Come to Garrett County, Maryland and experience the beauty of a quiet mountain community with a close-knit feel. Whether you're looking to rent or own, you will love the abundant opportunities to interact with nature. Our guide to Garrett County details the area parks and local details you need to make the most of your time in Garrett Country.
50th Annual Autumn Glory Festival | Garrett County, Maryland
As the western most county in Maryland, Garrett County feels like a world of its own, untouched by the busy lifestyles and fast-paced cities. The high elevation gives us four distinct seasons and a temperate mountain climate.
Garrett County is a natural wonder, boasting three Maryland records: the highest free-falling waterfall, the largest freshwater lake, and the highest point. The rural and mountainous terrain make it perfect for hiking and spending time in nature. There are several state parks scattered throughout the county, most with rivers, waterfalls, trails, and camping space! Deep Creek Lake is definitely one of our area’s gems, offering a cooling rush to our summer season and a frozen beauty during the winter.
Another charm to Garrett County is the small-town local culture. Towns neighboring Deep Creek Lake to the north and south seem to have their own identity and way of life. Oakland is the county seat, located south of McHenry and Deep Creek Lake. Brick sidewalks line shops and cafes and meander through town, leading past museums and the old train station. Oakland is a hub for unique antique shops and community events. Most famous is the Autumn Glory Festival, a week-long celebration including parades through downtown and events scattered all across the county. Accident and Friendsville are small towns located to the north of the lake, both offering their own brand of culture.
Garrett County is in the perfect location for visitors as it’s only a few hours from several major cities in different states. The proximity encourages both last minute getaways and week-long stays without the hassle of complicated travel plans.
While Deep Creek Lake may be the best known feature, Garrett County has nearly endless qualities and adventures just waiting to be explored.
Details and Facts
- Elevation - Ranges from 900 to 3,360 feet above sea level.
- Land Area - 657 square miles, making it the largest county in the state, based on total size.
- Location - Highway Distances to Garrett County from - Baltimore - 177 mi., Cleveland - 255 mi., Columbus - 252 mi., New York City - 355 mi., Philadelphia - 272 mi., Pittsburgh - 96 mi., and Washington, D.C. - 161 mi.
- Transportation - US Route 219 runs north-south through the county and Interstate 68 runs east-west, with easy access to I-79 and I-81. The Garrett County Airport, with a 3,000 foot asphalt landing strip, is just two miles from Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Ski Resort. There is also regional air service from Morgantown, West Virginia (42 miles) and Cumberland, Maryland (45 miles).
- Lakes - Deep Creek Lake, Youghiogheny River Lake, Jennings Randolph Lake, Herrington Manor Lake, New Germany Lake, Savage River Reservoir, Broadford Lake.
- State Parks - Deep Creek Lake State Park, Big Run State Park, Casselman River Bridge State Park, Garrett State Forest, Herrington Manor State Park, New Germany State Park, Potomac State Forest, Savage River State Forest, Swallow Falls State Park.
- Recreation/Activities - Alpine (Downhill) Skiing, ATV (Four Wheeler) Riding, Backpacking, Biking, Bird Watching, Boating, Camping, Canoeing, Cross County Skiing, Dogsledding, Fishing/Ice Fishing, Fly Fishing, Kayaking, Golf, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Ice Climbing, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Rollerblading, Sailing, Scuba Diving, Sledding & Tubing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing, Skateboarding, Swimming, Tennis, Wakeboarding, Water-skiing, Whitewater Rafting, and Windsurfing.
- Arts and Culture - Garrett Lakes Art Festival, Highland Festival, Autumn Glory Festival, Little Yough Summer Music Festival, and the County Fair.
- Restaurants/Entertainment - Over 50 restaurants and night clubs, an eight-screen state-of-the-art movie theatre, and two family arcades.
- Climate - With its higher elevation (up to 3,360 feet above sea level), Garrett County enjoys a cooler climate than nearby urban areas, with less humidity and more annual snowfall - 90 inches on average. Average temperatures run between 5-10 degrees cooler than the surrounding metropolitan areas.
- Population - For the U.S. Census in the year 2000, the total population in Garrett County was 29,846. In the year 2005 the projected population for Garrett County is 30,800.
- Towns - Oakland (county seat), Mountain Lake Park, Loch Lynn, Accident, Friendsville, Kitzmiller, Deer Park, and Grantsville.
- Government - Three commissioners elected by voters to four-year terms.
- Education - 18 schools are currently located within Garrett County.
- Churches - Various denominations, with over 120 churches in the nearby area.
Celebrating at the annual Firemen's Oktoberfest on the Thursday night of Autumn Glory Week
- Enjoying cooked ramps (an onion-like vegetable) at the annual Piney Mountain Rod & Gun Club on the first Saturday in May
- Fly-fishing at remote spots on the Yough River
- Mountain Biking with the High Mountain Sports crew in Accident on Mondays throughout the spring and summer
- Snowmobiling before stopping at Pawn Run Saloon or JG's Pub to warm up and enjoy refreshments throughout the winter
- The Town of Oakland - Retailers and activities for this great small town
- Garrett County Local Government - Local government information and phone numbers
- Youghigheny River - A fishing and whitewater rafting guide to Garrett County's scenic and wild river