People: Forming & Managing the Park
A Timeline of the Park's Formation
1930s First modern proposals for a dam at Tocks Island
Today's recreation area proves the claim of opponents to the dam, who said not only that the valley was worth preserving in its natural state, but also that a free-flowing river can provide recreational opportunities as enjoyable as those of a man-made reservoir.
The nearly 70,000 acres of the recreation area are rich in both cultural and natural history. The ridges and river valley contain streams, waterfalls, geologic features, a diversity of plants and wildlife, and traces of past cultures, including significant Native American artifacts and sites.
Forty miles of the middle Delaware River are the primary focus of park recreation: fishing, boating, canoeing, and swimming. In addition, the recreation area offers opportunities for hiking, biking, picnicking, hunting, and auto touring.
The recreation area receives more than 5,000,000 visits each year, making it the 8th most-visited unit of the National Park System.
Floods | Tocks Island
Did You Know?
... 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...