Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center


Where can children put their hands in a black bear paw print, touch fossils from times long gone, and sneak a peek under a microscope to learn about Deep Creek Lake's under-water ecology?

The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center, the Department of Natural Resources' interpretive environmental center, allows children to do all this – and much more! Nestled along the shores of Deep Creek Lake at Deep Creek Lake State Park, the Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind educational venue for people of all ages. Through hands-on exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland, families can learn about the flora and fauna, wildlife, cultural and historical heritage that have turned this former logging and coal mining region into a popular modern day vacation destination.


Through hands on displays, live animal programming, colorful artwork, photographs and artifacts, the Deep Creek Lake Eastern box turtlefacility's numerous natural resources exhibits provide a behind the scenes look into Deep Creek Lake and its watershed, and conservation issues facing the region today. History buffs will enjoy learning about the cultural and historical heritage of the region, including coal extraction from the former Old Brant Mine in an indoor replicated mine experience. The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center also features many aquariums with native fish and other aquatic species from the lake and river. An aviary featuring live birds of prey, include red-tailed hawks and owls, numerous reptile and amphibian displays with daily up close encounters! While you are here check out our native plant gardens and Monarch Butterfly rearing tank and live underwater fish camera and discovery science stations.

On-site naturalists, rangers and volunteers lead daily educational programs, from leisurely hikes that focus on birdwatching, tree identification and wildflowers, to more extensive educational programming that touches on such subjects as black bear management, endangered species of the Youghiogheny area, submerged aquatic vegetation, boating safety, and trail stewardship.

Calendar of Events

Check out the Deep Creek Discovery Center Calendar of Events

Discovery Center Amenities and Hours

The Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center's 6,000 square foot facility also includes a classroom and conference areas complete with audio visual technology including Internet wifi. Don't forget to stop by the Nature Shop, where you'll find a variety of environmental and educational gifts including toys, souvenirs from the region, field guides, and books with a natural resources theme.

The Discovery Center has summer hours of operation daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and winter hours of Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact the park for hours of operation and special programs during other times of the year. Deep Creek Lake State Park is located at 898 State Park Road in Swanton, Maryland. For more information about the Deep Creek Discovery Center call (301) 387-7067. Check out our volunteer website for program and workshop schedules at​​​