Winter play in Maryland parks from dog sledding to snowshoeing

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Snowshoe, sled and cross-country skiParks Winter NewGermany W

Travel to Western Maryland for a weekend filled with snowshoeing, sledding and cross-country skiing at New Germany State Park. With Big Savage Mountain to the east and the eastern Continental Divide to the west, the mountainous and forest-filled park is home to 10 miles of multi-use trails. Many of these trails are groomed for skiing when snow is adequate and include flat areas for beginners and winding hillside trails for more experienced skiers. Snowshoes are also welcome on some of the trails, but park rangers ask users to keep off ski tracks. The park is also home to several sledding hills. Visit the ranger station for details.

A warming hut, located in the park’s lake house, provides a comfortable break for families. The hut offers hot drinks, snacks and trail maps. Cross country skis and snowshoes are also available for rent in the hut on the weekends and in the park office during the week. For weekend stays, the park has 11 rental cabins open year-round — with cozy wood stoves.

Follow New Germany State Park on Twitter for the latest condition updates.

Cost: Ski or snowshoe rental is $15 for two hours, $25 for a full day. Rentals are first come, first served. Park entrance fee is $3/person during ski season weekends and holidays for in-state residents and $5/person for out-of-state residents.
Hours: 8 a.m.-sunset; all rental equipment must be returned by 5 p.m.
349 Headquarters Lane, Grantsville;

Photo by Stephen J. Badger.

Take a Horse-drawn sleigh ride

Soar through the snow while riding in Pleasant Valley Dream Ride’s horse-drawn sleigh. The Oakland-based company runs 45-minute rides during the day and at night on Duntrussen Farm and, by special request, through Deep Creek Lake State Park. The sleigh can fit between five and eight people, says co-owner Rachel Miller. Blankets are provided on the sleigh, but guests should still bundle up for cold conditions. If snow is lacking, the sleigh can also run on wheels.

Cost: Adults, $16; ages 3-12, $12; under age 3, free; $60/couple for private rides.
Hours: Sleigh rides start on the hour between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Reservations are required. Closed Sundays.
1689 Pleasant Valley Rd., Oakland; 301-334-1688,

By Allison Eatough

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