Delaware Water Gap Attractions, Things To Do & Recreational Activities

Delaware Water Gap is calling! This valley has been nourished by nature and cherished by people since 12,000 years. The 70,000-acre park encompasses Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. Delaware Water Gap is the Gateway to Poconos and a perfect vacation pit stop for those looking for activities in the Pocono Mountains.

Why Visit Delaware Water Gap?

Delaware Water Gap is an area for endless outdoor recreation and a land with rich national history. The renowned ‘Water Gap’ is formed by passage of the Middle Delaware River between low forested mountains and mountain ridges. Delaware Water Gap houses significant Native American archeological sites, early Dutch settlement structures and colonial structures. There are many historic villages from 18th and 19th centuries, which are still intact. It is also a geological site with caves, karsts, and glacial landforms.

Weather and Time Zone at Delaware Water Gap

Weather is fun-friendly in almost all seasons in the Delaware Water Gap. 

  • SummerJune through August: Summer is the busiest months in Delaware Water Gap. The weather is comfortable with high temperatures. The temperature ranges between () to 56 ()
  • SpringMarch through May: Spring is the second busiest season in Delaware Water Gap. The weather in this season is moderately cold and the temperature ranges from () and ().
  • WinterDecember through February: Winters are fairly slow in Delaware Water Gap. The average temperature in these seasons is between 38.7 (3.7) and 27.8
  • Fall- September through November:  Fall is also a slow month for tourism in Delaware Water Gap. The temperature ranges between () and ().

Delaware Water Gap is located in the Eastern Time Zone, PA (GMT/UTC-4h during daylight saving & GMT/UTC-5h during standard time).

How to get to Delaware Water Gap?

The closest cities with bus services to Delaware Water Gap are New York, Philadelphia, and Newark. The Delaware Water Gap can be reached by Interstate-80, PA 611 and the DelawareLackawanna Railroad. Philadelphia, New York and Newark are 1 hr 50 min, 1 hr 12 min and 1 hr 13 min away respectively, depending on the traffic conditions. The closest airports to Delaware Water Gap are StroudsburgPocono Airport, Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport, and Blairstown Airport.

Entrance Fees and Park Timings

The entrances to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area are open 24 hours a day. The beaches and other sites are open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.

The entrance fees are as follows:

  • One day vehicles pass cost……….$10.00
  • One day individuals pass cost…..$02.00
  • Seasonal vehicle pass cost………..$45.00
  • Senior vehicle pass cost …………..$22.50

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area also collects expanded amenity fees at select locations. Park fees are collected at Smithfield Beach (PA), Bushkill Access (PA), Dingmans Access (PA), Milford Beach (PA), and Turtle Beach (NJ).

Things to do at Delaware Water Gap

  • Recreational Activities
  • Attractions near Delaware Water Gap
  • National Parks near Delaware Water Gap
  • Museums and Historic Places near Delaware Water Gap
  • Activities for Family and Kids
  • Shopping at Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area
  • Winter sports
  • Golfing
  • Seasonal Events

Recreational Activities: Immerse yourself in a plethora of recreational activities at the Delaware Water Gap. The top outdoor activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing, fishing, and rock climbing, just to name a few.

Attractions Nearby: Planning on a sightseeing tour?  Explore some amazing sites and attractions that are exclusive to the Delaware Water Gap like the Lakota Wolf Preserve, Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge, Brook Hollow Winery and others.

National Parks Nearby: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has a bunch of National Parks in its vicinity. Some of the National Parks near Delaware Water Gap are High Point State Park, Swartswood State Park, Brodhead Creek Park, Mount Nebo Park and George W. Childs Park.

Museums and Historic Places: Delaware Water Gap is known for its vacation appeal and historic sites. You can visit the Millbrook Village, Foster Armstrong House, Neldon-Roberts Stonehouse, Village of Bevans, and the Old Mine Road to learn more about the history of the region.

Activities for Family and Kids: There are multiple recreational opportunities that exist year-round for family groups and kids. For example, kids can complete activities from the Jr. Ranger Book (provided at the visitor’s center or pop-up ranger station) and be designated as a Junior Ranger of the Delaware Water Gap.

Shopping Nearby: Park Stores present within the area sell comprehensive map of the trail parks, souvenirs, books, nature-themed jewelry, games and toys for kids. You may also consider shopping at the village farmer and bakery for some farm-fresh produce.

