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Deep Creek Lake: A Great Dog-Friendly Getaway at Blue Moon Rising

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We arrived at dog-friendly Blue Moon Rising during the shoulder season, right after a light snowfall. The white dusting was a nice touch to turn our stay into a magical getaway at Deep Creek Lake. On the drive through the mountains the snow settled down against the last leaves of fall. Upon arriving for our check-in with our two terriers, the weather began to clear, revealing a stunning view of the lake just as the last rays of sunlight faded. It was definitely one of those special moments where you look around and think “is this real life?”

We headed up the hill to our cabin, tucked away in the woods. Our dogs were super excited, playfully jumping around in the snow, ready for a chilly, fun-filled visit.

Blue Moon Rising

A Norwich and Border terrier standing on the dog-friendly cabin porch or Blue Moon Rising

The Charm of Blue Moon Rising’s Cabins

We love places where every space has its own personality. Each of the 14 cabins is unique and crafted with eco-friendly principles and reclaimed materials. They’ve got this rustic charm mixed with simple comforts, perfect for a couple or a family of 4.

Our cabin came with a kitchenette which was just enough for something quick and easy or to wake up with some morning coffee.

Blue Moon Rising: A Dog’s Paradise

Blue Moon Rising is very dog friendly, so It is a fantastic place to stay with your dog. The grounds offer plenty to explore, and with the lake just down the hill you really have a lot to keep both you and your pup active.

The Blue Moon staff love having dog visitors, and they have a very down to earth dog policy. “We’re dog-friendly if your dog is friendly.” That’s how they summed it up while giving Denver some extra ear scratches during check-in.

A Norwich terrier laying on a quilted bed

The cabins allow dogs with a small cleaning fee. The wood are great to explore, just make sure your pups are leashed while you’re outside your cabin. That helps to keep all the dogs safe and provide an enjoyable atmosphere for other guests.

There may be times when you want to pop out to get some dinner. It is okay for your well-behaved dog to stay behind for a little while as long as they aren’t barking.

If your dogs are like mine, this is a place where your pup can enjoy the vacation just as much as you.

Click here to check prices and availability for you and Fido.

Exploring the Dog Friendly Trails and Lake

Behind the cabins are acres of woods. The trails here are perfect for morning walks or lazy afternoon strolls. There are a couple of trails that winds through the property, just over a mile long, and it’s a hit with both two and four-legged hikers.

Many people come to Deep Creek for the lake. Even though the property isn’t lake-side, they own a dock that’s available for all the guests (and fur guests to use). In the summer the dock is popular to use when renting boats next door. I was told It’s also a fun place to set up a water trampoline for the day. My inner child is dying to come back and give that a go.

Since we visited at the end of fall, we got to enjoy the rare sight of snow on the last of the fall leaves. It was beautiful, but we didn’t exactly feel up for a swim!

The view of Deep Creek Lake from Blue Moon Rising

The Heart of Blue Moon Rising

Wandering around Blue Moon Rising can be its own mini adventure, there is a lot to explore. Each cabin offers a different view of woods and lake, so it is like a blend of a peaceful retreat and a little woodsy neighborhood, all rolled into one.

Since the cabins are perched on the top of the hill, there are a lot of vantage points to take in the view of Deep Creek Lake.

They also definitely have a focus on community, so perhaps you might meet a new friend or simply take time to unplug and reconnect with the ones you’ve got. During warmer months, it would be great to wind down at the fire pit, share stories with other guests, or simply enjoy the quiet of the night. Just don’t let your dog snag the last marshmallow!

They also have a seasonal community center which can be a gathering place to hang out and enjoy activities or a meal.

Deep Creek Lake Through the Seasons

Norwich terrier sitting at dog-friendly Blue Moon Rising

Every season at Deep Creek Lake has its own magic. You may want to pick a time when you can do your favorite activity with your pup. There’s something enjoyable no matter which part of the year you pick.


It’s all about snow activities and cuddling up in your cabin. Think snowshoeing, ice-fishing and maybe some casual sledding with your dog right on the property.
The popular WISP Resort offers all kinds of official tubing and skiing. However, dogs aren’t allowed to join in that fun.


