Park service to close River Road on select evenings to protect breeding amphibians


Spotted salamander (Scott Wahlberg, Creative Commons)

BUSHKILL — It's been on the cold side lately, but spring is coming, and it's almost time for that annual rite of passage on River Road.
Motorists can expect River Road within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to be closed on several evenings over the next few weeks to protect breeding amphibians. The trigger for the road closures will be forecasts calling for evening rain with mild temperatures — usually in the 50s. Since the amphibians are active principally at night and have completed their treks by dawn, the road will be closed at approximately 4 p.m. and will remain closed until approximately 6:30 a.m.
Each year the National Park Service take steps to protect migrating amphibians by closing River Road in Middle Smithfield Township between park headquarters and Hialeah Picnic Area on several mild, rainy nights from March to mid-April. This closure allows vulnerable amphibians to crawl or hop from distances of a few hundred feet to sometimes more than a quarter mile, to moist breeding pools without the risk of being crushed by vehicle tires.
For more information on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area or updates on road closures, call park headquarters at 570-426-2452, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am until 4:30 p.m.. Visit the National Park Service website at nps.gov/dewa or follow the NPS on Facebook at Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS.