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A year-round haven at Deep Creek Lake

For a vacation home that you can use or rent almost year round, many Washingtonians flock to Deep Creek Lake. In the winter there’s downhill skiing at Wisp Resort, cross-country skiing in the state park and other snow-oriented sports when the weather cooperates. In the summer you can fish, waterski, paddle-boat or sail on the lake, the largest freshwater lake in Maryland with 65 miles of shoreline. In spring and fall, you could try your hand at a man-made whitewater course, any of three golf courses or hiking and biking.

“The whole area has been trying to develop the shoulder seasons,” said Ruth Seib, a broker and co-owner of Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty. In the fall, visitors come for the Savage Man triathlon, festivals that celebrate art and wine and the fall foliage. “Generally we find that properties that are closer to the ski area tend to rent better.”

The log cabin we identified is on a half-acre lot tucked into a woodsy area in a more established area of the lake, a three-hour-and-40-minute drive from the District. With a hot tub on the covered porch and a stuffed deer head on the living room wall, you can easily picture retreating here after a day of skiing to toast your toes by the wood-burning stove or shoot pool in the basement. The home, listed at $269,000, sleeps six in the three bedrooms, plus as many mattresses as you can squeeze into a 17-foot-by-14-foot loft.

“It’s really charming,” said Susan Bell, sales associate at Railey Realty in McHenry, Md. The 1,296-square-foot house was built in 1989, listed for sale on Jan. 17 and cost the owners $2,815 in property taxes in 2011.

In this price range, you’re unlikely to find a single-family home right on the lake or the slopes, according to Bell and other local real estate experts. But from this property, you’re minutes from the state park, where you can swim on sandy beaches or rent paddle boats. There’s a concession stand and large playground for the kids, Bell said.

If you rent a dock slip on the lake, you could spend the whole day on a boat, including stops for lunch, ice cream and dinner at several restaurants that offer piers for patrons to dock while they dine. Or watch the sailboats with their colorful spinnakers in the sailing races that the Deep Creek Lake Yacht Club at Turkey Neck organizes during summer weekends. In the winter, you’re a 17-minute drive from the skiing, snowtubing and other activities at Wisp Resort.

— Katherine Reynolds Lewis

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