The area wakes to a new set of activities as winter fades away. It’s quieter and the trails are just perfect for you and your dog to have some peaceful walks. The state parks such as Swallow Falls allow leashed dogs on the trails so you can all view the water falls together.


The lake takes center stage. Swimming, boating, kayaking – you name it.
Pet access becomes restricted at some of the state parks. However, here is a local tip for the popular Swallow Falls: there is county trail on the other side of the creek which offers some views of the falls, so you don’t have to miss out completely.

Dogs are allowed to swim in the lakes even at the state park as long as they skip the sandy beaches.

Friendly tip: Get your hikes in early in the morning to beat the summer heat.


This is when the place really shows off with those fall colors. It’s quieter, cooler, which makes it perfect for outdoor adventures. State Park access opens back up for dogs after Labor Day, so that opens up more hiking options for you and your doggo.

Fall is also when a number of festivals take place, so that can add something unique to your visit if you time it right.

A Dog Friendly Weekend Itinerary for Deep Creek Lake

Snowy waterfall at Swallow Falls State Park

Friday Night

Settle into your cabin, then head to Honi Honi. They’ve got a chill vibe, music, and it’s dog-friendly on the lawn. Or hit up Mountain State Brewing Company for a drink on their deck.

In the winter, you may want to leave your pup at the cabin so you can enjoy your dinner inside where it’s warm or get something to go.


Traders Coffee House is a great spot for breakfast, and they have a few tables out front.

Plan your day based on the season and your interests – there’s always something to do, whether it’s hiking, boating, ice-fishing, disc golf or just exploring the area.

We decided to take Sam and Denver for a short hike at Swallow Falls State Park because during the off-season, dogs are allowed on the trails. It was quite the experience with the light snow surrounding the creek and falls.

For the pups with extra energy, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club dog park has a fenced off-leash area and the dog park in the town of Oakland is a hit, especially with its agility course.

For dinner, pick from a number of local restaurants. We thought dinner at Shadow Moon was a treat – they have live music on weekends and a top-notch hamburger. Plus, as a Blue Moon Rising guest, we got a 10% discount.

After dinner, it’s all about relaxing back at your cabin.

In the warmer months you can step outside to enjoy the night and roast some s’mores at the fire pit.

When its cold out, you might have to do what we did which is find a good book and snuggle with your pups.

Sunday Morning

Start your day with a relaxing walk around the Blue Moon Rising acreage, letting your dog explore and enjoy the fresh air. That’s a great way to get out their energy before they have to get in the car.

After checkout at 11, head to Canoe on the Run. It is a great spot to enjoy one last view of the lake from their patio.

Drive back feeling relaxed, with a happy and tired pup by your side. It’s the kind of weekend that leaves you refreshed and ready for whatever the week throws at you.

Snow covered lake at dog-friendly Deep Creek Lake

FAQ: Dog-friendly Deep Creek Lake

Where is Deep Creek Lake located?

Deep Creek Lake is in the mountains and is located in Garrett County, Maryland.

How far is Deep Creek Lake from Washington DC?

Deep Creek Lake is approximately 179 miles from Washington D.C., about a 3-hour drive.

Are dogs allowed at Deep Creek Lake?

Yes, dogs are allowed at Deep Creek Lake. They can enjoy many of the outdoor areas, but there may be some restrictions, especially on the sandy beaches during certain times of the year. Always a good idea to check the specific rules for the area you plan to visit.

Restrictions may apply to some trails and state parks from Memorial to Labor Day.

Final Thoughts: Dog Friendly Deep Creek Lake

Wrapping up our stay at Blue Moon Rising, I’ve got to say, it was everything we hoped for and more. Deep Creek Lake, with its mix of snowy mountains and cozy cabins, really hit the spot for a getaway.

Our terriers absolutely loved it, especially playing in the snow and sniffing around the trails. It’s those simple moments, like watching the sunset over the lake or sitting by the fire, that really stick with you.

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly escape that’s both relaxing and full of little adventures, I’d definitely recommend Blue Moon Rising at Deep Creek Lake.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Grab your leash, pack up your pup, and see it for yourself!

Disclosure: We were guests of Blue Moon Rising Cabins and were hosted by them for one night. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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