Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland

Posted By Katie on Aug 5, 2013

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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.Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

Tips for Enjoying your Day at Deep Creek Lake State Park

1.  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.

Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

Swimming beach at Deep Creek Lake State Park.

2.  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.Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

3.  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.

4.  Bring sand toys.

Buckets, shovels, cups, and trucks=hours of happy kids.

5.  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.

Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

The volleyball net needs to be stretched, but it entertained my boys for an hour.

6.  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.

Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

Restrooms, showers, and lockers at the bathhouse.

7.  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.

Other Activities at Deep Creek Lake State Park

  • 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 here.
Cool off at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland |

The kids loved climbing on the rocks at Deep Creek Lake State Park.

Good to Know

Location: 898 State Park Road, Swanton, Maryland 21561


  • 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

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.

Katie is a busy mom living in Northern Virginia with her husband and five children ranging in age from toddlers to teens. When she isn't traveling, she is planning her next trip. Katie loves all types of travel, but she especially loves beach vacations. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite family destination.


  1. I love the trees. That looks a like a nice place to play for a day, I am surprised that it has a life guard! There is nothing like that in Utah. How nice.

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  2. Can you swim in the lake at other places or is swimming only permitted at the beach?

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    • It would be most appealing to swim in the designated beach areas. The sandy areas are clean and nice, but the surrounding area at the park has a lot of moss in the summertime. Deep Creek Lake is huge though and there are plenty of other places to swim on the lake. You would want to watch out for boaters if you choose to swim outside the designated swimming areas.

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