Deep Creek Lake State Park

Discovery Center

Contact: 301-387-7067

The Discovery Center will be closed from September 3, 2019 until early 2020 for HVAC and parking lot repairs. During this time, the Aviary and remainder of the park will be open. We appreciate your patience!

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, 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.


Deep Creek Lake Eastern box turtleDisplays

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. 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.

Aviary at Deep Creek Lake State ParkScales & Tales Aviary

Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Aviary is home to 9 non-releasable birds of prey. Each of these birds were injured and (rehabilitated) deemed non releasable before becoming an ambassador for the Scales and 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. To see a Scales and Tales program, check the calendar of events or to schedule one for your special event, please call 301-387-7067.

Deep Creek Discovery Center Calendar of Events

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

Features at the center include:

  • 6,000 square foot facility
  • Nature Gift Shop
  • Working Aviary
  • Indoor animal displays
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Indoor classroom and conference area
  • Mural depicting local fauna and flora
  • Insect Hotel
  • Sensory Awareness Trail
  • Restrooms-ADA Accessible