Trail Solutions team members recently completed the initial field design of five miles of multi-use singletrack in western Maryland's Deep Creek Lake State Park. Deep Creek Lake State Park lies just west of the Allegheny Front on a large plateau known as the Tablelands or Allegheny Highlands. Its location at the southernmost end of Meadow Mountain places it west of the Eastern Continental Divide and within the Mississippi River watershed. The park gets its name from Deep Creek Lake, a hydroelectric project constructed on Deep Creek in the 1920's by the Youghiogheny Hydroelectric Company.
An amazing variety of terrain, from steep, rocky slopes, to gently rolling hills was found by the Trail Solutions team during the design process. Some of the scenery looked to be straight out of "Land of the Lost", with house sized boulders covered in giant ferns. Several black bears were sighted as well, causing one team member to pause for a bit while a momma bear and her two cubs explored the intended trail alignment.
The new trails being planned at Deep Creek Lake State Park are just the first phase of a larger plan to create more than 30 miles of new, natural surface trails on State owned land in Garrett County. The trails will be shared-use for walkers/runners, bicyclists and equestrians. Constructed as narrow singletrack paths, they capture the spirit of DNR’s shared mission to conserve the state’s natural resources while providing backcountry recreation for citizens and visitors. These efforts are being carried out by the Maryland Park Service in response to Governor Martin O’Malley’s goal of creating a “trail system second to none that bolsters our economy through recreation and tourism; to better connect our citizens to our natural and cultural heritage; and to foster better health through outdoor activities and experiences.”
If the terrain at Deep Creek Lake State Park is any indication of what the rest of Garrett County holds, look out, because the trail potential is outstanding!