• Fulmer Falls at George W. Childs Park

    Delaware Water Gap

    National Recreation Area NJ,PA

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  • 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.

  • River Road Closure

    Starting on Monday, September 8, River Road will be closed from Park Headquarters to Smithfield Beach while contractors complete pavement repairs. Access to Smithfield Beach will still be possible. More »

  • Dingmans Falls Area and Road Closed

    Dingmans Falls Visitor Center, the boardwalk trail to the falls, and the access road will be closed through September as repairs to the road are made. We anticipate the area reopening in October.

Stories: Language

Coppermine Trail in Pahaquarry

The landscape of Pahaquarry NJ

The Native's Name for it

What's in a Name? The sounds of human voices has valley for more than 10,000 years, and Native American, Dutch, English and even French place names dot the landscape of the park. The most prominent native names at the Gap are those of its two mountains: Tammany and Minsi, but throughout the park are descriptive native place names that are picturesque, if a bit puzzling to pronounce.

 
Dutch language tombstone in the park

Dutch language tombstone in the park

Dutch Settlement

When New York was still "New Amsterdam," Dutch settlement reached down from the Hudson Valley to the Middle Delaware Valley along routes like today's 209 to Esopus, New York. The most conspicuous Dutch word in the park is "kill" meaning a course of water. It is thus redundant to say "Bushkill Creek"; it is the Bush Kill; likewise for Raymondskill and Saw Kill in Milford and various Bennakills. Dutch settler names include Dingmans, Schoonover, Swartwood, Rosencrans, Westphalen, Westbrook, and Van Gordon. Van Campen Inn is the park's enduring example of Dutch colonial architecture.

 
Depuy marker

Marker at Shawnee-on-Delaware PA.

A Dash of French

Samuel DePew, a Huguenots (French Protestant), settled in New Jersey in 1697 and bought land from the natives that includes today's Shawnee-on-Delaware. Among his prominent descendants are survivors of the French and Indian War. Today Depue Island (Pennsylvania, near Shawnee) and Depew island (New Jersey, viewed from Riverview on McDade Trail) recall the family name.

 
The Gap from Mt. Minsi

That Word "Gap"

Several words in the English language denote a "break" or "cleft" in the mountains. Chasm and notch are popular in New England; pass and gorge in the South and West of the United States. Gap is especially common in this part of the country. A gap or wind gap is a break or pass through the mountains, in this case, the Appalachian Mountains and Kittatinny Ridge. A water gap is a pass that a river runs through. Culvers Gaps near Newton NJ, and Totts Gap and Foxtown Gap PA at the south end of the park are three other gaps nearby.

Did You Know?

2012_dykHEMLOCK

... that hemlock groves in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area are threatened by a non-native insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid. Hemlocks provide shade for spectacular rhodondenron, for trout streams, and for native wildflowers. As hemlocks weaken and die, they are cut down for your safety. More...