NPS Announces Changes in Regulations

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Date: May 20, 2016
Contact: Kathleen Sandt, Public Affairs Specialist, (570) 426-2472 (O); (570) 234-9144 (C)

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announced that the Superintendent’s Compendium of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements, and Other Restrictions has been revised for 2016 and is now posted at “There are several changes in our regulations this year that the public should be aware of before planning a visit. We expect that these changes will result in better and safer experiences for our visitors and improved protection of park resources,” said Donahue.

The Superintendent's Compendium addresses park-specific issues at the local level using Federal authority granted to superintendents in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 1 through 7. The CFR is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government, including the National Park Service. The CFR is available electronically Under 36 CFR 1.7(b), superintendents are required to “compile in writing all the designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority. This compilation shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request." 

Some of the changes for 2016 include:

Hours of Operation
All “day use” recreation sites that were previously open from 6 am to 10 pm are now open from sunrise to sunset. Milford Beach, Smithfield Beach and Turtle Beach swimming and picnic areas are open from 6 am to 8 pm. George W. Childs Recreation Site and the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center parking area will be open at 8 am and will close at sunset. A complete list of day use sites subject to the new hours of operation is available in the Compendium. Exceptions include those who are actively engaged in fishing or hunting, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, or on an authorized overnight river trip. 

Groups of 20 or more people must use a designated picnic area designed to accommodate large groups. Groups of 30 or more require a permit. Designated picnic areas for large groups include: Turtle Beach, Namanock Recreation Site, and Watergate Recreation Site in NJ and Milford Beach, Smithfield Beach, Toms Creek Picnic Area, and Hialeah Picnic Area in PA. 

Glass Containers
Glass containers are prohibited at the following locations: Adams Creek, George W. Childs Recreation Site, Hacker’s Falls, Indian Ladders / Hornbecks Creek, Raymondskill Falls (from the park boundary to the confluence with the Delaware River), and Tumbling Waters / Mill Creek in PA and Van Campens Glen and Karamac in NJ. 

Possession or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages 
Several sites have been added to the list of areas where the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. A full listing of these locations is available in the Compendium. 

Swimming and Wading
Swimming and wading are prohibited (unless actively fishing) at the following locations: Van Campens Brook, Big Flatbrook Creek from Blewitt Tract to the Delaware River, and along the river at Kittatinny Point in NJ and at George W. Childs Recreation Site, Adams Creek, Toms Creek, and the portion of Dingmans Creek lying between a point approximately 100 feet upstream of Dingmans Falls and the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center parking lot in PA. In addition, swimming is prohibited in the Delaware River within 50 feet of designated motorized and non-motorized vessel launch and retrieval sites at Smithfield Beach, Dingmans Launch, Kittatinny Point Launch, and Bushkill Launch; within 50’ of the top of any waterfall; and when conditions are determined to be unsafe in the Delaware River. 

Fires and Cooking
Ground fires are prohibited throughout the park except in designated areas such as authorized campgrounds and in fire grates at river campsites. Lighting personally owned grills, stoves, lanterns, or other food heating/ preparation devices is prohibited throughout the park except at designated picnic sites where such devices and activities are allowed. Those areas include: Milford Beach; Toms Creek Picnic Area; Bushkill General Store Picnic Area; Smithfield Beach; and Hialeah Picnic Area in PA; Turtle Beach; Watergate Recreation Site; Blue Mountain Lake (Dam Area); Crater Lake (Picnic Area Only); and Namanock Recreation Site in NJ. Personally owned camping stoves are permitted to be used along the Appalachian Trail in accordance with regulations. Lighting or maintaining a ground fire, grill, stove, lantern, or other food heating/ preparation device is prohibited at Kittatinny Point in NJ and at George W. Childs Recreation Site in PA.

Adams Creek Closure
The Adams Creek drainage, from the lower waterfall pool upstream to the park boundary, including the Sproul Road and Long Meadow Road trailheads, is closed due to public hazard from May 1 to September 30. This includes the upper waterfall and pool. 

River Camping
Camping is permitted in designated areas for boaters who are on an authorized overnight river trip. Camping is limited to one night per site. Campers must vacate sites by 11 am; sites are limited to 10 people and 5 tents; and tents must be set up within 50’ of the fire grates. Alosa River Campsites are available by reservation only. A list of authorized one, two, and three day river trips can be found in the Compendium.

Commercial Vehicles
Commercial vehicles are prohibited on Route 209 north of the intersection with Bushkill Falls Road and south of the intersection with the Route 206 (Milford) toll bridge.

The use of crayfish, clams, mussels, reptiles, or amphibians as fish bait is prohibited unless it is a commercially produced, preserved, and packaged product. 

Parking is permitted in designated parking areas while vehicle occupants are participating in a recognized recreational activity within the park. Parking outside of designated parking areas is prohibited with some exceptions outlined in the Compendium. Parking at Johnny Bee Road off of Route 209 near Dingmans Falls is limited to 4 hours while vehicle occupants engage in recognized recreational activities in the park. Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and towed. 

Climbing, Jumping or Diving
These activities are prohibited at all waterfalls and waterfall pools and the Karamac bridge abutments.

Last updated: May 20, 2016

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1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324


(570) 426-2452

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