The 70,000-acre park Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was the 10th most-visited national park in the country in 2020, with 4.1 million visits recorded. As the area emerges from the pandemic, this year promises to be just as busy.
Visitors can plan ahead by calling the information desk at 570-426-2452 or visiting the park’s Facebook page or webpage (nps.gov/dewa). The Current Conditions section includes up-to-date information on Covid-19 health and safety measure.
Some services remain limited or unavailable. For information on accessible facilities in the park visit the park’s website or call 570-426-2434.
Cool off on the river
All beaches and boat/canoe launches are open for the season. A $10 per car fee is charged 7 days a week; annual passes are available for $45.
● The Cadoo Recreation Site in New Jersey has a hand-launch access open Monday mornings through Friday evenings and is closed on weekends; there is no charge to use the access.
● Lifeguards will be on duty at Milford Beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Monday, beginning June 20 and ending Aug. 28.
● Inflatable pool toys are not permitted within designated swimming areas and lifejackets are recommended when lifeguards are not on duty.
● Rentals: Visit the park website for a list of businesses in the area that rent canoes, kayaks, tubes, and rafts and provide transportation, bring your own boat. Always wear a properly fitted and fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket when on or near the water. Lifejackets must be worn by children 12 and under while aboard any vessel.
Go for a ride...or a drive
● The McDade Trail in Pennsylvania is a great place to ride your bike (and it’s the only trail in the park where bikes are permitted). Visit the park website for information on bicycle rentals in the area. Take a scenic drive and enjoy the views.
● Blue Mountain Lakes Road, upper section, and Skyline Drive will be open to vehicles on weekdays beginning May 10. They will remain closed to vehicles on weekends, from Friday at dusk until noon on Monday. These roads will be closed to all users later in the summer for road work including re-grading, resurfacing, and drainage improvements. Updates will be posted on the park’s website and Facebook page as construction schedules are finalized.
● Freeman Tract Road off River Road in Middle Smithfield Township is closed weekends, closing on Friday evenings and re-opening on Monday mornings.
● Mountain Road in New Jersey will remain closed to vehicles due to construction on a historic culvert. The road is open to pedestrians wishing to visit Buttermilk Falls.
● Old Mine Road near Watergate in New Jersey will be open, but motorists may experience single-lane closures with traffic control due to ongoing construction in the area through July.
● National Park Drive, dirt section, in the Slateford Farm area is closed to vehicles due to construction.
● Route 209 near Adams Creek will be closed evenings from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. from June through July due to construction work on the bridge over the creek. A detour to and from the Milford area will be in place via Route 739 and Milford Road.
Visit and tour historic homes and villages, learn about nature, practice outdoor adventure skills, or learn a fine craft. These facilities include the 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), and Montague Grange (Montague Grange).
Pitch a tent
● 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. To make a reservation call 570-828-1551.
● River camping is available to those on extended river trips. 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.
Pick a place to picnic
● All picnic areas are open except for those at George W. Childs Park, which remains closed for construction. Check the park website for restrictions.
● Grills are not provided anywhere in the park, but visitors may bring their own to one of the following designated picnic areas:
● In Pennsylvania, there’s Milford Beach, Smithfield Beach, Toms Creek Picnic Area, Bushkill General Store Picnic Area, Hialeah Picnic Area (open weekdays only).
● New Jersey has Turtle Beach and Namanock Recreation Site.
Most areas are “carry in/carry out,” so take all food scraps and other waste with you so that wild animals are not attracted to these areas. Picnicking and food preparation and consumption are prohibited at Raymondskill Creek, trails, and parking areas, from the park boundary to the confluence of the Delaware River, including Hackers Falls and trail; Point of Gap overlook parking area and riverbank along Route 611; Sawkill Creek from park boundary to the confluence with the Delaware River (including the Mott Street Bridge and pool below the bridge); Riverview Trailhead parking area for the McDade Recreational Trail on River Road; and Karamac Trail and riverbank.
For the best experience, visit waterfalls on a weekday, early in the morning, or at twilight. Picnicking is not allowed at any of the waterfall areas. Swimming is prohibited within 50 feet upstream from the top of all waterfalls.
● Dingmans Falls: Dingmans Falls Visitor Center will remain closed this year. The trail is open daily, and the access roads are now open on weekdays, from noon on Mondays to dusk on Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, the roads will be closed to vehicles and only open to pedestrians.
● Buttermilk Falls: Mountain Road in New Jersey will remain closed to vehicles due to construction but is open to pedestrians wishing to access Buttermilk Falls.
● George W. Childs Park remains closed for construction.
Take a hike
All trails are open except the following which will remain closed until further notice due to public hazard or ongoing construction work:
● George W. Childs Park trails remain closed for construction.
● Conashaugh Equestrian Trail remains closed for construction.
● Adams Creek drainage area and White Pines trailhead for the McDade Trail are closed from May 1 to Sept. 30 to protect natural and cultural resources.