Deep Creek Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Maryland and was built in 1925 by the Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of generating hydro-electric power. Construction began on November 1, 1923 and was finished two and a half years later in May 1925. The earthen dam became operational on May 26, 1925 and is located off Mayhew Inn Road crossing a tributary of the Youghiogheny River. The lake is fed by natural springs providing clean and clear water. The lake has 65 miles of shoreline, is nearly 12 miles in length, has approximately 3,900 acres of water surface, and is 75 feet at the deepest point. Three bridges cross the water: the Garrett Highway Bridge, the Glendale Road Bridge, and the small State Park Road Bridge. The original Garrett Highway and Glendale Road bridges have since been replaced and were lowered into the lake to provide fish habitat.
Since Deep Creek Lake sits at 2,492 feet above sea level, the season play an important part of how the lake looks throughout the year. The average water temperature in the summer season is 73 degrees and is covered in an average of 18 inches of ice in the winter season. Throughout the year, there are water releases to maintain the level of the lake during all four seasons. The water is released down the Youghiogheny River and effects the whitewater conditions clear to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. View the complete list of the water release schedule. The State of Maryland purchased the lake in 2000 and is currently managed by the Department of Natural Resources.
The Deep Creek Lake resort area became Maryland's only four-season ski resort in 1955 when the Wisp Ski Resort was built atop Marsh Mountain taking advantage of the average 100 inches of snow that falls each winter. During the winter of 1966, snow was man-made for the first time at Wisp. A hotel and additional ski slopes and lights were added between 1971 to 1979. The popular Bear Claw Tubing Park was added in 2001 and the 1,300 foot uphill and 3,500 feet downhill mountain coaster that descends 350 vertical feet was added soon after. A man-made recirculating whitewater course was built in 2007 and hosted the 2014 World Canoe and Kayak Championships. The resort also boasts two championship 18-hole golf courses.