Park prepares for summer visitors
Bushkill. To better enjoy your outing in the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, plan ahead. Many popular destinations are full by 10 a.m. on summer weekends. The park is open for hiking, bo


A ranger with young visitors on the banks of the Delaware River (Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Facebook photo)

Employees at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been busy gearing up and getting facilities ready for a busy summer season. The 70,000-acre national park unit is one of the top 25 most-visited national park units in the country with 3.2 million visits recorded in 2018.
“This summer, our visitors will likely see more of our staff stationed at busy sites throughout the park where we can better serve the public's needs," said Superintendent Sula Jacobs. "We're going where the people are and where we can be of most assistance “We've been planning ahead and getting the park ready to welcome our visitors and offer them a wonderful national park visit. But for the best trips, we recommend that visitors plan ahead too.”
Get information:
Park Headquarters is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m., except federal holidays. Stop by or call (570) 426-2452 for assistance during business hours.
Dingmans Falls Visitor Center is open Fridays from 11 am to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 5 p.m. from June 15 to Sept. 2.
Visit the park website at nps.gov/dewa.
Follow Facebook at Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS.
Take a hike:
All trails in PA are open except the following which will remain closed until further notice due to public hazard and ongoing trail maintenance and construction work:
George W. Childs Park
Adams Creek Trail and drainage area
Hornbecks Creek/Indian Ladders Trail
Conashaugh Trail
All trails in New Jersey are open with the exception of the lower portion of the Van Campens Glen Trail. The trail is open from the upper parking area to the trail bridge just downstream from the waterfall. The remainder of the trail is closed due to hazardous conditions and trail construction work.
Use the Pocono Pony's Hiker Shuttle to get back and forth between the Park and Ride lot in the town of Delaware Water Gap, Pa., and the Kittatinny Point/Appalachian Trail/Dunnfield Creek/Lake Lenape area trails at the south end of the park. The shuttle fee is $1 per person for a roundtrip fare and runs every 30 minutes on summer weekends. Schedules are available at: gomcta.com/trip.
Cool off:
All beaches and boat/canoe launches are open for the season. A $10/car fee is charged 7 days a week; annual passes are available for $45.
Visit the park website for a list of businesses in the area that rent canoes, kayaks, and rafts and provide transportation or bring your own.
Use the free River Runner shuttle to transport your own canoes, kayaks, and gear for a day on the river. Check schedules at gomcta.com/trip.
Always wear a properly-fitted US Coast Guard-approved lifejacket when on or near the water.
Go for a ride:
The McDade Trail in Pennsulvania is a great place to ride your bike (and it's the only trail in the park where bikes are permitted). You can start and finish at the same place or do a one-way trip using the free River Runner shuttle to transport you and your bike on weekends.
Visit the park website for information on bicycle rentals in the area.
Take a scenic drive and enjoy the views.
Visit one of our partner-operated sites (check their websites for hours and program offerings):
Mohican Outdoor Center (Mohican Outdoor Center )
Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC)
Peters Valley School of Craft (Peters Valley)
Foster-Armstrong House and Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse (Montague History)
Walpack Center and Van Campen Inn (Walpack Historical Society)
Montague Grange (Montague Grange)
Pack a picnic:
All picnic areas are open except for those at George W. Childs Park and Van Campens Glen. Check the park website for group size limits and restrictions.
Grills are not provided anywhere in the park and are only permitted at Milford Beach, Turtle Beach, Smithfield Beach, Toms Creek Picnic Area, Bushkill General Store Picnic Area, Watergate Recreation Site, Hialeah Picnic Area, and Namanock Recreation Site.
Some areas are “carry in/carry out” so take all of your food scraps, trash, and other waste with you when you leave so that wild animals are not attracted to these areas.
Pitch a tent:
Valley View and Rivers Bend group campsites are available to groups of 5 or more people by reservation. Call (570) 426-2434 or email DEWA_Campground@nps.gov for information or to make a reservation.
Alosa River Campsites are available to river users by reservation. There are 6 individual campsites at this location. Go to recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 to reserve your riverside campsite before you visit. There is no vehicle access to these campsites.
Dingmans Campground offers tent and RV sites. For more information or to make a reservation visit their website at Dingmans Campground or call (570) 828-1551.
River camping is available to those on extended river trips in accordance with park regulations. Designated river campsites can be found on the park website.
Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail is permitted in accordance with park regulations.
A complete list of campgrounds, river campsites, and regulations is available on the park's website. Make reservations well in advance as campsites and campgrounds are in high demand during the summer months.
Watch water fall:
Visit the tallest waterfalls in PA and NJ! Raymondskill Falls in PA drops 165 feet in three segments while Buttermilk Falls on Mountain Road in Walpack, NJ tumbles 75' from side of Kittatinny Ridge. Both have stairs and an observation area. The Hackers Falls Trail and the Tumbling Waters Trail at Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) are also great places to check out waterfalls. There is no fee to visit waterfalls within the recreation area. Visit the park website for trail maps.
Take a stroll back in time: Visit Millbrook Village, a re-created nineteenth-century museum village where costumed rangers and volunteer guides provide tours and demonstrations of period crafts and trades. Millbrook buildings are open on Saturdays and on the first and third Sunday of the month from 10 am to 4 p.m. between June 15 and Sept. 2. The grounds are open for self-guided tours daily during daylight hours. Admission is free. Special events are held throughout the year.
Learn something new: Take a class or enroll in a workshop with one of our park partners. Make something of your summer at Peters Valley School of Craft where you can learn blacksmithing, ceramics, fiber arts, jewelry-making, and a host of other fine arts and crafts. Sign up for an orienteering or birdwatching program, learn how to build a fire, or attend Quilt Camp at PEEC. Take a guided hike, learn to use a map and compass, or take a wilderness first aid course at Mohican Outdoor Center. For a complete list of classes, workshops and programs and information on dates, times and how to register, visit the individual organization's website.
Tips for travelers:
Travel on Tuesday… or Wednesday, or Thursday to beat the crowds. Weekends are busy.
Plan ahead. Visit the park website or call ahead to find out what you can and can't do, where you can go, what you need to bring, and what you should leave at home.
Have a Plan B...and C in case the places you wish to visit are already full when you arrive. Many popular destinations are full by 10 a.m. on summer weekends.
Know before you go! Be aware of rules and regulations and check safety information for a fun and safe visit.
Learn more at nps.gov.