by: Joseph Gutmann - 30th November 2013

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 3All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 4Nightlife
  • 3Terrain Park
  • Value
Excellent Location, Clean & Pleasing Lodges/Hotel, Abundant Snowfall, Wonderful Snowmaking, Nightlife/Events, & a Wonderful Staff
Small Vertical Drop, & Occasional Heavy Crowds from DC & Baltimore Area

Full review

Wisp Resort is located in Garrett County, Maryland's small town of McHenry. Even though the surrounding countryside is quaint and desolate, the location is Wisp Resort is one of the best (If not the best) locations of a ski resorts in all of the Allegheny Mountains. Interstate 68 brings you within a 10 minute short drive from the big cities. Then it is either Maryland 42 or 219 that brings you the rest of the way which by the way is usually well taken care of in the winter. Wisp is also next to Maryland's largest freshwater lake, known as Deep Creek Lake. Deep Creek offers endless summer activities and has created a strong community on its shores. Wisp also has very clean & eye pleasing lodges and also a spectacular hotel. Both are fairly updated & renovated enough that it doesn't not become a bother to your trip. With a summit of over 3,000 feet, it's usually always a guarantee for a good amount of the white stuff to fall over the winter. Wisp's website says they only average 100" of snowfall annually each season, but Garrett County snowfall records (especially over the past 10 years) say otherwise. I think Wisp was being a bit modest and I would say Wisp gets more like 125-130" each season, which keep in mind is over 10 feet of snow. Of course, sometimes Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate in the Mid-Atlantic, so Wisp turns to what they claim is a "world renowned" snowmaking system. Again, being next to a lake that has 65+ miles of shoreline, it provides all the water Wisp needs. Moving on to nightlife, Wisp does a wonderful job of scheduling and planning events. It also has a few pleasurable bars and restaurants on-resort. And on of the most important aspects I look at at every resort I attend is the customer service and overall kindness of the staff. I am happy to say Wisp did a wonderful job on this and was very pleased with the staff and service! One of the biggest cons about Wisp Resort is its small vertical drop. According to its mountain base and summit, Wisp only provides a 700 ft vertical drop making all trails fairly short. Of course like every resort they have a few stretched out green circles, but they blue squares and black diamonds are short and sweet. However, the terrain is fairly good on the mountain. Ignoring the problem of the flat summit on the mountain causing a lot of pushing and skating to get to some trails, the trails have a very nice variety of steepness. If the mountain were about 500-1000 ft taller, I believe the terrain here would be unmatchable for this area. The only other problem Wisp really experiences is the heavy crowds that come over from the Washington DC & Baltimore area on peak weekends and holidays, but most resorts in the Alleghenies have that problem as well. Overall, I believed Wisp was an above average resort for the area and was very pleased and satisfied with my many visits their and of course I plan to return.
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