Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Mchenry, MD

  • Published 2023/04/11

There’s no better place than McHenry, Maryland, to take in the stunning scenery and historical magnificence.

McHenry is a small town located on the north shore of Deep Creek Lake.

Fort McHenry and the James A. Field House are just two of the area’s many historical treasures.

Deep Creek Lake State Park provides a variety of outdoor activities within the area.

The Irish-American military surgeon James McHenry established the town in 1732.

He was from Maryland, and one of the signers of the United States Constitution.

Here are the best things to do in McHenry, MD.

Try Zip Lining at Wisp Resort

Exterior of the Wisp Resort

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If you’re looking for a peaceful mountain hideaway, go to McHenry’s Wisp Resort.

Adults and children over ten can enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure at this Rocky Mountain resort.

There are five outstanding zip lines that you can try, the longest of which is more than 400 feet long.

The Spider Monkey Adventure is suitable for children aged six and up, featuring a swinging bridge, rope snowboarding, and a 200-foot zip line.

It has a spiderweb net, a 30-foot-long, unstable bridge, and a 60-foot zipline for younger children.

Children that weigh at least 40 pounds and are at least four years old can use it.

Snow tubing at Wisp Resort is a favorite winter activity when snow covers the surrounding hills and mountains.

Go Ice Skating at Wisp Mountain Park Ice Rink

The winter wonderland of Wisp’s Mountain Park in McHenry awaits your arrival.

The outdoor ice rink’s dazzling, frozen surface will take your breath away.

The Intro-to-Skating package includes a 90-minute session, skate rental, and basic skating lessons for families and children.

A family package, which covers rentals for two adults and two children, is also available.

Available seats and bonfires will keep you warm if you get cold while spinning.

Pick up a New Hobby at Deep Creek Pottery

Learn new skills in McHenry at Deep Creek Pottery.

Enroll in a class to learn how to make and paint exquisite pots, plates, and plaques, and how to create stunning mosaics.

For example, you can choose from a selection of pottery or mosaic art classes.

You may even enroll in a clay sculpture-making class if you want something more complex.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to form clay into distinctive shapes and then paint them by hand.

If you’re looking for supplies like clay and paint, you may quickly get them at your local grocery shop or craft store.

Kayak at Adventure Sports Center International

Are you looking for a way to spend some quality time in nature?

Adventure Sports Center International is what you need.

Tourists looking for an adrenaline rush flock to this whitewater rafting and canoe/kayak slalom facility atop a mountain above Wisp Ski Resort.

You may rent bicycles, go hiking, or even go whitewater rafting here.

Likewise, you can try inflatable kayak rentals and guided tours.

It’s also worth noting that they have artificial whitewater powered by pumps.

Throw Axes at Monkey Business Adventure Park

Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake is the best spot to unwind and have fun.

You may get your fill of excitement in one visit thanks to the range of activities they provide at three locations only five minutes apart!

Test your ax-throwing skills at the first location, the Deep Creek Axe Throwing Co., and maybe even win prizes.

This all-inclusive adventure park features a zip line, monkey bars, and flying swings, among other activities.

In this cutting-edge arcade, you may put your talents to the test by playing Pac-Man and Skee-Ball.

The laser tag arena is the next stop, where you can confront some far-off adversaries up close.

These spots will give you more than enough adventure for a single day.

Then, you have the miniature golf course, where the entire family may enjoy playing while taking in the scenery.

Hunt Treasures with Marsh Mountain Mining Company

Spend a magical day at the Mchenry Mountain Resort!

The Marsh Mountain Mining Company is located in Mountain Park at Wisp Resort, where you may discover precious stones.

Your children will be thrilled to find their diamonds in this selection of local treasures.

The children’s experience begins with their bags of Gem Mix, which they can use in the sluice.

When they have discovered their treasures, they bring them to the station for examination.

They’ll learn more about these gems, too.

Play like a Kid at Funland

In McHenry, the Funland Family Fun Center is an excellent place for the family to spend a couple of hours.

The indoor and outdoor activities are suitable for people of all ages, and there is always something new to discover.

Adults of all ages can enjoy the miniature golf course.

Bumper cars and go-karts are two of the most exciting options in the facility.

Head to the bumper car arena or the water balloon launchers if you’re looking to ignite friendly rivalry.

Riding an old carousel is the ultimate family outing for little children.

Climbing walls and mini-golf courses are also available if that doesn’t satisfy their adventurous side.

Visit Deep Creek Pizza or DC Pizza to grab some Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream if you want a snack.

Stay at Gleaning’s Pond

It’s hard to beat Gleanings Pond as a getaway for those looking to relax in the country.

This McHenry attraction provides free WiFi and a terrace for its guests.

The place is located a few minutes from McHenry’s popular dining attractions.

You have four bedrooms to choose from.

These rooms are equipped with two bathrooms, a television, a dishwasher, a microwave, a washing machine, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

Skiing is nearby if you’d like to go exploring.

Relax at Tall Oaks Retreat

Guests love staying at the Tall Oaks Retreat in McHenry.

Amid the large oak trees, the resort provides air-conditioned lodgings with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen.

While cycling through the neighborhood, you may enjoy the terrace scenery.

You will enjoy barbecuing outdoors while breathing in the fresh air.

The location is close to the city and other popular attractions, saving you time on travel.

Treat Yourself at Sacred Ground Southwest Jewelry & Souvenirs

Mchenry’s Sacred Ground Southwest Jewelry & Souvenirs has a little bit of everything.

It’s in Oakland, Maryland, nine minutes from McHenry.

The store is a relatively small space selling Native American-inspired clothing, souvenirs, and handmade Native pottery year-round.

The handmade pottery is beautiful and reasonably priced.

There are small certified cards inside that tell you important details about who made your art.

They also have an excellent selection of geodes, agates, healing stones, and other decorative stones, which are trendy right now.

Their clothing selection features mostly T-shirts and similar garments screen-printed with Native-inspired images.

They also have jewelry cases along the wall that extend two complete walls of the shop

Find lots of silver and beaded items that are simply breathtaking.

Hike at Sang Run State Park

Tourists will enjoy Sang Run State Park.

The Friends Store and the Friends Delight homestead serve as focal points.

However, the emphasis here is on relaxing in the great outdoors and getting away from it all.

You can hike, climb, cycle through the park’s woodland, or relax in one of the many beautiful riverside spots.

You can do class V whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River, which has put-in points.

Also, why not make the most of the sunshine while you’re there?

There is a slew of locations where you can soak up the sun.

Go Trekking at Fork Run Recreation Area

Fork Run Recreation Area is a fantastic place to do some nature exploration when visiting McHenry.

Found in the huge wilderness within Fork Run, this nature spot is brimming with all sorts of flora and fauna.

One of the most unique aspects about Fork Run Recreation Area is the sheer amount of huge boulders it has; it makes the place perfect for photography.

While it’s beautiful year-round, there’s a unique allure to the woods during fall, when it becomes clad in redness due to the foliage.

To access Fork Run Recreation Area, head over Shingle Camp Road.

Go Drinking at The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille is a mainstay in the areas of Maryland and Washington D.C., so don’t miss out on it if you’ve yet to try its food.

Famous for their crab cakes and crab dips, there’s a lot of scrumptious food and beer to try at this famous chain.

They have a ton of appetizers that pair well with their alcoholic beverages, many of which are beer and cocktails.

The service is good, and the ambiance is another big reason why many people flock here during dinner service.

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille’s McHenry branch can be found along Visitors Center Drive.

Have a Blast at Deep Creek Fun Zone

Deep Creek Fun Zone is a great way to diversify your trip to McHenry.

Offering tons of indoor and outdoor fun for kids and adults alike, Deep Creek Fun Zone is one of the best family-oriented amusement centers in McHenry.

Some of the best games here are laser tag, bumper boats, and mini golf.

There are go kart races here as well along with an abundance of arcade games.

Deep Creek Fun Zone is a must-try if you have a big group who’s itching for some fun—find it along Fort Drive.

Rent a Boat at Aquatic Center

While kayaking is fun in itself, if you want a broader and more immersive experience in McHenry’s waters, try renting a pontoon boat at Aquatic Center.

It’s only a couple of minutes south from Deep Creek Fun Zone, so you won’t have to venture far to get access to this area.

Also acting as a marina, Aquatic Center is a picturesque place where you can appreciate the Marsh Run Cove that flows right by it.

Aquatic Center has other rentals as well besides its pontoon boats, primarily jet skis, kayaks, and speed boats.

A great spot to do water sports and boating, don’t miss out on Aquatic Center during your trip.

Have a Feast at Archie’s Barbecue

Archie’s Barbecue is one of the most famous restaurants in McHenry because of its mouthwatering meats.

Famous for its brisket, smoked wings, and pulled pork, there is a lot to try at McHenry’s go-to barbecue restaurant.

The sides here are also top-notch; don’t miss out on their mac n’ cheese that’s a crowd favorite.

