News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Park Service Issues Public Safety Warning for Deep Creek Lake

Swanton, MD (February 16, 2010) — The Maryland Park Service reminds all snowmobilers of the potential for unseen safety hazards on Deep Creek Lake, particularly at night. Starting on Wednesday, February 24th, an area of ice will be removed near Uno Chicago Grill on Garrett Highway to create open water for the Special Olympics Deep Creek Dunk. This area will remain unsafe for quite some time and will be marked with reflective traffic cones.

Also be aware that lake surface conditions under bridges where road salt and abrasives are plowed from the pavement are often particularly hazardous. Other conditions that may cause unpleasant situations are unseen snowdrifts or pressure ridges that can act as ramps and cause sleds to become airborne leading to a loss of control and accidents.

Deep Creek Lake is a part of the designated ORV trail system permitting use by registered snowmobiles only. Permits are available by mail or at any of the local State Park offices during normal business hours. Snowmobiles may operate at night if equipped with working head and taillights. Access to the lake may be made at Deep Creek Lake State Park or with permission from a private landowner with a permit site adjacent to the lake.

Ice fishermen, hikers and cross-country skiers traveling on the lake should also exercise caution. The wearing of or having readily accessible life preservers could prevent a tragedy. If you encounter people, pets or wildlife that have fallen through the ice, contact either 911 or the toll free DNR Communications number 1-800-628-9944 for assistance.

For further information on ice conditions at Deep Creek Lake, contact a ranger at the Park Headquarters office (301) 387-5563 or the Discovery Center on weekends at 301-387-7067.

   February 16, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at