Deep Creek Lake has endless opportunities for hiking and exploring nature. Some of the trails are located very close to Deep Creek Lake and others are a bit further away. Remember to stay aware of animals including bears that live in these regions. Do not disturb them or approach them.

Deep Creek Lake State Park Hiking Trails

This is the go-to place when you’re thinking about a trail in Deep Creek Lake. This is a great place for water enthusiasts and hikers. The hiking trails here at Deep Creek State Park range from easy to challenging and you can easily pick up a trail map at both the Ranger Station and Discovery Center. Here is a list of the hiking trails at Deep Creek Lake State Park.

The park gets its name from the lake, which was a hydroelectric project, constructed on Deep Creek in the 1920s by the Youghiogheny Hydroelectric Company. With its mile long shore line, two swimming beaches, 20 miles of hiking/biking trails, 112 site campground, and 6,000 square foot Discovery Center, Deep Creek Lake State Park offers year round activities for everyone. The Deep Creek Lake State Park Complex also includes Sang Run State Park and the Youghiogheny Wild River Natural Environmental Area.

Meadow Mountain Trail

The Meadow Mountain Trail is another gem in the Deep Creek Lake State Park.  One of the best trails around, it offers miles of hiking with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail is of moderate difficulty, making it accessible for most hikers. 

Indian Turnip Trail

The Indian Turnip Trail is a must-visit. This trail is unique, not just for its picturesque views but also for the rare plants that call it home. The Indian Turnip, from which the trail gets its name, is one such plant. As you embark on this hike, be prepared for a sensory treat, with the trail offering a mix of scents, sights, and sounds that are quintessentially Deep Creek Lake.

Snakeroot Nature Trail 

Spanning a modest quarter-mile, Snakeroot Nature Trail is a short trail offering visitors a brief yet immersive journey through the park’s diverse ecosystem. This easy trail is more than just a walk; it’s an educational experience, making it perfect for families with curious kids or anyone looking to gain a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty of Deep Creek Lake. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just in the mood for a leisurely stroll, this trail promises a blend of learning and leisure in the heart of nature.

Cherry Creek Loop

A scenic 3-mile trail popular among hikers and mountain biking enthusiasts. It’s a must when planning a trip to Deep Creek Lake. This moderate-difficulty trail offers a journey through diverse ecosystems, ranging from the serene lake level to the elevated terrains near the top of Meadow Mountain. The trail is a favorite among mountain bikers, boasting machine-made paths adorned with manicured rock gardens. Its location and natural beauty make it a sought-after spot for both adventure and relaxation.

Brant Mine Trail

Brant Mine Trail takes hikers back to the Brant coal mine and homesite era of Garrett County. As you embark on this trail, you’ll tread the paths once frequented by miners, witnessing remnants of the mine that played a significant role in the region’s history.

But the Brant Mine Trail is not just about history. As you hike, you’ll ascend to the ridge top, where you’re greeted with panoramic views of Deep Creek Lake. The shimmering waters of the lake, set against the backdrop of dense forests, make for a sight that’s truly breathtaking.

Fork Run Recreational Trail

Depending on where you are staying near Deep Creek Lake, this recreational area can be either 10 minutes or up to 25 minutes away. If you are staying at the Wisp Resort, then this trail is very close by. This trail is a hidden treasure for those looking to connect with nature. This expansive area, known for its diverse terrain, offers trails that cater to hikers of all expertise levels.

For families and beginners, the yellow and orange trails provide a gentle introduction to the beauty of the Deep Creek area. These trails, though shorter, are rich in scenic views and offer a peaceful hiking experience. Intermediate hikers can venture onto the Red and Gray trails, which stretch for 1-2 miles and offer a moderate challenge.

For the seasoned hiker, the Green trail awaits. Spanning 2.3 miles, this trail is not for the faint-hearted. With its steep switchbacks, it promises an adrenaline-pumping experience. But the effort is well worth it, as the trail rewards with some of the most stunning views of the region.

Beyond just hiking, the Fork Run Recreation Area also offers an orienteering course. This unique feature allows visitors to test and improve their navigation skills, adding an element of adventure to the hike.

Swallow Falls State Park Trails (Best Hiking Trails Near Deep Creek Lake)

Swallow Falls State Park is about 30 minutes from Deep Creek Lake. There is a small fee to enter the park, $3. This park, along with Herrington Manor Park, is well known for its waterfalls, dense forests, and scenic trails that promise an unforgettable hiking experience. Swallow falls state park and Herrington Manor are usually visited together.

Canyon Trail

The crown jewel of the Swallow Falls State Park is the Canyon Trail. This trail travels alongside the majestic Youghiogheny River, offering hikers incredible views of four distinct waterfalls. Among the waterfalls, Muddy Creek Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Maryland. Its roar can be heard from a distance, and it is approximately 53 feet tall. 

Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls Trail

For those looking for a longer hike, the park offers a longer 5.5-mile trail that connects to Herrington Manor State Park. This trail was once a logging road in the 1800s. It takes hikers on a journey through lush forests and wetlands, providing ample opportunities to spot wildlife and appreciate the diverse vegetation of the region.

