Part of the US National Park Service, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located along the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is a major recreational area in the Pocono Mountains region, with people coming from across the US to enjoy the many outdoor activities available there. For our visit in October, however, we were very limited on what we could do on the day we had to visit. It was a cold and rainy day, so we were relegated to a leisurely car ride heading north on US209 and returning back via River Road to our timeshare.
There are miles of trails for biking or hiking. The ranger in the visitor center told me that the best way to see wildlife would be to venture out on the McDade Trail, which includes raised boardwalks over protected wetlands as well as gravel footpaths through the forest.
For those looking for water activities including boating, fishing and the beach, there are several areas in this 70,000 acre park to spend on the water. Swimming in the Delaware River should be limited to those areas designated and protected with life guards. For boat launching and swimming area access there are fees charged to visitors.
For others who may be interested in waterfalls, some of the most accessible in the Northeast are located here. I remember taking the short (less than a mile roundtrip) hike to the Raymondskill Falls many years ago. Per the NPS brochure, the walk is on an easy, flat trail. There are several other waterfalls in the area that are also approachable on easy to moderate trails.
There is one campground located on the Pennsylvania side of the river near Dingmans Ferry and another over in New Jersey right off I80 in Worthington State Forest. There are fees to camp.
During our drive through, I was hoping to see some wildlife, but alas it must have been too cold and wet for even the deer and bears. The fall colors were beautiful, with peak foliage being predicted for the week of our visit. We were not disappointed with the vivid yellows, oranges and reds seen throughout the area.
For more information including seasonal hours and special use fees charged for the activities available in the Delaware Water Gap Nat'l Recreation Area, check out their website at: http://www.nps.gov/dewa/index.htm .