Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area along the Delaware River, which serves as the border between the American states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The park consists of property in both states.
Much of the Delaware Water Gap is very wild country, with lots of deer and other wildlife. The roads that go through most of the park are one lane each way, through often dense foliage, and it is easy to drive around in circles if you are not careful. The Delaware is relatively narrow at this point in its course, not nearly as broad as it is downstream in Philadelphia, let alone at its mouth into the Delaware Bay in the state of Delaware.
Interstate 80, which goes from Metro New York all the way to San Francisco goes right through the "gap" in the river. Interstate 84 skirts the northern edge of the park near Milford, Pennsylvania. In addition, US Route 209 travels the length of the park, and is the main route within it.
New Jersey Transit is working on a project to restore passenger service on the long defunct Lackawanna Cutoff, allowing train access from New York City, Hoboken, and other areas. However, the station is next to the Interstate 80 bridge, and is far north of the gap.
Fees and permits
Hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, rafting, tubing.
The Gap is the premier place to rock climb in New Jersey. The climbs are 150 feet (50 meters) to 300 feet (100 meters), climbing on Silurian Shawagunk Conglomerate, which is quartzite, with bands of shale from a half inch to four inches thick. Most cracks are horizontal, flaring out near the edge. Adjustable cams are probably the best for climbers to use. Most climbing is done on the New Jersey side due to easier access. Climbers can walk along the cement wall along I-80 until they pass the big wall on I-80 and then go up a path that follows the base of the big wall.
On the Pennsylvania side (Mount Minsi), park at the cold air cave pull-off on Route 611, then follow a steep and strenuous trail up the talus to the cliffs. Most routes are then to the left (south). The PA side has been closed to climbing during the nesting season for peregrine falcons. This has resulted in overgrowth of trails and climbing routes, providing an experience closer to the natural state than is found at more popular climbing destinations.
There are about 100 climbs on the New Jersey side. This is truly multi-pitch climbing because of the height of the wall. Once at the top of the wall on the New Jersey side, one can rappel down, climb down in the big chimney, or follow the gray dot trail back to Route 80. Hanging belays also occur on the wall depending on the climbing route. Climbs on the wall range from 5.1 to 5.13 on the Yosemite scale of climbing.
The path that follows the base of the big wall on the New Jersey side is steep, with poison ivy in the spring and summer. Occasionally there is falling rock, so one must use caution. The wall also has poison ivy growing on it. The sun shines on the wall from 10am to 3pm. The sound of Route 80 can be heard while climbing and is somewhat loud. This can severely affect communication between lead climber and belayer. This is one reason most lead climbers do not go too far from the belayer. The lead climber then sets up protection to belay the second.
- 1 Worthington State Forest - NJ, HC 62, Box 2, Columbia (Take Route 80 west to the last exit in New Jersey (Millbrook/Flatbrookville). At bottom of ramp, turn right. Office is three miles on left.), ☏ . Facilities & activities, interpretive programs, visitors center, trails, Dunnfield Creek Natural Area, Sunfish Pond Natural Area, camping, fishing, hunting, picnicking, boating, canoeing: electric motors, gas motors, trailer launch, cartop launch, Winter sports: cross-country skiing, snowmobiling trails: Appalachian Trail, hiking, biking on Old Mine Road
- Dingman's Campground, 1006 Route 209, Dingmans Ferry (http://www.dingmanscampground.com/Directions.aspx), ☏ , toll-free: . Camping, river trips, hiking, etc.
More private camping areas are around, too.
|Routes through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area|
|Stroudsburg ← East Stroudsburg ←||W E||→ Hope → Dover|
|Jct N ← Stroudsburg ←||N S||→ Easton → Doylestown|