Deep Creek Lake State Park
Discovery Center
Special Events

2018 List with dates for this year coming soon!

January 1   

First Day Hike 10:00 a.m. - Join the national tradition and take a hike to start the year off right!

February 16, 2017    

Volunteer Meeting 6:30p.m. - Open to the public for interested volunteers.

April 15, 2017      

Egg Dyeing 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Bring 6 hard boiled eggs to dye in natural dye.  Easter Bunny on site! 

April 29, 2017     

Ramp Cook-Off 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Enter as a cook or come by to taste all the ways to prepare Ramps!  Judging 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. tasting to follow.

May 5, 6, 7, 2017    

4th Annual Garrett County Birdfest - Join us for this new and exciting weekend of birding. (Bird-walk information and details will be posted on the Discovery Center website.)

May 18, 2017         

Volunteer Meeting 6:30 p.m. - Open to the public for interested volunteers.

July 8, 9 2017               

Art in the Park - Two day artesan event in Deep Creek Lake State Park.

August 17, 2017    

Volunteer Meeting 6:30 p.m. - Open to the public for interested volunteers.

September 30, 2017   

 Fall Fest at Friend’s Delight 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Historic Friend’s Store open, cider making, candle dipping, scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin picking and decorating.

November 16, 2017  

 Volunteer Meeting 6:30 p.m. - Open to the public for interested volunteers.

December 2, 2017    

Holiday Open House 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Santa arrives!  Make a natural materials picture frame for you photo with Santa, and enjoy cookies, live animals and more.



Discovery Center | Deep Creek Lake
For more information, call us at (301)387-7067
Programs and Center hours are subject to change without notice.
All programs meet or begin at the Discovery Center unless otherwise noted.

***The facilities of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are available to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical or mental disability.


First Day Hike

Start the year off in the great outdoors! Meet us at the Discovery Center to take part in an approximately 2.5 mile hike on our new Beckman's Trail. Don't forget to dress for the weather, and stop by at the Discovery Center after the hike for a complimentary hot chocolate.

January 1st, 10am

Natural Egg Dying

Join us for our Natural Egg Dying Open House

Saturday April 15th, 2017  10am-12pm

Ramp Cookoff

Join us for our annual Ramp cookoff!  

Saturday April 29th, 2017 11am-1pm at the Discovery Center

4th Annual Garrett County Birdfest


Friday May 5,  5 - 7 pm

  • Opening night social and "Art Eye View on Birds" reception at the Discovery Center.  Co-sponsored by the Garrett Arts Council.

Saturday May 6,  2 - 3 pm

  • Feathers in Focus live birds of prey photograph, paint, sketch event Saturday May 6, 2 - 3 pm.   Meet the birds of our aviary up close and personal.  $10 donation

Kids activities all weekend at the Discovery Center

Join us May 5, 6, 7, 2017 for this new and exciting weekend of birding.

This birdfest was created to help fairly new, but very interested birders become more accomplished at this challenging sport. We spend a lot of time listening to and learning bird songs. $5/trip, 16 and under free.

Early May is the perfect time to see birds migrating through the area. Most migrants have returned but the leaves haven’t grown enough to block your view of the birds in the tree tops.

Join us for one or more walks. You may develop a new and lifelong healthy obsession.

  • Friend’s Delight at Sang Run, Friday, May 5, 8:00 a.m.

    • Meet at the Sang Run kayak put in. This trip will be led by Garrett County top birder, Ranger Connie Skipper. You may see American Kestrel, Pileated Woodpecker, Wild Turkey, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Parula, American Redstart and many more (53 species last year). The walk is approx. 1 ½ mile. Difficulty: moderate.

  • Herrington Manor State Park, Friday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.

    • Meet at the Herrington Manor State Park Lake House for a crepuscular bird ramble. Matt Tillett will be your leader. Expect to see and hear swallows, barred owl, and newly arriving migrant songbirds. Participants can listen for owls and amphibians as nature’s chorus transitions through the evening. ½ mile. Difficulty: easy.

  • Jennings Randolph Reservoir, Saturday, May 6, 6:30 a.m.

