• Fulmer Falls at George W. Childs Park

    Delaware Water Gap

    National Recreation Area NJ,PA

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Hornbecks Creek Trail Partial Closure

    The trail is closed between the first and second waterfall; a portion of the trail has sloughed off, causing a hazardous condition. The first waterfall is accessible from the 209 trailhead and the second waterfall is accessible from Emory Road.

  • Dingmans Falls Area and Road Closed

    Dingmans Falls Visitor Center, the boardwalk trail to the falls, and the access road are closed through while repairs to the road are made. We anticipate the area reopening in mid-November.

Agricultural Permits (Farm Fields)

Farming the Park

With nearly 3,000 acres in agricultural production, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area leads the national park system in the number of acres farmed.

Agriculture plays a very important role in managing the landscape of the recreation area. Without farming, the fields would quickly turn into forest, and farmed fields are part of the cultural landscape -- how the area of the park appeared historically.

The park issues permits for "ag" fields to area farmers through multi-year contracts. In addition to the croplands, farmers have the responsibility of keeping other lands open for wildlife, usually by mowing every couple of years or planting native grasses. Thus, agriculture provides habitat for wildlife.

In order to protect the land from pesticide use, erosion, and other problems associated with modern-day farming practices, farmers must follow a conservation plan developed in consultation with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Our farmers provide valuable services to the park. They keep open areas open, they use their own equipment to help the park complete projects like planting native grasses, and they perpetuate a nearly 1,000-year-old tradition of agriculture in this scenic river valley. Wildlife, birdwatchers, hunters, and park visitors in general all enjoy the benefits of the recreation area's agricultural leasing program.

The agricultural leasing program is managed through the recreation area's Division of Research and Resource Planning in Milford PA. For further information call (570) 296-6952 or e-mail.


Feature articles:
Agriculture in the Park (1989) | Farming the Park (2000) | Corn, an American Native (2000)

Did You Know?

A small steamboat passing a beach with rowboats

... that a century before this recreation area was formed, the Delaware Water Gap was touted as a Wonder of the World, and drew vacationers via rail lines from Philadelphia and New York City. There were trails to stroll, verandas for viewing the gap, and a steamboat for moonlight cruises. More...