A Handbook for Managers of Cultural Landscapes with Natural Resource Values Conservation Study Institute
Aerial view of valley, NPS photo
Aerial view of valley, NPS photo



The Issue


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Aerial view of valley, NPS photo
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Along the Delaware River in New Hersey and Pennsylvania

Contact: Superintendent

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
1 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324

NPS photo
Aerial view of valley and farm fields at
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Introduction to the Site as a Cultural Landscape: Recognizing Cultural and Natural Resource Values

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses nearly 70,000 acres, including four designated national historic districts and one national historic landmark. Many other areas within the park are potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The park straddles the Delaware River between Port Jervis, New York, and Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, and includes several townships in New Jersey.

courtesy of NPS
Fields at the Roberts Farm are leased to an organic farmer.

The geology and geography of the Delaware River valley affected settlement patterns and influenced building materials and architectural styles, all of which are reflected in the area’s cultural landscape. Much of the historic fabric of the area was destroyed in preparation for the Tocks Island Dam and Reservoir, but barns, corn cribs, and farm houses, along with a patchwork of open spaces, cultivated fields, forests, and stone fences, all offer existing evidence of the valley’s agricultural past. As a result of the valley’s long settlement in historic and prehistoric times, there are also numerous archaeological sites scattered throughout.

The water gap is a distinctive geologic feature carved by the course of the Delaware River across the Kittatinny Ridge of the Appalachian Mountain chain. Natural areas within the park include native terrestrial forests, wetland and riparian areas, hemlock ravines and rhododendron glades, waterfalls, upland native grasslands, and river valley bottomlands. Suitable habitat exists for a variety of state-listed plant and animal species, and for three federally listed animal species. The Kittatinny Ridge is part of one of the major flyways for hawk migration. Peregrine falcons, golden eagles, merlins, and ospreys are some of the rarer hawks that have been sighted passing through the park during migration. Bald eagles use the park as winter habitat and have recently made several unsuccessful nesting attempts.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Gettysburg National Military Park

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

The Presidio:
Crissy Field

The Presidio:
Presidio Forest

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Printable PDF Version of this Case Study

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