Destination Vacation: Wisp Resort

Destination Maryland

MCHENRY, Md. (WDVM) — Tucked away in the mountains of Garrett County, many think of Wisp Resort as a destination for the winter months, but in the summer, it transforms into an adventure lover’s dream.

The resort offers fun for the whole family, from breathtaking views at the mountain’s summit after a scenic chairlift ride or while playing a round of golf at Lodestone Golf Course, to kayaking or canoeing on Maryland’s largest fresh water lake, to reaching speeds of up to 25 miles per hour on the resort’s Mountain Coaster.

Jay Quinn, the Outdoor Recreation Manager at Wisp, says the Mountain Park has something for everyone.

“Up here at the Mountain Park, we have the Mountain Coaster. We have the scenic chairlift ride that will take you up to the top of the mountain, two different ropes courses with zip lines,” Quinn explained. “We also offer archery and disk golf.”

One of the main attractions at the Mountain Park is the Mountain Coaster. The one-mile long, scream-inducing track can reach a top speed of about 25 miles per hour and can be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. Alongside the Mountain Coaster runs two ropes courses, the Chipmunk Challenge Course and the Spider Monkey Adventure. The Chipmunk Challenge Course is designed for children ages four and up who weigh at least 40 pounds. The Chipmunk Challenge Course has a continuous belay system that covers over 500 feet of cable and features 2 zip lines and 6 obstacles for even the smallest daredevil. The Spider Monkey Adventure offers 6 obstacles and is set over 20 feet in the air. Participants must be over the age of 6 and weigh at least 50 pounds. The Spider Monkey Adventure includes a 40 foot ‘Spider’s Web’ and a ‘Tilt & Hop’ among other obstacles before zip-lining over 200 feet to end their adventure. The Mountain Park also offers the Flying Squirrel Canopy Tour for guests 10 and older and weighing more than 70 pounds. The almost 2-hour tour offers tree-top views of Deep Creek Lake and 5 zip-lines that range from 180 feet to over 400 feet.

Wisp Resort is also home to the world’s only mountaintop whitewater rafting course, which recirculates over 15,000 gallons of water each minute through the man-made rapids. Three pumps blast water through the loop that offers views of the valley and lake below.

“There’s nowhere else that has views like this, most rivers are in the river bottom or in the valleys, and you don’t have the views for 360 degrees,” Eric Anderson, the mountain park manager at the Adventure Sports Center, explained. “It’s family friendly and it is a controlled environment. This, unlike natural rivers, has no undercut rocks or entrapment points.”

Anderson says the whitewater rafting course is accessible to first-timers and those with extensive experience.

“We have all the gear for you, we go through everything. You just need to show up bring yourself and we’ll take care of the rest,” Anderson says.

If you’re looking to work on your swing during your trip to the mountains, the resort’s two golf courses, Lodestone and Fantasy Valley, offer not only stunning views of Deep Creek Lake but also extensive practice facilities like the chipping and putting greens as well as the driving range, to work the bogeys out of your game.

Max Hill, Director of Golf Operations for both courses, explains the holes are designed to accommodate golfers of all experience level. The courses

“The 18 hole golf course is one of those where it’s very challenging greens, very open off the tee box, very scenic is a great experience,” Hill says. “And we have anywhere from beginning level golfers to advanced players that play here, you know, all throughout the season.”

If a day on the water or at the beach seems more your speed, the resort’s beach hut and private cove are located just minutes away on the shoreline of Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, offering some much-needed rest and relaxation. The beach hut offers hourly canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals as well as tubes for floating on the shore. The resort also offers a pontoon boat tour which allows guests to take in the stunning views of Deep Creek Lake’s nearly 65 miles of shoreline.

For more information about Wisp Resort, please visit their website.

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