Maryland has no natural lakes. Not a single one. But its artificial lakes are spectacular. The largest is my favorite and has been since I was a teenager. I love it so much it is the inspiration and backdrop of my new book. INN BY THE LAKE, a sweet modern love story, is an ode to old beautiful things as seen through the eyes of the young people who treasure them.
Deep Creek Lake, in Garrett County, Maryland’s western-most county, attracts visitors year round for its natural delights. No one seems to mind—many might not even know—that it was created 1925 as part of a hydro-electric project to harness the power of Deep Creek, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River.
It’s now 3,900 acres with 65 miles of shoreline, plenty of mountain cottages and multi-family behemoths where you can spend a weekend or a a week.
Most of the 1.2 million people who go there every year go in the summer—the only season I’ve not been to the lake. Spring may be damp and cool but it’s quiet and beautiful as the trees bud along the hiking paths at Wisp and the state parks. Fall is a blaze of color that takes my breath away. Nothing like a Western Maryland fall.
My family tends to hang around the northern branch near the Wisp ski resort, where I first visited in, oh heavens, 1975. Please don’t count the number of years… Now my husband and I go every winter with our grown children, an “adopted” daughter, spouses and dogs for a weekend of skiing, food, cozy fires and soothing hot tub soaks.
The area has plenty of great restaurants and bars, a movie theatre, and one of my favorite brew pubs, Mountain State Brewing. Boating is big on the lake, beloved by fishermen, sailors and kayakers. At the top of Wisp is the the Adventure Sports Center International, which offers a controlled way to get your feet wet if you’d like to try white-water rafting or kayaking. White-water aficionados—and local outfitters—know all the place for some white-water fun in the wild.
Inn By The Lake may be fictional, but the scenery, from the gorgeous sunsets, to the sparkling water, to the sun-dappled hiking paths, come from my own visits to this bit of mountain paradise. Just as Amanda learns to love the place where Luke grew up with his fathers Henri and DeWayne, I hope readers of my sweet love story will find this a serene place to get away from the busyness of the everyday. And, maybe, fall in love.