Welcome to the December issue of the Garrett County Gazette. I’m Chris Nichols, your guide to helping you find out what’s going on, what’s coming up and interesting tidbits from the area. Let’s jump right in!
Affordable Housing Issue Gaining Attention
As you’ll see in my real estate sales report at the end of the newsletter, residential prices in Garrett County have been growing strongly, far outpacing increases in wages. Combined with record-low inventory of available units, it can be extremely difficult or impossible for a family earning an average wage in Garrett County to afford their own home. People working in vital occupations such as construction workers, teachers, first responders, and medical personnel are in this class of local residents who are have good stable incomes, but often can’t afford to buy a modest home where they work.
A local grass roots organization has recently been stood up to help address the issue and has held a number of public meetings to gather information and ideas. Although the group is still in the formative stages, these meetings have been well attended and well run, providing a solid foundation for the organization and an initiative which may be a long term effort, but will pay long-term dividends.
They have started a Facebook Group which I’d encourage you to join if you’re interested in the issue here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/housingforallgc
The QR codes in the picture below take you to a survey to help guide the direction of the group and a link to donate to support this initiative.
What to do outside in the Winter
Although the snow hasn’t come in force yet, cold and blustery winter weather is here. It’s tempting just to stay inside, but there are plenty of outdoor winter activities you can get into. Everyone knows about downhill skiing at the Wisp, so I’ll “glide” over that.
Cross country skiing – there needs to be about a foot of snow on the ground (sometimes less if conditions are right) so that rocks and roots are covered up, but it’s a great workout once you’re out there. New Germany and Herrington Manor State Parks both offer ski rentals and have some flat trail areas for beginners. The Meshach Browning Trails at the McHenry Community Park have some good XC skiing trails which are often groomed when conditions allow (and I have a chance to get out there and ride the snowmobile around on them!) You can check out what it’s like to XC ski at Herrington Manor on my video trail tour there. My dog Spencer, also loves it.
Fat Tire biking – long-timer followers of my adventures know that bikes and I generally don’t get along, so I can’t give you any first-hand information about fat tire biking, but it looks like a blast and a great way to stay biking in the winter. Herrington Manor State Park rents them if you want to try out the experience. My Lions Club also hosted a Fat Tire Bike “race” at our McHenry Community Park last winter put on by the Deep Creek Adventure Bureau and all reports we got back were the trails were great for biking it.
Ice Skating – JTF1, a local event and activity group, has built a covered ice rink at the Grantsville Town Park at Pavilion 3. They have public skate times, and skate rentals for all sizes of feet. Check out more info on when/where it is here. You can also skate on Deep Creek Lake (or other frozen lakes or ponds) – just be careful! You can check out my video on skating on the lake here where I go over some safety checks you should be aware of.
Snowshoeing and hiking – And then there’s just good old walking around in the woods! If the snow is really deep (about 2 feet) and there’s no trail already broken, you’ll probably want some snowshoes, but for the most part, a good pair of water resistant boots will be fine. During the winter, I like relatively dry trails that drain well and have a great view. The High Rock and Meadow Mountain Overlook Trails are two of my favorites for keeping your feet dry and ending with amazing overlooks.
I know, it’s tough to get out there, but if you do, there are lots of options to stay healthy and active in the winter. (and my Ultimate Garrett County Adventure Map can help you find some great spots, too!)
Introducing Deekie, the Deep Creek Dragon
Introducing Deekie, the Deep Creek Dragon! He likes long flights over the mountains, naps on piles of gold and enjoys his steaks well done.
Although he’s from Deep Creek Lake, Deekie loves to explore and will be joining me for adventures all around Garrett County! Stay tuned!
Speaking of my social media accounts, I recently had a map giveaway contest to identify where this postcard photo was taken from in 1939.
Need some more help? Here’s a more recent view
If you’re still stumped, here’s the original photo annotated with some landmarks and the answer. What makes me happy about this view is that it hasn’t really changed in the past 60 years. In fact, there are several spots that are more wooded than before.
I’ll be doing similar contests each month – yet another reason to like/follow/subscribe to my social media accounts!
Blind Skier 50th Anniversary Gala
Feb 7, 5 to 10pm @ Wisp Report: A night you won’t forget to celebrate 50 years of the Deep Creek Lake Lions teaching visually impaired kids how to ski. Delicious dinner and drinks, a keynote speech by Brian McKeever (the world’s most decorated Paralympic XC skier), fireworks, an amazing silent and live auction and more! https://blindskier50.com/
Deep Creek Dunk
February 25, 2023 @ Unos
Join the crowd for the 24th Annual MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk and take a daring dip into the frozen Deep Creek Lake to benefit the 4,340 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland! Dunk website
Events in 2023
I’ve also started a curated list of community events for 2023 which you can check out on my website. The event listing is formatted in a handy postcard which I’ll be happy to send to you FOR FREE if you reply back to this email with your mailing address!
Real estate perspective
Have we hit the price peak for real estate in Garrett County and Deep Creek Lake? Only time well tell, but there is a lot of info in my Garrett County Real Estate Sales report I just put together. In this graph, I show the average sales price and numbers of sales each year going back to 1993 for the DCL Area and Rest of Garrett County. You can clearly see that rising trend since 2019 I talked about in the Housing Availability section above. There’s lot more info in the full report. You can download the full report or get the link to a narrated video of it on my website. Check out my real estate website as well for more information on what’s out there, or call or email me anytime to chat about these trends and how to build a strategy to meet your real estate goals!
That’s it for this edition! Thanks for checking it out! If you’ve got ideas or suggestions for articles, or questions about the area, don’t hesitate to reach out!
If your property is currently listed with another real estate professional, this message is not intended to solicit the offerings of other Brokers. All information in this message including but not limited to market information, mapping and history is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
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Explore and connect with where you live. Some mapping, history and community service organization stuff related to Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area. I'm Chris - welcome to my online attic!
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