Lostland Run Trail (Potomac-Garrett State Forest Park)

35 minutes from Deep Creek Lake is Potomac-Garrett State Forest. Inside this state forest is the Lostland Run Trail. This is a hidden gem for those seeking a serene hiking experience near Deep Creek Lake. 

The 3.5-mile trail gives hikers a journey through dense forests, alongside the babbling Lostland Run Creek, leading to the mesmerizing Cascade Falls. 

One of the trail’s highlights is the Potomac Overlook, offering inspiring views of the Potomac River’s vast expanse. The vantage point is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, with the sky painting a myriad of colors over the river.

The trail presents a moderate level of difficulty, catering to both beginners and seasoned hikers. As you journey through, you’ll come across a rich variety of plants and wildlife, establishing it as an idyllic haven for nature enthusiasts.Whether you’re looking to find solace in nature, capture stunning photographs, or simply enjoy a day of hiking, the Lostland Run Trail promises an unforgettable experience.

Rock Maze Trail (Potomac Garrett State Forest)

Garrett State Forest, a pristine expanse of nature in the heart of Maryland, is home to several trails that promise an unparalleled hiking experience. Among these, the Rock Maze Trail stands out, offering a unique blend of adventure and serenity.

As the name suggests, the Rock Maze Trail is characterized by its natural rock formations that form a labyrinthine maze. Navigating through this maze is both challenging and exhilarating, making it a favorite among adventure enthusiasts. The trail is dotted with massive boulders, some of which have been sculpted by nature over millennia, presenting intriguing shapes and patterns.

But it’s not just about the rocks. As you weave your way through the maze, you’ll be surrounded by the lush greenery of the Garrett State Forest, with its towering trees and diverse flora. The chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves add to the trail’s charm, ensuring a sensory treat for hikers.

For those looking to test their navigation skills, the Rock Maze Trail is the perfect playground. However, it’s essential to tread with caution and ensure you’re equipped to avoid getting lost.

Green Trail (New Germany State Park)

Among New Germany State Park trails, the Green Trail stands out as a favorite for both novice and seasoned hikers. The Green Trail, as the name suggests, offers a lush, verdant hiking experience. It is well-maintained and meanders through dense forests, open meadows, and alongside serene water bodies. What makes this trail particularly appealing to beginners is its gentle terrain and shorter length, making it an ideal choice for a quick morning or afternoon hike. 

But it’s not just the trail’s accessibility that makes it popular. Along the way, hikers are treated to a symphony of bird songs, the rustling of leaves, and the gentle gurgling of streams. The trail also offers several vantage points, providing awesome views of the surrounding landscape. For those looking for a more immersive experience, New Germany offers guided hike options. Led by experienced park naturalists, these hikes provide insights into the region’s flora, fauna, and history, making the journey even more enriching.

Wolf Den Run State Park

Wolf Den Run is one of the newest additions to Maryland’s collection of state parks, and it has quickly become a favorite among nature enthusiasts and hikers. This park boasts a rich history and offers expansive views of the Potomac River’s North Branch.

The park’s history is intertwined with the coal mining industry, and remnants of this past can still be seen today. As you hike through the park, you’ll come across old mining sites, adding a touch of historical intrigue to your journey.

One of the highlights of Wolf Den Run is its amazing views of the Potomac River’s North Branch. As you traverse the trails, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the river, making it a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts. The park’s trails cater to hikers of all expertise levels, ensuring everyone can enjoy the beauty it has to offer.

The Accident Trail

Accident, a quaint town with an intriguing name, beckons hikers with its warm embrace and scenic beauty. The Accident Trail, set within the town’s limits, offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the charm of small-town America.

As you embark on this trail, you’ll be taken on a journey through the heart of Accident. The path meanders through picturesque streets, past historic buildings, and offers glimpses into the daily life of the town’s residents. Every step on this trail tells a story, from the town’s rich history to its vibrant present.

But it’s not just about the sights. The sounds of chirping birds, the gentle rustling of leaves, and the distant chatter of townsfolk add to the trail’s allure. It’s a sensory experience that captures the essence of Accident, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the soul of a true American small town.

– Bonus – Savage River State Forest

Covering more than 54,000 acres, Savage River State Forest is recognized as the most expensive state forest in Maryland.The forest offers miles of trails and is surrounded by seven state parks. Nestled in the rugged mountains of Western Maryland, this expansive forest is a mosaic of dense woodlands, meandering streams, and serene lakes.

Interested in golfing in Deep Creek Lake? Check out the best golf courses near Deep Creek Lake.


Deep Creek Lake has great landscapes and plenty of opportunities for those interested in hiking. The trails we’ve explored are but a glimpse into the numerous hiking opportunities that await in the Deep Creek Lake area. Each trail, with its distinct charm, promises memories that will last a lifetime. As you set out to explore these trails, remember to tread lightly and respect the pristine nature as well as any animals that you encounter. Equip yourself, stay hydrated, and always prioritize safety. The beauty of nature is best enjoyed when we take care of it.

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