Garrett County’s unique climate bears no resemblance to any mid-eastern urban areas. Year round temperatures average 15 degrees below Washington/Baltimore and 10 degrees below Pittsburgh.
With the warm weather come the hummingbirds that fly about the flowers in the vast gardens that surround the inn’s large patio overlooking the lake. At its center, a large fire pit offers a chance to mingle in Adirondack chairs and enjoy complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres or roast marshmallows. On the opposite side of the house, a hammock rests on the banks of the lake providing the prefect place to nap or read a good book. A large porch spans the length of the home and provides alternate views of the lake and it is always easy to find a private nook to stargaze at night.
The inn provides complimentary kayaks and canoes that guests can take at their leisure and enjoy. Prefer first mate to Captain? Enjoy a one-hour tour of the lake aboard “Tight Squeeze,” the inn’s 28-foot pontoon boat. Adventurers can leave the calm lake behind and tackle class II to class IV rapids at the Adventure Sports Center International (ACSI) at the top of WISP– Marsh Mountain. This is one of ten of the world’s man-made white water rapids courses (only 2 located in the United States). You can also ride the class V rapids on the Upper Youghegheny with one of the professional outfitters. And, if you enjoy the rush of the rapids from the safety of the riverbanks, you may want to hike to Swallow Falls State Park enjoy Maryland’s largest, 53-foot waterfall, Muddy Creek Falls.
In the fall, when the air turns crisp, guests enjoy spectacular fall foliage provided by an abundance of sugar maple trees. Guests enjoy hot cider by the 9-foot stone fireplace in the great room and carve pumpkins fresh from the patch. Amish country offers scenic drives and horse drawn buggy rides. The Autumn Glory Festival each year in mid-October is not to be missed.
Old man winter arrives early, stays late and usually leaves behind 100 to 200 inches of snow. The lake will freeze to 18 inches and the frigid temperatures allow extensive ski-area snowmaking. Alpine skiing often begins in November and continues until mid-March and sometimes into April. Cross-Country skiing is at its best just after any of the 15 to 20 annual snowfalls.
Venture out in snow shoes or enjoy downhill skiing or tubing at the Wisp Ski Resort just across the street. There’s downhill and cross country skiing for the energetic and thrill tubing for the adventurous. Indulge “mountain man” fantasies on the Inn-provided snowshoes or treat yourself to a ride under the blanket in an Amish horse drawn sleigh.
Spring is sugar season and guests can pick up a gallon of fresh maple syrup at one of the syrup farms. Spring blooms later here offering a “second spring” to many. Early June brings the Highland Festival – a celebration of Scottish culture. Enjoy the music or even try “tossing the caber.”