    • Meet at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center and carpool to the Reservoir. Mikey Lutmerding, a super birder, will lead this trip. Possibilities include Cerulean, Hooded, Golden-winged and Kentucky Warblers (73 species seen last year). You will check the lake for eagles and loons. 1 mile. Difficulty: moderate.

  • Western MD 4-H Center, Saturday, May 6, 7:00 a.m.

    • Meet at the Western MD 4-H Center on Rt. 495 near Bittinger, MD. This trip will be led by an excellent birder, Aaron Holochwost. Expect to see Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Kingbird, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many more. 1 ¾ mile, Difficulty: moderate

  • Beginning Bird Program, Saturday, May 6, 8:00 a.m.

    • Meet at the Discovery Center. This program will cover the basics of birding; including optics, field guides, notebooks and electronics.  Ken Dzaack will also discuss how to identify a bird by using various clues such as field marks, habitats, and songs.  Participants will then walk through the park to practice their new skills identifying the birds they encounter. 

  • Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area, Saturday, May 6, 1:00 p.m.

    • Meet at the Rt. 219 entrance parking lot. J.B. Churchill will lead this hike through the area looking for woodland, edge and wetland species. There is also a large beaver pond on which to look for waterfowl. Common Raven, Least Flycatcher, Black-throated Green Warbler, White-eyed Vireo and Brown Thrasher are good possibilities.  1 ½ miles, Difficulty: moderate

  • The Glades, Saturday, May 6, 1:00 p.m.

    • Meet at the Discovery Center, then carpool to the Glades. Kevin Dodge leads this hike. Expect wetland species such as Alder Flycatcher, Swamp Sparrow, Northern Waterthrush, and Nashville Warbler. Be prepared for irregular, soggy footing. The walk is somewhat challenging. 1 ½ mile

  • Lost Land Run, Sunday, May 7, 6:30 a.m.

    • Meet at the Discovery Center. Group will car pool to Lost Land Run in the Potomac State Forest. Several stops may be made along the way to spot grassland species. This trip will yield Cerulean, Black-throated Blue and Blackburnian Warblers, Acadian Flycatcher and many more. Birding is done at stops along the route. Short scenic side trips to Cascade Falls and Potomac River overlook are short and somewhat difficult.


Call 301-387-7067 to sign up for the bird walks.

Depending on participation, we may add more field trips in order to keep the groups small. Dress in multiple layers. Waterproof boots are recommended. Bring snacks and water. If it is a good birding day, hikes may last up to three to four hours.

For additional weekend details, pre-shirt sales, and available discounts, please call 301-387-7067.  


Bird Fest Art Show


Arts Eye view on birds

The Discovery Center at Deep Creek Lake State Park is hosting its 4th Annual  Bird-Fest May 5 - 7, 2017.  This year we are adding an opening evening and local art show to the event.

We are looking for 2 dimensional artwork with birds as the feature.  Works will hang in our art stairwell.  This established hanging space has been home to many an artist over the years.

Prizes totaling $500 will be awarded for best in show, 1st place and peoples choice over the festival weekend by the Garrett County Arts Council.

Artwork must be framed, priced and ready for hanging with a wire and be a minimum 11 x 14 inch finished size.  Large works will be assessed for acceptance by space.  Drop off for work is Saturday April 29 2017, from 10 am - 4 pm.  Space is limited, one piece per artist and work will be chosen based on the diversity of the installation including medium and juried quality. The installation will hang at the Discovery Center from May  5th (the opening) through September 3rd, 2017.  All works must be picked up on September 9-10th from 10 am - 4 pm. There is a $5 entry fee and works will be for sale with a 30% commission on sales benefiting our volunteer organization, Western Garrett County State Park Volunteers, Inc.


Art in the Park

Art in the Park is a juried art event located in Deep Creek Lake State Park usually on the second weekend in July.  Each year 50+ vendors display their original artwork and find crafts over this two day festival. Food vendors are on site as well as kids interpretive events, tie dye, live animals and a kids art project sponsored by the Garrett Arts Council.

Fall Festival At Friends Store

Pumpkins to harvest and carve, scarecrow making, apple pressing, Hayrides, dutch oven cooking and much more.

Holiday Open House

Join us for our annual open house.  Cookies, crafts, photos with Santa and Mrs Claus!

Saturday December 2, 2017 10am-12pm at the Discovery Center.