• The snowy Delaware River

    Delaware Water Gap

    National Recreation Area NJ,PA

Plan Your Visit

The Delaware River Valley

The Delaware River Valley.

Photo by George Ratliffe

About two hours from New York City or Philadelphia is a 40-mile river valley. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses nearly 70,000 acres along the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At the southern end of this park the river cuts an S-shaped pass through the mountains, forming the Delaware Water Gap.

Millions of years of uplift, erosion, and glacial activity gave us the Water Gap, lakes, streams that flow through hemlock- and rhododendron-laced ravines, and the waterfalls that pour off the Pocono Plateau. The crisp, cool air around the waterfalls is refreshing, especially in summer.

In the 1800s resorts flourished throughout the region where city dwellers arrived by carriage or rail, often spending the entire summer away from the urban heat. The Water Gap became a scenic wonder for fashionable travelers.

Today the river and its valley remain a major vacation haven. Although transportation and the lengths of stay may have changed, many who remember family trips, summer camp, or their honeymoon return to reminisce at a favorite site in the park. In 1965 Congress established
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
to preserve this natural and historic area.
Enjoy this rural vacationland.

Did You Know?

A ranger testing water quality in a stream.

... that the Middle Delaware River exceeds ordinary federal standards for clean water. Because of this, special higher standards have been set for the river, so it does not "deteriorate" to being just "clean enough." The river in this park is, and will remain, truly "cleaner than clean." More...