The restaurant is also a great place to dine, as they have a vibrant ambiance along with an outdoor, picnic-style seating.

Archie’s Barbecue is located conveniently along Garrett HIghway, making it a perfect stopover going in or out of McHenry.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Deep Creek Lake

Aerial view of Deep Creek Lake

Infinitum Imagery /

Just 15 minutes from Mchenry, the lake is a favorite vacation spot for people visiting Maryland.

Hiking and skiing are popular activities for families and couples.

However, the lake offers plenty of activities for those who want to try something else.

You’ll find more than a dozen recreational opportunities at the beach.

Geeese flying over Deep Creek Lake

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Swimming and boating at Deep Creek Lake are as interesting as sandboarding on the beach.

You ride down a hill with your snowboard attached to your back on an inflatable sled.

Several beaches allow guests to relax and enjoy water sports, such as kayaking.

Boats on Deep Creek Lake

Infinitum Imagery /

Have Fun at Deep Creek Lavender Farm

Deep Creek Lavender Farm is in Accident, Maryland, nine minutes from McHenry.

This farm is the place to go for a peaceful vacation.

There’s always something new to uncover at the farm.

It’s a labor of love and a result of many years of hard work.

Over 1,500 English lavender plants grow on the property, coming in various purple, white, and pink colors.

You may find lavender eye masks, neck wraps, blankets, lavender jams & jellies, plants, and more at the farm store.

Likewise, you can buy the farm’s culinary lavender, which you can use in your kitchen.

Visitors can pick and create lavender bouquets during the blooming season.

Embark on a Water Adventure at Swallow Falls State Park

Gorgeous waterfall at Swallow Falls State Park

KhanIM /

Garret County’s Swallow Falls State Park is a lovely place to spend the day.

It’s in Oakland, Maryland, 22 minutes from McHenry.

While the Youghiogheny River and the Tolivar Creek both have modest waterfalls, Muddy Creek Falls is one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls in the world.

In 1906, John and Robert Garrett of Baltimore donated 1,917 acres of land to the state of Maryland for use as a state forest.

A bridge over the waters of Swallow Falls State Park

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The Civilian Conservation Corps built both Swallow Falls and Herrington Manor State Parks on land that became the Garrett State Forest in the 1930s.

You can find more than 300-year-old trees throughout Swallow Falls State Park.

Local lore holds that this is “the final stand of its kind in Maryland.”

Boardwalk lined with trees at Swallow Falls State Park

johnnyraff /

Try Rafting with Precision Rafting Expeditions

Everybody can experience the thrill of a river trip.

With over 40 years on the rivers of Maryland and West Virginia, Precision Rafting has accumulated a wealth of knowledge.

This place is in Friendsville, Maryland, 17 minutes from McHenry.

Additional safety boaters always helm the cruises; your safety is their primary concern.

There is something for everyone here, from scenic float rides to high-octane thrills and spills.

They have it all, from the mild to the wild.

Just add water, and they’ll take care of the rest.

Embark on an unforgettable river adventure with Precision Rafting Expeditions.

Take a Boat Tour with High Mountain Sports

High Mountain Sports has you covered if you’re looking for a soothing hobby.

You’ll find it in Oakland, Maryland, eight minutes from McHenry.

They offer pontoon trips on Deep Creek Lake, one of the region’s most beautiful bodies of water.

The excursion takes roughly one and a half hours, which is great if you wish to escape the rush and bustle of city life.

Learn about the history of Deep Creek Lake and its flora and animals while admiring the scenery.

The tour departs from their pier, so bring a camera and water-resistant clothing to keep you warm on the lake, which may get chilly in the summer.

By law, children under 13 should wear life jackets.

Grab Souvenirs at Tourist Trap

Tourist Trap is a great place to purchase souvenirs if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

You’ll find it in Oakland, Maryland, ten minutes from McHenry.

There are only a few shelves of personalized gifts in this small and unassuming business.

Additionally, there is a wide variety of products available for purchase.

In contrast to other stores, this one has a few valuable items.

You won’t find any flimsy plastic trinkets here.

Instead, you’ll find durable, long-lasting toys that will survive being flung across the room or dropped on the floor.

It’s a place to visit if you’re looking for something special to buy someone as a gift or if you want to buy extra souvenirs.

Final Thoughts

In terms of tourism attractions, McHenry is a real find.

Knowing where to begin in this tranquil haven of excitement and delight is challenging because there’s so much to see and do.

Natural wonders, museums, and historical landmarks abound in this vibrant metropolis, which appeals to a wide range of interests.

What are you waiting for?

Start planning your McHenry trip today!

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