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home | Locations | 12 of 14 Types of Maryland Recreatio . . .

12 of 14 Types of Maryland Recreational Facilities--Skiing Resorts
Ivan Gillis
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Maryland Ski Resorts

Wisp Ski Resort — McHenry

Wisp Resort is the only four-season downhill ski resort in Maryland. It is located near Deep Creek Lake in the town of McHenry in Garrett County, Maryland, near the border of West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania/Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. It is located 32 miles from Cumberland, Maryland, 2 hours from Pittsburgh, and 3 hours from Baltimore and Washington, DC. The ski slopes are located on Marsh Mountain. Wisp Resort was founded by Mr.Helmuth M.G. Heise and is currently owned by Pacific Group Resorts, Inc.


Wisp Resort first opened up in the winter of 1955-1956. In the winter of 1966-1967, the first snowmaking was active on the mountain. From 1971 to 1979, Wisp resort added 16 slopes, more lights and more snow makers. A hotel was also added during this time period at the base of the slopes. In 2001, Deep Creek Development purchased Wisp Resort. The Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park was added in 2001. In 2003, the Main Lodge was renovated and expanded by 11,000 feet. In 2007, white water rafting course was added. Since DCD purchased the resort in 2001, there have been over $30 million in renovations and capital investment added to the Resort.

The newly remodeled hotel in 2003 features 102 suites and 67 guest rooms and is a non-smoking establishment. It is a four season establishment and offers recreational activities year-round including 2 18-hole golf courses; Lodestone Golf Course and Fantasy Valley Golf Course. The resort is located near three state parks and three state forests within 30 miles. These include Deep Creek Lake, Swallow Falls and Big Run State Parks, and Garrett, Potomac, and Savage River State Forests.

Other Seasons

Wisp Resort is Maryland's only four-season ski resort. Wisp has different activities for each season. Summer activities include: 3 canopy tour zip lines, kayak and paddleboard rentals, mountain biking, segway tours, archery and orienteering. The resort also includes a Mountain coaster which is a hybrid of an alpine slide and a roller coaster. Coaster cars go 3,500 feet downhill over 350 vertical feet on the eastern side of Wisp Mountain.[2]

The Mountain

Wisp Resort is seasonal and receives on average 100 inches of snow each year; however, they do make their own snow in order to open early. Offering different trails for each skill level, Wisp is accessible to all people of all skiing and snowboarding abilities, even offering lessons to beginner skiers and snowboarders. Night skiing is also available on 90% of the terrain Tuesdays thru Saturdays. According to, Wisp was voted runner up in best year-round resort in the Mid-Atlantic.


Wisp Resort has a total of 34 slopes and trails. The Front Side Trails include five trails marked easy, ten trails marked more difficult, and five trails marked most difficult. East Ridge Trails include one more difficult trail, and five most difficult trails. North Camp Trials include: five easy trails, three more difficult trails, and one most difficult trail. The resort also includes a tubing park, an ice skating rink, a nordic center, and the mountain coaster.


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