History & Culture

Marker on Old Mine Road NJ
Historical marker on Old Mine Road in New Jersey at the access road of Decker Ferry.

NPS Photo

Though set aside as an area for outdoor recreation, the land of this park is rich in history. From 1983 through 2007, park rangers wrote of much of the history of the park for the park newsletter, Spanning the Gap. Select a category to further explore the history of this river valley.

The park encompasses significant Native American archeological sites, several of which have been investigated.

A number of structures also remain from early Dutch settlement and the colonial contact period. The entire region was a frontier of the French & Indian War. Historic rural villages from the 18th and 19th centuries remain intact on the New Jersey side, and landscapes of past settlements are scattered throughout the park.

In the 19th century, the village of Delaware Water Gap was a focus of the early resort industry fostered by the railroads. Even today the region is known for its vacation appeal.

The proposal to dam the Delaware River near today's Smithfield Beach brought the region and its inhabitants into another era of American history -- the conservation and environmental movements of the 1960s and later.


Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324


(570) 426-2452
This is the official telephone contact number for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This telephone is monitored during business hours, from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4: 30 pm. Calls received after those times, will be reviewed the next available business day.

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