Garrett County Gazette, February 2023

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!

Deep Creek Lake Lions celebrate 50 years of the Blind Skier program

On the evening of Feb 7 at Wisp Resort, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club of Garrett County, Maryland commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Blind Skier program with a gala event attended by over 250 people. “The Gala was a smashing success on every level,” said Event Chair Chris Nichols, “not only did we raise funds during the event, but it was a opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our visually impaired skiers and to express our gratitude for all of the supporters, volunteers and sponsors of the program over the years.  Plus, I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed going out to a fancy event.”

The evening consisted of live and silent auctions, dinner and drinks, an awards program highlighting the achievements of the program participants and contributions of volunteers, a keynote speech by Brian McKeever and fireworks show to conclude the evening. The Club reports that the evening was a success financially and also raised awareness of the program and brought recognition to the many people who helped the program over the past 50 years.  A full article on the Gala and more pictures are available on the Club’s Facebook page.

Fat Tire Biking

I had a couple of questions on what exactly “Fat Tire” biking is, and there just happens to be a related event coming up, so I can kill two birds with one stone! 
A fat tire bike, according to good ol’ Wikipedia is “is an off-road bicycle built to accommodate oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.16 in (55 mm) or wider, designed for low air pressure to allow riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud”. Another source I was checking out says they are more comfortable and stable than mountain bikes.  Hmmm, maybe I should check these out! The wider tires are really important in the snow, where you would sink down and get stuck with narrower tires.

And Deep Creek Adventure Bureau is holding their second annual Herrington Manor Fat Bike Ride on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2023 AT 11 AM – 3 PM. If there’s enough snow, the trail will be groomed for fat tire bikes. The park has fat bikes available for rent if you need them! (first-come, first-served), so this a great chance to try it out. This is a ride for all skill levels.. BEGINNER to ADVANCED. There is a “short” 3-mile ride, a “long” 9-mile ride or the “three x three” 180-minute ride.
Check out the Facebook event for more info or the DCAB website

Yeah, I know this winter has been a bust…so far! It can only get better from here – hopefully we’ll get some snow for this event and through March.

Adventures of Deekie, the Deep Creek Dragon

Last month, I introduced Deekie, the Deep Creek Dragon! Let’s see where he’s been around the County.

One of his first stops was by the Youghiogheny Overlook and Visitor’s Center to check out the view and pick up some info on local spots. Even though it’s right off of I68, it’s not a place that most locals stop at, but there is a great overlook of the Yough River Lake and tons of great information on local stuff at the Welcome Center.
The Youghiogheny River roughly parallels the western border of Garrett County and provides a wide spectrum of recreational activities like hiking, fishing and whitewater paddling. Flowing past Friendsville and then into Pennsylvania, the River begins to form a Lake due to dam built by and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers around Confluence, PA. The Youghiogheny River Lake provides further recreational opportunities like swimming, boating and camping.
Even though all of this is just minutes off of I-68, it still feels “off the beaten path” and is yet another of Garrett County’s hidden gems.
Lots of great outdoor stuff to do and local “hidden gems” in my Ultimate Garrett County Adventure map

Next, we visited Backbone Mountain where Deekie was “blown away” by the size of our local wind turbines

Did you know: Garrett County covers “most of the above” when it comes to energy? We have a long legacy of coal mining and there is an important natural gas storage field here. Hydro power is covered, too, with the electricity produced by Deep Creek Lake. And more recently, some major wind and solar projects have been installed. Nuclear, well, not so much. If you’re interested in the energy picture in the area, my History of Garrett County in Maps has a pretty good slide showing where all the resources are.

 You can follow along our adventures on Facebook and Instagram! 

History Corner

 I recently had another map giveaway contest on my social media accounts based on an old postcard.  
Advertised on this postcard is the “Guntertown Ski Lodge”. Guntertown was about 7 miles west of Frostburg on Rt. 40 and was started as a service station, restaurant and cottages in 1939. In 1940, the operators added skiing to the attractions in an effort to bring in more winter business. There are mentions of skiing at Guntertown through the late 1950’s
Question: “What is considered the first commercial skiing operation in Garrett County?”

Here’s an easy way to cheat! You can search the Glades Star (the quarterly publication of the Garrett County Historical Society) online for factoids like this. Go to:, then search for “first commercial ski operation” in the search block (be sure to select “text contents”)

If you’re still stumped, the answer is in the comments section of the original Facebook post. 

I’ll be doing similar contests each month – yet another reason to like/follow/subscribe to my social media accounts! 

Facebook and Instagram

Local stuff to do

Oakland Winterfest
The town of Oakland is gearing up for its annual Winter Fest, slated for February 18, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event will feature kids’ activities, store specials, live music and performances, and the return of the highly successful Winter Fest Wine Walk.
Event webpage

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!
If you’re looking for a Team to join or support, the Taylor Made team is honoring the memory of Bob Carney:
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

The number of residential properties listed for sale is the lowest it’s been in 10 years. What does that mean for sellers and buyers?

On Feb 10, 2023, there were 122 residential properties listed.  Of those, 53 are showing price reductions, with an average reduction of 9% and the biggest reduction of 28%! If you’re looking to sell, an appropriately priced property is likely to sell very quickly.   However, of the properties available, over 40% of them are showing price reductions, meaning that there could be some good deals out there for buyers.
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! 
301 616-7881
301 387-4700
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!

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Published by Narrows Hill

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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