Stretching for 40 miles along the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses nearly 70,000 acres. Popular with artists and wealthy vacationers during the late 1800s, the gap is a picturesque break in the Kittatinny Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The park is threaded by the Delaware River. Wooded Mount Tammany and Mount Minsi rise abruptly 1,200 feet above the river at the Water Gap.
More than 200 miles of scenic roads meander through the valleys and ridges of the park. Trails, wildlife, historic structures and waterfalls can be viewed along the way. A 27-mile portion of the Appalachian Trail winds its way along Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
A variety of trails offer hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing opportunities. Camping is permitted in designated areas. Backcountry camping is permitted only along the Appalachian Trail, where regulations are in effect. Open fires are prohibited. On summer weekends lifeguards are on duty at Smithfield Beach, Milford Beach and Turtle Beach; the beaches charge a fee April through October. Canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing (with state license) are permitted on the Delaware River. There are multiple access points; developed access points charge fees.
New Jersey's Millbrook Village, 12 miles north of Kittatinny Point Visitor Center along Old Mine Road, is a re-created rural community featuring residences and other buildings of the late 19th century. On weekends in summer interpreters in period dress demonstrate rural lifestyles; phone (908) 841-9531 on weekends Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. During the Millbrook Days event in September, a hundred interpreters bring the village to life.
Raymondskill Falls, off US 209 at Milepost 18 on Raymondskill Road, is Pennsylvania's tallest waterfall. The upper falls are reached via a hike through a hemlock ravine, and the middle falls are reached via a hike with steep, uneven stairs. The upper falls hike is a quarter-mile round-trip, and the middle falls hike is a half-mile round-trip.
Dingmans Falls, Pennsylvania's second highest waterfall, is off Johnny Bee Road between Mileposts 12 and 13 on US 209 in Dingmans Ferry. A level, quarter-mile boardwalk leads to the bottom of the falls; for those who want to venture to the top, a steep, 240-step staircase awaits. The trail is open daily dawn-dusk (weather permitting); the road closes in winter due to snow and ice. Dingmans Falls Visitor Center offers information Wed.-Thurs. 9-5 and Fri.-Sun. 9-6, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Phone (570) 828-6125 to confirm schedule.
Kittatinny Point Visitor Center, just off the I-80 toll bridge that crosses into New Jersey, has exhibits and free literature. The center is open Mon.-Tues. 9-5 and Fri.-Sun. 9-6, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Phone (908) 496-4458 to confirm schedule.
Park headquarters is in Bushkill, Pa., 1 mile east of US 209 on River Road. It is open Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30; closed federal holidays. Phone (570) 426-2452.
Peters Valley School of Craft, at the junction of CR 615 and Old Mine Road near Layton, N.J., has several historic buildings that have been converted into studios for artisans, a gallery and a craft store; phone (973) 948-5202.
Pennsylvania's Pocono Environmental Education Center is off US 209 on Brisco Mountain Road, 7 miles north of Bushkill. The center offers guided treks, weekend ecology camps and naturalist-led activities; phone (570) 828-2319.