Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Pennsylvania

(570) 426-2452

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest, and floodplain on both sides of the Delaware River in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Forty miles of the Middle Delaware River are within the park, as well as trout streams, lakes, ponds, and some of the highest waterfalls in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the south end of the park, the river cuts eastward through the Appalachian Mountains at the scenic Delaware Water Gap. Among the more surpising species of animals in the park are black bear, timber rattlesnakes, bald eagles, and, recently, nesting peregrine falcons. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area boasts an extraordinary amount of outdoor activities as well. A one-day auto tour of the park can include waterfalls, rural scenery, and historic Millbrook Village. Visitors can also canoe, hike, camp, swim, picnic, bicycle, crosscountry ski, and horseback ride. Within the park, there are 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail running through in addition to several recreational trails in the park. The Delaware River allows visitors to view the park for a whole other angle while kayaking, rafting, or canoeing. Fishing and hunting are also permitted in season with state licenses.

Map of Delaware Water Gap

Latitude, Longitude: 41.070638, -75.016974

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    Most liveries around the area rent canoes, kayaks, rafts, and tubes.

  • Bicycling

    McDade Recreational Trail PA is a designated bike trail, as well as a trail for hiking and cross country skiing. There are also many routes for road biking.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    River Road from Bushkill to Shawnee-on-Delaware PA is a twisting, hilly and scenic ride past farmlands. It once led to a ferry crossing to New Jersey. Along PA Route 611, south of Interstate 80, three scenic overlooks provide the best places to view the Delaware River as it passes through the Water Gap, a view enjoyed by the 19th century vacationers as well.

  • Camping

    There are many options for camping in the Delaware Water Gap. There are primitive campsites located along the river for canoe camping and other locations along the Appalachian Trail. Many campground amenities are located at Dingmans Campground in Pennsylvania and Worthington State Forest Campground in New Jersey.

  • Climbing

    Point of Gap along Route 611 in Pennsylvania, right in the Water Gap, and Ricks Rocks on the south side of Route 602 about 1 mile east of Millbrook Village in New Jersey.

  • Fishing

    The Delaware River and its tributaries provide a variety of fishing. The "shad run" up the Delaware passes through this park in May and June.

  • Hiking

    For hikes from 2 to 6 hours in length, Mt Minsi at the Gap, McDade Trail: Hialeah to Turn Farm, and Pocono Environmental Education Center are popular hikes. The McDade Trail, Toms Creek Trail, and the Appalachian Trail from Totts Gap to the view of Mt. Tammany are also great for

  • Historic Sites

    Though set aside as an area for outdoor recreation, the land of this park is rich in history. The park encompasses significant Native American archeological sites and several sites have been investigated. A number of structures also remain from early Dutch settlement and the colonial contact period. The entire region was a frontier of the French & Indian War. Historic rural villages from the 18th and 19th centuries remain intact on the New Jersey side, and landscapes of past settlements are scattered throughout the park. Millbrook Village in New Jersey, the historic houses in Montague, New Jersey, and Walpack Center are all popular destinations.

  • Horseback Riding

    Conashaugh View Trail offers 9 miles of trail for hikers and for horseback riders with their own horses. Upper Ridge Trail near Layton, New Jersey winds approximately 5 miles through peaceful woods, open fields and past isolated ponds.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted in most parts of the recreation area. All applicable state and additional park-specific federal regulations must be followed. Trapping is not permitted.

  • Picnicking

    Hialeah Picnic Area, Toms Creek Picnic Area, Loch Lomond, and Child's Park all are free picnicking areas. All have picnic tables. Millbrook Village and Kittatinny Point have indoor restrooms when the sites are open. Other sites have outdoor toilets or portable toilets.

  • Water Sports

    The recreation area staffs Milford Beach PA and Smithfield Beach PA with lifeguards in summer. Swimming elsewhere is not recommended, as strong currents, sharp drop-offs, and constantly changing river conditions make many areas unsafe for swimming.

  • Winter Sports

    Blue Mountain Lakes, Slateford Trails, and McDade Trail all offer cross-country ski trails.

Seasonality/Weather

In the spring, climate is variable. Temperature can drop rapidly after sunset on warm days. In the summer, air temperatures average from 75 to 85 degrees F, with some days in the 90s, and with lows to the 50s. There may be some very hot and muggy days in summer and thunderstorms can form quickly and violently along the river. In the fall, fall colors make the Gap especially photogenic, but winds in the Gap can be strong. In late fall, some of the best vistas along the hiking trails will emerge when the leaves are down. In the winter, air temperatures from December to March are frequently below freezing, with numerous snow and ice storms in some years, and little snow in other years. Water temperatures drop from the 50s to the 30s by December, with most of the river usually freezing over each winter.

Directions

Driving

The south end of the park is along Interstate 80 at the village of Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. Take Interstate 80 PA Exit 310. If you're arriving westbound from New Jersey, follow highway signs toward the Park and Ride to the traffic light at the end of the exit ramp. For Smithfield Beach, Pennsylvania and points north in the parkalong Route 209 PA, go straight at the traffic light onto River Road. Smithfield Beach is 7 miles from this point. For the overlooks on Route 611 at the Water Gap, turn right at the traffic light and continue 1/4 mile to the next light. Turn left onto Route 611 south and look for the overlook parking on the left. If you're arriving eastbound from Pennsylvania, for Smithfield Beach PA and points north in the park along Rt. 209 PA, turn left at the traffic light onto River Road. Smithfield Beach is 7 miles from this point. For the overlooks on Route 611 at the Water Gap, go straight at the traffic light and continue 1/4 mile to the next light. Turn left onto Route 611 south and look for the overlook parking on the left.map program and need an exact address for long-distance directions to the south end of the park, use: 1 Broad Street, Delaware Water Gap PA 18327. This address is in the village of Delaware Water Gap. Use the directions to reach I-80 Exit 310 in Pennsylvania, and then follow directions above.

Flying

Several major airports serve this area are Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) in Allentown/Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is 65 miles southwest. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP) located in Avoca, Pennsylvania is 65 miles west of the park. The Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Newark, New Jersey is 70 miles east.

Public Transportation

Martz-Trailways and Greyhound bus lines from Port Authority Terminal in New York City run to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre PA via the "Stroudsburg/DWG" terminal in the town of Delaware Water Gap PA. There are trips mid-day and on weekends and holidays. Both lines accept on-line purchase of tickets. The bus terminal is 1.5 miles from the AT southbound at Mt. Minsi trailhead and 3 miles from the Appalachian Trail northbound at Dunnfield trailhead (Mt. Tammany, Sunfish Pond).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(570) 426-2452

Links