creek Lake!

Hiking, the best Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

13. Rock Maze Trail

One of the lesser-known trails at Garrett State Forest, the Rock Maze Trail, is so much fun to go on! You can easily find the trailhead from Swallow Falls State Park. From there, it is a short distance through the forest to reach the stunning rock maze. This rock maze is not man-made; it is a naturally made maze formed out of rocks!

Walking through this incredible rock structure takes about 20 minutes, but if you stop to take pictures, it will take longer. It is about a mile-long hike and is super easy to get to, and is clearly marked.

Some areas of the rock maze are wide, and other parts are extremely narrow. This is a fun hike, especially for kids!

While you can visit this trail during the winter, you need to be extra cautious. The rocks get very slippery and can have black ice on them, which is very dangerous.

This is a hike you definitely want to go on during your trip to Deep Lake. It is beautiful and quite awesome to explore the naturally occurring rock maze!

14. Fork Run Recreation Area

The Fork Run Recreation Area is super close to Deep Creek and has a couple of trails you can hike on. Most people prefer to go mountain bike riding on these trails, but they can also be nice to hike on.

Here you will find some shorter trails which are great for beginners or families with smaller children. But, there are more challenging hikes as well, which offer steep switchbacks. Trails are marked by different colors, and most trails are under two miles long.

With it being just ten minutes away from Wisp Resort, it is worth the visit.

15. New Germany State Park

This is a nice little well maintained park and cabin. You can also enjoy hiking and exploring the magnificent Hemlock forest areas, the beautiful lake, and the Park grounds. This park offers miles of trails that will take you through forests, over hills and past streams and rivers.

16. Muddy Creek Falls

You can enjoy hiking in Muddy Creek falls which is Maryland’s highest free-falling waterfall. Hikers come here a lot to enjoy the serene views and picturesque ridges.

17. Deep creek Lake State Park

With miles of trails to explore, hikers can find a route that’s perfect for their skill level and interests. From easy walks through the woods to strenuous climbs up steep hills, there’s something for everyone at this park.

Beginners can take a leisurely stroll through the woods and enjoy seeing birds and other wildlife along the way. For those looking for more of a challenge, there are longer trails that wind up hills or down ravines. This park is well known for its sandy beach as well. Be sure to grab a trail map before heading on your hike.

Tips for Hiking in Deep Creek Maryland

You will want to consider a few things before you go on the hiking trails in Deep Creek.

  • Check the weather before you head out. If you are going during the winter months, get some snowshoes or go on a tour to help you stay safe. The weather can change quickly, so always be prepared with a coat in case it gets cold fast.
  • Always be extra prepared and bring water, food, and things that will help keep you safe.
  • Bring a camera! You will see some awesome waterfalls and gorgeous nature that you will want to have pictures of.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that can get dirty and won’t hurt your feet. Some trails are muddy, and for others, you will need to climb on rocks.
  • Be sure to bring some bug spray, and if you are going during the summertime, wear sunscreen and a hat!
  • If you plan on doing some of the more challenging hikes, consider bringing a walking stick with you to help you get up the rocky terrain.
  • Some hikes allow dogs, while others do not. If you plan on bringing your dog, make sure it is allowed before you go.

Final thoughts on 14 Hikes in Deep Creek Maryland

There are plenty of great hikes in Deep Creek MD, each with its own difficulty and length. Because there are so many shorter hikes, try to go on a couple during your trip to Deep Creek Lake and enjoy the peace you get from being out in the beautiful nature. Grab your hiking boots and head out!

You can also check out some of the best things to do in Deep Creek Maryland in winter if you cannot make it down during summer.

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