News Department

National Park Service is ready to welcome summer visitors at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Employees at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been busy gearing up and getting facilities ready for a busy summer season.

The 70,000-acre national park unit in PA and NJ and was the 14th most-visited national park unit in the country in 2022 with 4.4 million visits recorded.

“We’ve been planning ahead, hiring seasonal staff, preparing sites, and getting the park ready to welcome the influx of visitors we are expecting as the weather warms,” said Zach Piotrowski, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the park. “But for the best trips, we recommend that visitors plan ahead too.” To learn how to Plan Like a Park Ranger visit the park’s website for tips.

Take a Hike:  With approximately 150 miles of trails in the park, including 22 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, there is a trail for everyone, whether an avid hiker or just starting out.  Visit the park website for directions and information on hiking trails. 

Some trails, including waterfall trails and the trails to the tops of Mt. Tammany and Mt. Minisi are very busy and can be crowded on weekends.  Parking areas for popular trails often fill very early in the day during the busy summer season, especially on weekends. Piotrowski suggest that visitors arrive early and have “back-up” plans to visit different destinations in the park in case the area they would like to visit is already at capacity.

Cool Off In, or On, the River: All beaches and boat/canoe launches are open for the season. A $10/car fee is charged 7 days a week; annual passes are available for $45. Call the visitor information desk at Park Headquarters for information on where passes can be purchased.

Park rangers remind visitors to always wear a properly fitted and fastened US Coast Guard-approved lifejacket when on or near the water. Lifejackets must be worn by children 12 and under while aboard any vessel.  Lifejackets save lives, but they only work if they are worn and worn properly. 

Go for a Ride… or a Drive:

  • The McDade Trail in PA 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.
  • Skyline Drive and the upper section of Blue Mountain Lakes Road will be closed to vehicles on weekends, from Friday at dusk until noon on Monday, starting May 26.
  • Freeman Tract Road off River Road in Middle Smithfield Township will be closed weekends, closing on Friday evenings and re-opening on Monday mornings, beginning May 26.
  • Route 611 at the southern end of the park is closed for repairs.  The park’s three scenic overlooks along Route 611- Arrow Island, Point of Gap, and Resort Point- are closed until further notice.
  • Check the park website for updates on planned construction, road work, and road closures.

Visit one of our partner-operated sites: The park works in partnership with several not-for-profit and volunteer organizations who offer a variety of programs and services for the pubic. Thanks to these park partners, visitors can visit and tour historic buildings, learn about nature, practice outdoor adventure skills, or learn a fine craft.

Check their websites for hours and program offerings:

Pitch a Tent: Make reservations well in advance as campsites and campgrounds are in high demand during the summer months. A complete list of campgrounds, river campsites, and regulations is available on the park’s website.

  • Dingmans Campground is located on the banks of the Delaware River and offers tent and RV sites. For more information or to make a reservation, visit their website at DingmansCampground or call (570) 828-1551.
  • Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail is permitted in accordance with park regulations.

There are 3 different options for camping along the nearly 40-mile stretch of the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River within the park.  Reservations are required to use these sites and there is a camping fee in addition to any parking fees that may apply. To make a reservation and pay the camping fee go to or call (877) 444-6777 prior to arriving in the park.  Reservations cannot be made in person.

  • Primitive river campsites are available by reservation to those on extended river trips in accordance with park regulations. These sites are only accessible from the river and the cost per site per night is $16. Reservations are made by selecting a river zone with individual sites chosen upon arrival.
  • Valley View and Rivers Bend Group Campsites are available by reservation at a cost of $100/night with a limit of 25 people per site.  These sites are accessible from the river and by vehicle.
  • Alosa River Campsites are accessible only from the river and allow campers to reserve a specific site rather than a zone. There are 6 individual campsites at this location.

Pick a Place to Picnic: Whether you’re packing a picnic basket or planning a barbecue, it’s important to know where you can picnic and where you cannot before you pack the kitchen sink. 

Grills are not provided anywhere in the park, but visitors may bring their own grill to one of the following designated picnic areas:

  • In PA: Milford Beach, Smithfield Beach, Toms Creek Picnic Area, Bushkill General Store Picnic Area, Hialeah Picnic Area (open weekdays only); and
  • In NJ: Turtle Beach and Namanock Recreation Site.

These sites are in high demand and fill quickly.  Park Rangers recommend that visitors pack food that does not need to be cooked prior to consumption in case sites that allow grills and other cooking devices are already full when they arrive. 

Most areas are “carry in/carry out.”  That means visitors should take all food scraps, trash, and other waste home with them when they leave so that wild animals are not attracted to these areas.

To protect park resources, including wildlife, and to reduce trash, picnicking and food preparation and consumption are prohibited at the following areas:

  • 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;
  • Van Campens Glen;
  • Riverview Trailhead parking area for the McDade Recreational Trail on River Road; and
  • Karamac Trail and riverbank.

Watch Water… Fall: Because of the unique geography and geology of the area, the park boasts several stunning waterfalls that are free to visit. From water rushing over a steep cliff to rambling streams with gentle cascades, there is a waterfall for everyone. Waterfalls are among the most popular and busiest destinations in the park, especially on summer weekends when visitation swells. For the best experience, visit on a weekday, early in the morning, or at twilight.

To protect park visitors and resources, including wildlife, picnicking is not allowed at any of the waterfall areas and visitors are expected to take everything they brought in back home with them when they leave. Swimming is prohibited within 50 feet upstream from the top of all waterfalls and in other areas as posted.

  • Dingmans Falls: The boardwalk trail is open daily during daylight hours.
  • Raymondskill Falls will be accessible only by shuttle from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and select holidays from May 27 to September 4, 2023.  The shuttle is free.  Parking for the Raymondskill Falls Shuttle is at the Milford Knob trailhead on Route 209, about two miles north of Raymondskill Road.
  • Buttermilk Falls: Mountain Road in NJ is open to vehicles from the Walpack Cemetery to the Three Bridges area within the Flatbrook-Roy Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  It remains closed at the southern end within the WMA.
  • George W. Childs Park remains closed for construction. The site is anticipated to re-open in 2024.

Accessibility: For information on accessible facilities in the park visit the park’s website or call 570-426- 2452. Audio files of exhibit panels located throughout the park can be downloaded before visiting: Wayside Audio – Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (

Get information online, by phone, or in person:

  • Visit the park website at
  • Follow us on Facebook at
  • Stop in at Park Headquarters: The visitor center at Park Headquarters is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm excluding federal holidays.
  • Call the information desk at Park Headquarters at (570) 426-2452 during business hours.
  • Dingmans Falls Visitor Center is open to the public from 9 am to 4:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from May 27 until June 25, including Memorial Day.  The visitor center will be open Fridays through Mondays from June 30 to September 4.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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