Deep Creek Lake State Park in Maryland is a beautiful family-friendly park for swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, camping and more.
Lakefront beaches are the perfect place for families to entertain children of all ages. My children ages 2-13 all found something to enjoy at Deep Creek Lake State Park. The older kids spent the day swimming in the lake and climbing on the rocks, and my younger kids built sand castles for hours. I relaxed in the shade with a picnic and friends when I wasn’t in the water with my kids.
Here are my tips for enjoying your day at Deep Creek Lake State Park.
Bring water toys
We brought noodles, inner tubes, and life jackets so kids of all swimming abilities could play in the water. The beaches are life guarded during the summer months and the swimming area is roped off from boats, making it a safe place for families to swim.
Bring a picnic
The shade trees near the beach and water area make Deep Creek Lake State Park a beautiful place to throw a blanket on the ground and enjoy a picnic. If you want to cook, picnic tables and grills are available nearby.
Bring garbage bags
Deep Creek Lake State Park expects you to pack your trash out, so be prepared with extra garbage bags. No trash cans are available near the swimming or picnic areas.
Bring sand toys
Buckets, shovels, cups, and trucks=hours of happy kids.
Bring balls and frisbees
A basketball court and volleyball net are available if you bring your own balls. Frisbees on the grass make for a fun diversion from water activities.
Clean up at the bathhouse
The bathhouse offers clean restrooms and hot showers to clean up after your day at the beach. Coin-operated lockers are available to secure your valuables while you swim.
Make time to visit the Discovery Center
Make your outing an educational experience by stopping by the Discovery Center to learn about the flora and fauna, wildlife, and history of Deep Creek Lake State Park. Hands-on exhibits, live animal programs, and daily educational programs are available at the Discovery Center.
- Camping. 112 campsites, restrooms, and hot showers.
- Fishing. The lake is stocked with trout, walleye, bass, and yellow perch.
- Boating. Launch your boat to enjoy a day on the lake with easy access to the boat launch.
- Hiking. Deep Creek Lake trail guides are available for purchase.
Good to Know
Where: 898 State Park Road, Swanton, Maryland 21561
When: Open year-round. Summer is the best and busiest time for water play.
How Much: The following rates were current in August 2017. Check http://dnr.maryland.gov/Publiclands/Pages/oc.aspx for current rates. Deep Creek Lake is in the Western region.
- Day use of the swimming beach area is $3 per person for Maryland residents, $5 per person for others during summer months. Children in car seats or booster seats are free.
- Boat launch is $10/vehicle. Out of state residents add $2.
- Camping: tent sites start at $22/night
How Long: One full day or more
Amenities: restrooms, bathhouse, picnic tables and grills, volleyball, basketball, life-guarded swimming beach, Discovery Center.
Looking for more active adventures in Maryland? Check out our Maryland page.