Winter Sports: Delaware Water Gap has a list of winter sport activities in designated areas and in designated seasons like cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, ice climbing, ice skating, snow tubing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

Golfing in Delaware Water Gap: Delaware Water Gap has one golf course within the area and 29 golf courses nearby. The oldest golf course near Delaware Water Gap is the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, which was opened in the year 1906.

Seasonal Events: There are year-round events in Delaware Water Gap. You can explore events by location and season in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Places to Stay

If you are planning on staying at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area for a while, you might need to plan your accommodation. There are many options to consider like camping, hotels, lodges and vacation homes. At HolidayKeepers we offer a luxurious range of vacation rentals including cabins, cottages, villas and mansions. Get in touch with us for bookings and more information.

Delaware-water-gap-Infographic-Holidaykeepers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Delaware Water Gap know for?

The Delaware Water Gap is best known for the natural and distinct notch cut into the Kittatinny Ridge by the Delaware River, and its National Recreation Area has been a crowd magnet since the late 1900s.

Where is the Delaware Water Gap located in?

Delaware Water Gap is located in the Monroe County of Poconos, Pennsylvania. 

Can you go Swimming in the Delaware Water Gap?

Swimming is only allowed in the designated beaches located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Swimming is not permitted in the kayaking or boating area.

The Poconos houses some of the most spectacular national parks you can find anywhere. So it’s only obvious for people to relax at one of these parks when taking a break from the bustle of city life. If you happen to be visiting The Poconos or live nearby, you’d want to consider visiting the Delaware water gap national recreation area. 

There are plenty of reasons for you to visit this beautiful location – from biking to hiking and from dining to camping, there is something for everyone here.

But with so many available options, it might get challenging to identify the activities you should partake in. 

We are here to help.

In this article, you’ll find information on almost everything you can do when visiting Delaware water gap national recreation area so that you get to make up your mind and plan out the places you’d like to see there.

Let’s get into it.

General Information

The Delaware water gap recreation area is one of Pennsylvania’s most frequently visited national parks. It serves as a popular destination for millions of travelers every year.

The park is open year-round, but the most popular time is from May to October.

  • Park timings – Entrances are open 24 hours a day.
  • Passes – One day pass: individual $2, with vehicle $10

Biking

Apart from improving cardiovascular health and reducing body fat, biking can also help decrease stress levels in our bodies. And if you enjoy biking for fun, few places can compete with the beauty and serenity that the Delaware national recreation area has to offer. 

  • The McDade Recreational Trail runs parallel with the Delaware River. The 32-mile traveled road is popular among bikers wanting to go for a long ride within the recreation area.
  • Another great option for bikers is the Old Mine Road. This road also runs parallel with the Delaware River and offers beautiful farmland scenery and views of historic buildings.

Biking

Camping

You don’t have to sacrifice social gatherings to spend quality time in nature. Delaware’s national recreation area is a hotspot for travelers wanting to go on camping adventures. 

There are numerous sites you can choose from. Some camping sites include Valley View Group Campsite, Dingmans Campground, and Mohican Outdoor Center.

If you enjoy boat trips, the recreation area also has facilities for river camping. Just be sure to follow thor rules for your own and everyone else’s safety.

Camping

Fishing

Fishing is both challenging and fun. 

Fortunately, the recreation area provides plenty of opportunities to catch some of the most fantastic fish in the region. 

Running through 3 major states, The Delaware river enriches the land it passes through. The river has 40 fish species, including Pickerel, Catfish, and American shad

Though there was a decline in the number of shad fishes in 1900 due to industrial pollution, the number has significantly gone up in recent years. Many people gather in the gap for the sole purpose of fishing. 

There are many lakes and ponds within the recreation area to fish from, including Toms creek, Flat brook, and Hidden lake.

fishing

Hiking

Poconos is popular among hikers and has trails that lead to stunning scenery. You can take advantage of these hiking opportunities when visiting the Delaware recreation area.

