The Deep Creek Discovery Center is an educational and interpretive center for people of all ages to enjoy and learn. Through hands-on exhibits that highlight the natural resources of Western Maryland, families can learn about the flora, fauna and cultural and historical heritage that have turned this former logging and coal mining region into a popular modern day vacation destination. Interpretive programs, consisting of evening campfire programs, and talks and hikes on the natural and cultural resources of the park, are led by a park naturalist and are available at various times throughout the year and by special request.
Amenities at the 6,000 square foot facility include an indoor classroom and conference area complete with audio visual technology, indoor animal displays, a mural depicting local fauna and flora, ADA accessible restrooms and the Nature Shop. In the Nature Shop you will find a variety of environmental and educational gifts including toys, souvenirs from the region and field guides and books with a natural resources theme. Outdoor amenities include an outdoor classroom, working aviary, insect hotel and the Discovery Sensory Trail.
Through hands-on displays, live animal programming, colorful artwork, photographs and artifacts, the facility'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. The aviary features live birds of prey, including red-tailed hawks and owls. Numerous reptile and amphibian displays feature daily up-close encounters! While you are here check out our native plant gardens and monarch butterfly rearing tank, live underwater fish camera and discovery science stations.
Scales & Tales Aviary
Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Aviary is home to nine non-releasable birds of prey. Each of these birds were injured, rehabilitated and deemed non releasable before becoming an ambassador for the Scales & Tales program, which serves to educate people of all ages on native raptors throughout Maryland. By visiting the Aviary, visitors can view birds up close such as a turkey vulture, a great horned owl and even a golden eagle.
The Discovery Center's hours of operation are Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM. 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