DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Planning a paddling trip on the Delaware River but only have one vehicle? Or perhaps you’d like to hit the McDade Trail to get some mileage in on your bike but don’t want to ride all the way back? Want to visit the busiest waterfall in the park on a weekend, or hike the most-popular trails in the Gap on a holiday?
At Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, there’s a shuttle for that. And they are free.
The National Park Service, in partnership with Monroe County Transit Authority (MCTA), offers three different shuttle services to help reduce congestion in busy areas and help visitors, and their gear, get around. The shuttles operate within the park between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
River Runner: As the name suggests, the river runner shuttle provides access to park’s four Pennsylvania river access points, which this year includes the addition of Milford Beach. This shuttle can carry up to 10 kayaks or canoes, and 4 bicycles. The River Runner route begins at the Park and Ride in the borough of Delaware Water Gap at 8:10 a.m., with northbound shuttles running every contiguous hour until 1:15 p.m. The southbound route begins at Milford Beach at 10:00 am, with shuttles running every contiguous hour until 3:05 p.m. Visitors can flag the River Runner at several additional “flag stop” locations along the way.
“This route has been very popular with people who want to take a paddling trip using personally owned canoes and kayaks by eliminating the need to take two vehicles and cutting out the extra driving needed to leave a vehicle at the entry and exit points,” said Zach Piotrowski, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the park. “You just load your vessel on the trailer, hop on the northbound shuttle, and then paddle back to your car. It couldn’t be easier.”
Raymondskill Falls Shuttle: New this year! The Raymondskill Falls Shuttle will be the only way to access the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania by vehicle between 10 am and 4 pm on weekends and holidays, from May 27 through Labor Day, September 4. This shuttle picks up and drops off passengers at the Milford Knob Trailhead (also known as the North Contact Station), and operates every 20 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Raymondskill Falls is one of the park’s most popular, and therefore busiest destinations, especially on summer weekends when visitation is highest throughout the park. The parking lots, trails, and other facilities were not designed to accommodate the large numbers of visitors surging through the site on weekends and traffic and congestion have created safety issues. Shuttle-only access during core hours on weekends is intended to provide safe access to the falls for our visitors while also protecting park resources and facilities. The parking lots at Raymondskill Falls will be open as usual when the shuttle is not operating.
Water Gap Hiker Shuttle: The Hiker Shuttle runs between Kittatinny Point, Dunnfield Creek, and the Borough of Delaware Water Gap on select holiday weekends. The shuttle begins at the Delaware Water Gap Park and Ride at Exit 310 off Interstate 80 at 10 am, with buses running every thirty minutes until 5:30 pm. The Hiker Shuttle will operate on the following holiday weekends: May 27 – 31, July 1,2 and 4; and September 2-4, 2023.
Parking areas for the Appalachian Trail and trails on Mt. Tammany and Mt. Minsi often fill to capacity early in the day on weekends, especially holiday weekends when the park is busiest. The Hiker Shuttle allows visitors to avoid the traffic and congestion at trailhead parking areas and provides access to some of the park’s most popular trails.
MCTA also provides a connector bus that stops in Swiftwater, Stroudsburg, and the Martz Bus Station in Delaware Water Gap before stopping at the Park and Ride where one can take one of the park shuttles.
For additional information, visit the MCTA website for shuttle routes within the park.
For more information on the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area call the information desk at 570-426-2452 or visit their website at www.nps.gov/dewa.