Here are a few trail options located in the northern part of the gap:

  • Hackers – 1.4mi / 2.3km 
  • Cliff – 2.8mi / 4.5km
  • Milford Knob – 1.3mi / 2.0km
  • Conashaaugh View – 8.7mi / 14km
  • Sawkill Glen – 1.0mi / 1.6km

Some trails located in the center:

  • McDade Recreational – 32mi / 51.5km
  • Dingmans Creek – 0.4mi / 4.0 km
  • Upper Hornbecks Creek – 0.8mi / 1.3km
  • Lower Hornbecks Creek – 1.0mi / 1.6km
  • Fossil – 1.0mi / 1.6km

And some trails you can find in the southern part:

  • Coventry pond – 0.9mi / 1.5km
  • Hamilton Ridge – 2.8mi / 4.5km
  • Pioneer – 2.5mi / 4.0km
  • Coppermine – 2.0mi / 3.2km
  • Kaiser – 2.0mi / 3.2km

Hiking

Waterfalls

There is something extraordinarily soothing about waterfalls. There is something magical about the fall and flow that helps alleviate anxiety and stress. Not only does it look pretty, but it also helps nourish its surroundings with the most valuable resource on the planet – water!

The Delaware recreation area is home to several breathtaking Waterfalls. Here are a few of them:

  • Buttermilk Falls – With a height of about 200 feet, Buttermilk Falls is considered to be the highest waterfall in New Jersey. The drive to the waterfall is through a rural road that can be rough. Hence, the Walpack center to Mountain road route is recommended.
  • Raymondskill Falls – Another captivating waterfall that you can visit within the recreation area. 
  • Tumbling Waters – You can access the trail that leads to the waterfall at the Pocono Environmental Education Center. The multi-cascade waterfall provides outstanding views of the Delaware River valley.

Waterfalls

Old Mine Road

Legend has it that the Old mine road is one of the oldest, if not the oldest commercial roadways in the US. It was constructed in the mid-1600s and was utilized by farmers to move crops from New Jersey to different market areas. Presently, Old Mine Road is a popular destination for bikers and travelers alike.

Because the road has been around for such a long time, there are a bunch of stone houses, inns, and schools built along its path. This contributes to its historical value and makes it a must-see when visiting the Delaware recreation area.

  • Millbrook Village – The tiny village of Millbrook was once known as a thriving farm village in the Delaware region. It all started with the establishment of a grist mill in the 1800s. Currently, the remains of the town have become a hotspot for visitors wanting to explore its culture, traditions, and lifestyle as it was two centuries ago. 
  • Calno School – The Calno school was constructed to impart education to the kids of Millbrook village. The school was said to have 30 registered students, but the average daily attendance was about 15.
  • Van Campen Inn – This historic building was licensed to provide food and shelter to travelers. It also served as a safe house for refugees during the French-Indian war of 1754.

Old Mine Road

Dining

Let’s now discuss an essential aspect of any recreational visit – food! The Delaware area has some excellent eateries that serve mouthwatering dishes. You’ll find a number of restaurants serving up all sorts of different cuisines. 

Here are a few:

  • Walpack Inn – One of the oldest eating houses in the Poconos, Walpack Inn is a great place to get flavorful food when visiting the Delaware water gap recreation area. They are infamous for their In-house made brown bread, salad, and cocktails. 
  • Sycamore Grille – Located in the Delaware water gap area, Sycamore Grille is the place to go to get delightful chicken wings, potato fries, mozzarella sticks, and sandwiches.
  • Joe Bosco BBQ – Rated the best BBQ restaurant in 2021, this place serves up delicious smoked chicken and sausages. They also have a long list of sandwiches on their menu and are famous for their Brisket shepherds pie.

Dining

Where can you stay near the Delaware Water Gap? 

The best place to stay near Delaware Water Gap is Jim Thorpe and Leighton. You can check out some of the best vacation homes around the area at HolidayKeepers. The properties are located in isolated areas, giving you the utmost privacy.

All our holiday rentals have the amenities and furniture to make your stay worthwhile and a place that you call home, even when you are away from home. 

FAQ

  • The village of Delaware Water Gap was a focus of the early resort industry fostered by the railroads. And even more for Camping, Biking, Hiking, Boating, Fishing, Kayaking, Canoeing, and recreational water activities.
  • The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area spans approximately 70,000 acres, including the Delaware River, Millbrook Village, Dingmans Falls, Kittatinny Ridge, and a few more.
  • Blue Mountain Lake is a fantastic photography destination. Head up early in the morning for some beautiful golden light and crystalline water, later in the day for a sunset, or on a dramatic misty day for a panoramic photograph.
  • Lake Harmony is around 33 miles from the Delaware water gap, and there are few privately owned vacation rental properties if you are planning a luxurious stay.
  • Delaware Water Gap is located in the Monroe County of Poconos, Pennsylvania. 
  • Swimming is only allowed on the designated beaches located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Swimming is not permitted in the kayaking or boating area.

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