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Overview

The hilly terrain of Western Maryland’s rugged forests, fast-running streams and wide black-water lakes are blanketed in pristine snow from early December until March. The area, home to the southern Allegheny Mountains, beckons skiers, snowmobilers, ice fishermen, backpackers and other winter-sports enthusiasts who seek a more relaxed pace and less crowded conditions. In the winter months, Western Maryland’s tourist industry slows down along with activity on the area’s Amish and Mennonite farms, leaving core businesses in the small towns open to locals and visitors alike. A favorite, the Mennonite-owned Yoder's Country Market near ...

The hilly terrain of Western Maryland’s rugged forests, fast-running streams and wide black-water lakes are blanketed in pristine snow from early December until March. The area, home to the southern Allegheny Mountains, beckons skiers, snowmobilers, ice fishermen, backpackers and other winter-sports enthusiasts who seek a more relaxed pace and less crowded conditions. In the winter months, Western Maryland’s tourist industry slows down along with activity on the area’s Amish and Mennonite farms, leaving core businesses in the small towns open to locals and visitors alike. A favorite, the Mennonite-owned Yoder's Country Market near Grantsville, operates year-round (except Sunday and holidays). Yoder's sells breads and pastries baked on the premises, bulk groceries, local food products, meats, and homemade jams and jellies. Spruce Forest Artisan Village shuts down for the season, but is open early December to celebrate Christmas and crafts by illuminating its historic buildings with 400 candles; carolers stroll the pathways through traditional greenery and garlands. Winter activities center around Herrington and New Germany State Parks (both offer winter cabins and plenty of trails), Wisp Resort on Deep Creek Lake, and a newcomer: Backbone Organic Farm, which opens its fields to X-country skiing. Deep Creek Lake itself is surrounded by dozens of accommodations and eateries.

Joanne Miller
About the Expert

Joanne Miller is the author of several Moon guidebooks, including Pennsylvania Handbook, Chesapeake Bay Handbook, and Maryland/Delaware Handbook.

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Joanne Miller for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early December through March offer plenty of outdoor activities such as skiing and snowshoeing, plus a chance to enjoy the beautiful, quiet countryside.