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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic River

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic River - BEST Places to Picnic

Bushkill, PA 18324-9999

Phone
Visitor Information - HQ
(570) 426-2452
Park Business/Lost & Found/Emergency:
(570) 426-2435

Explore a River and its Valley

For 40 miles the Middle Delaware River passes between low forested mountains with barely a house in sight. Then the river cuts through the mountain ridge to form the famed "Water Gap." Exiting the park, the river will run 200 miles more to Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean at Wilmington, Delaware.

YOURS TO EXPLORE ...

  • 40 miles of calm river
  • 67,000 acres of valley the world-famous "Water Gap"
  • 100 miles of trails along streams, ridges, and mountains
    27 miles of the Appalachian Trail
  • bountiful wildlife
  • Waterfalls
  • hemlock and rhododendron ravines
  • 200 miles of scenic roadways
  • historic villages
  • 200 structures from the valley's
  • colonial and recent past
  • a park formed by a river's might
  • and a people's conservation conviction

Things to Do

The Delaware River is the primary focus of recreational activity in the park with canoeing, kayaking. boating, fishing, and swimming. In addition, the recreation area offers more 100 miles of hiking trails, including more than 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Also popular are biking, cross-country skiing, horse backing riding rock climbing, and the quieter pursuits of picnicking, eagle-watching, and auto-touring the scenic countryside. Hunting is permitted in most parts of the recreation area. These and other activities are detailed under More to Do Outdoors.

Within the park are many structures and landscapes that represent the history of the Delaware Valley. In summer, demonstrations and programs enliven the park's Historic Places to Go.

Special Programs
Craft demonstrations and house tours on weekends in summer.
Annual Special Events
Historic Activities Day on a weekday in late May. Open to schools only, not the general public.
Millbrook Days on the first weekend that is fully in October
"Octivities" (autumn activities for children) on a Saturday in October
Victorian Holidays on a weekend in early December
Maple Sugaring on a Saturday in early March
Park Calendar of Events
Exhibits
Spangenburg Cabin, a log cabin near the parking lot, contains exhibits and information.
Available Services
Restrooms, water, parking; hiking trails nearby.

Historic Houses of Montague NJ

Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (M.A.R.C.H.), staffs Foster-Armstrong and Nelden-Roberts Houses with volunteer guides from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays during summer months. Both sites are also available for tours by appointment from January through October.

Foster-Armstrong House (circa 1790) is often the site for special programs, speakers, and holiday weekends. The house is usually open also on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday morning of each month. Call to confirm hours (973) 293-3106.

Foster-Armstrong House is located at 320 River Road/Route 521, just north of the New Jersey end of the Route 206 (Milford-Montague) bridge.

Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse hosts special events on selected Sundays in summer. See the Calendar of Events for details.

Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse is located at 501 Route 206, just south of the New Jersey end of the Route 206 (Milford-Montague) bridge.

For more information, contact:
M.A.R.C.H.
P.O. Box 1101
Montague NJ 07827
or call
(973) 293-3106

Walpack Center & Van Campen Inn NJ

Walpack Center NJ/Walpack Historical Society
Walpack Center NJ is an authentic example of a local valley village. Now used for park housing, storage, and offices, its commercial and social life have dwindled, but it retains many original structures, including the village church, in a virtually unaltered 19th century landscape. The village's Main (and only) Street intersects NPS Rt. 615 about 4 miles south of Peters Valley NJ.
Walpack Historical Society maintains an office and small museum in the old village post office (above, right). For hours and more information, contact the society at (973) 948-6671. Additional information on the village is contained in the park bulletin on
Military Trail at the right.

Van Campen Inn/Van Campen Day
Built around 1746, Van Campen Inn (above, middle) is one of the oldest homes in the recreation area, and has been restored by the National Park Service. Van Campen Inn is located 5 miles south of Peters Valley NJ, on the original roadbed of Old Mine Road. (The roadbed is dirt but is passable for cars.) Walpack Historical Society opens this house on Sundays in summer. Hours may vary.

Van Campen Day is a yearly event, usually planned for the third Sunday in October. (Check the Park Calendar of Events for the exact date) The celebration can includes tours of the inn, hikes along Military Trail, craft demonstrations, and an army encampment, all on the grounds of Van Campen Inn.

Military Trail
Van Campen Inn and Walpack Center are about 10 miles away by car, but they are only a mile away from each other via a section of Military Road, a colonial supply route which once ran from Van Campen Inn on Old Mine Road east to Elizabeth NJ. A section of Military Road, called Military Trail, climbs up and over Walpack Ridge and makes an interesting and short history hike between Van Campen Inn and Walpack Center. For a trail guide, please link to the park bulletin at the right.

Places to Picnic

  • George W. Childs Recreation Site
  • Hialeah
  • Hidden Lake Recreation Site
  • Kittatinney Point Visitor Center
  • Milford Beach
  • Millbrook Village
  • Smithfield Beach
  • Toms Creek
  • Van Campens Glen Recreation Site
  • Watergate Recreation Site

Nature

The recreation area encompasses 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest, and floodplain on both sides of the Delaware River in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Among the more surprising species of animals in the park are black bear, timber rattlesnakes, bald eagles, and, recently, nesting peregrine falcons. Ecosystems include hemlock ravines with bountiful rhododendron and ridge tops with prickly pear cactus.

Forty miles of the Middle Delaware River are within the park, as well as trout streams, lakes, ponds, and some of the highest waterfalls of either state. Water quality is exceptional in this section of the valley. The river's path through the mountains includes the S-curves of Walpack Bend and the Delaware Water Gap.

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