The stunning view of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as seen by canoe‚ kayak or raft from the Delaware River is as unspoiled as it was for the region’s native Lenape Indians hundreds of years ago. For 40 miles‚ the Delaware River passes between scenic low-forested mountains‚ then cuts through a mountain ridge to form the famed water gap that the 70‚000-acre park is known for.
“Probably the most significant asset in the park – and one of the most significant to the Poconos – is the Delaware River‚ which is the last major undammed river in the east‚” says Bill Halainen‚ a management assistant at the park.
More than 5 million visitors flock to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area each year‚ making it one of the most visited sites within the country’s national park system. With 100 miles of hiking trails‚ including 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail‚ as well as historic villages‚ scenic waterfalls‚ river beaches‚ campgrounds and canoe campsites‚ the park provides a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. To better accommodate the growing influx of visitors‚ the park recently completed construction on a new visitor center at Kittatinny Point‚ located in New Jersey between Interstate 80 and the Delaware River. While Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area enjoys year-round popularity‚ Halainen says its peak visitation months are July‚ August and October.
“Summer weekends at our beaches‚ Milford and Smithfield‚ can be very busy‚ but much of the rest of the park is less crowded‚ particularly the ridge line trails‚” says Halainen.