Park service announces winter road closures and reduced visitor services

Bushkill. A few of the more than 150 miles of road within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been determined to be of highest priority for snow and ice removal.But even high-priority roads will be closed temporarily if conditions deteriorate faster than road crews can keep up with them.

24 Nov 2019 | 01:52

Although the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area provides year-round recreation, services are reduced during the winter, including the closure of some roads and visitor use sites.

“Plowing and treating the main roads through the park is our top priority when we have snow and ice,” said John Lambert, Chief of Maintenance at the park.

Secondary roads, administrative buildings, and visitor use sites that will remain open for the winter will be plowed after the main roads have been cleared and are safe for travel, he said. These areas may be closed temporarily in the interim and may not re-open for several days following a storm. Some park roads will receive no winter maintenance and will be closed to vehicles from Jan. 2 to April 15.

Of the more than 150 miles of dirt and paved roads within the recreation area, a few have been determined to be of highest priority for snow and ice removal. These roads provide critical access in emergencies and routes for residents living in park boundaries. But even high-priority roads will be closed temporarily if conditions deteriorate faster than road crews can keep up with them, or in the event of equipment failures or breakdowns.

Pennsylvania

US Route 209 is the top priority road for winter maintenance and treatment in Pennsylvania.

River Road will be closed before snow or ice storms and will not be re-opened until priority routes are clear and safe.

Zion Church Road will be plowed after River Road has been opened.

The Bushkill Meeting Center on Route 209 will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, except federal holidays. From Jan. 2 to April 15, hours of operation will be Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New Jersey

Roads to will remain open are:

° Route 602 (from Millbrook Village to the NPS boundary)

° NPS Route 615

° Old Mine Road (between Flatbrookville and Pompey Ridge Road)

° Pompey Ridge Road to Route 615

° Old Mine Road between Millbrook and Flatbrookville

These roads will be closed from Jan. 2 to April 15:

° Mountain Road

° The dirt section of Old Mine Road south of Van Campen Inn

° The Old Mine Road from Worthington State Forest to Millbrook Village

The portion of Old Mine Road south of Millbrook may be opened temporarily during this period if there is no snow or ice on the pavement surface or in the forecast. If this happens, crews will close the road well ahead of any forecast of snow or ice so that they can focus on other identified priority routes.

Blue Mountain Lakes Road will remain open up to the parking area and will be closed beyond that point for the season.

River access

Winter river access will be available at Smithfield Beach, Milford Beach, and Bushkill . These areas will be closed temporarily during storms and re-opened after priority routes are clear and safe for travel.

River ice may limit access. The park service does not clear river ice from launch areas. The Eshback access will remain open but will receive no winter maintenance.

Trail access

All trails that are currently open will remain open during the winter, but trailhead parking will depend on conditions and may be limited in some areas. Road closures may also affect access to trails.

Trailhead parking areas will not be cleared of ice and snow until after all priority routes are clear and safe for travel.

Access to the McDade Recreational Trail will be available at Smithfield Beach, Park Headquarters, Bushkill Access, and Milford Beach. The parking lot and access road to Dingmans Falls will be closed from Jan. 2 to April 15, but the trail will remain open and visitors may walk, ski, or snowshoe to the falls. The upper parking lot for Raymondskill Falls will be closed from the first snowfall until April 15, but the lower parking lot will remain open, as conditions permit.

Restrooms

Restrooms are available at Kittatinny Point Picnic Area and Millbrook Village in New Jersey and at Smithfield Beach, Bushkill Meeting Center, Bushkill Access, and Milford Beach in Pennsylvania.

More information

Areas that will be closed through the winter were selected based on the winterization of water supply systems, reduced custodial and maintenance staff, safety requirements, and other priorities for snow and ice removal.

For more information on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and site openings and closures, call the Bushkill Meeting Center at 570-588-7237, visit nps.gov/dewa, or follow Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS.