DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – The trail crew at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on July 18 will begin making repairs to the Dingmans Falls boardwalk trail, a quarter-mile trail that leads to Silverthread and Dingmans Falls.
During construction, the boardwalk trail will be closed on weekdays and an alternate route to the 130-foot Dingmans Falls, the second tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania, will be available for use. The entire boardwalk trail will be open on weekends as usual. Trail work is expected to be completed early fall.
“The Dingmans Falls boardwalk trail is one of the most-popular destinations in the park, but the trail is worn and in need of repairs from the heavy use,” pointed out Jesse Rourke, trail crew supervisor. Over the recent July 4th holiday weekend, trail counters indicated an estimated 1,730 visitors used the boardwalk at Dingmans Falls over the course of 3 days. “Workers are looking forward to getting started on this important project that will help reduce maintenance needs along the trail for years to come while ensuring that visitors have safe access to the trail and to the stunning scenery that Dingmans ravine offers.”
Trail work will include replacement of the original composite decking material that was installed when the boardwalk trail was first constructed in the 1990’s and installation of new planks on the second trail bridge to replace those that are damaged. Railings and bridge and trail structures will also be assessed and replaced as necessary.
During weekday construction, visitors can access Dingmans Falls via an alternate route. The temporary trail to the falls begins behind the visitor center and is identified by signs. The quarter-mile alternative is a mixed gravel path with a short, steep hill at the beginning and a gradual decline down to the falls viewing platform area. The temporary trail is not wheelchair accessible, however the entire boardwalk trail will be open on weekends during the construction period.
Additionally, visitors cannot get to Silverthread Falls on weekdays during the early stages of construction, but the stunning 80-foot waterfall can be reached on weekends.
“Once work proceeds to a point where it is safe for both visitors and workers to re-open the first section of the trail to Silverthread Falls on weekdays, we will do so,” Rourke said.
For more information on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, call 1-570-426-2452; visit their website at www.nps.gov/dewa.