Deep Creek Vista Trail, Deep Creek Lake State Park, MD
2010 has been a dry year for me hiking wise. Lots of extreme heat (the hottest in more than 100 years in the mid-Atlantic region), many family obligations, and a work schedule that included Saturdays for the first time ever so when a free Saturday presented itself even though the time was tight I grabbed my chance and went!
Tim, my 24 year-old Eagle Scout son said he would hike with me if the hike lasted no longer than two hours so he could get back in time for his seats at the Caps hockey game. I said yes, found a new hike in western Maryland in Deep Creek Lake State Park which promised foliage and a vista of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland's largest (manmade) lake. Even the two+ hour drive from house to the trailhead didn't deter us!
Deep Creek Vista Trail is short, just under 3 miles round-trip and does give a limited view of the beautiful, meandering dog-legged lake. So while the view wasn't quite what the trail literature promised, the foliage turned out to be spectacular and there is an old mine to visit along the way. We did see everything we wanted and still managed to scramble up some big rocks along the ridge of the mountain as well.
This trail passes through oak, maple, and hickory hardwood forests as well as past hundreds of moss-covered rocks. I don't think I've ever seen so many interesting mossy patches and rocks in one stretch in my life.
Meadow Mountain by the way doesn't seem to have a definitive established elevation. When researching this album I found the elevation listed anywhere from a low of 2917 to a high of 3022. Whichever one you choose, the trail from the park roads and there are at least two different trail entrances this is an extremely easy trail with something to interest almost anyone.
And I followed the guidebook advice and saved this trail for October to avoid the lake motorboat noise. We heard only the occasional truck passing on the road below and had the trails mostly to ourselves this beautiful warm October day.
For more information about Deep Creek Lake State Park which has boating, camping and more hiking see this link.