Two Miles of McDade Recreational Trail to Be Temporarily Closed for Construction

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Date: September 8, 2015
Contact: Kristy Boscheinen, Chief, Special Projects Division, (570) 223-4335

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announced today that a 2.2-mile section of the McDade Recreational Trail, from Smithfield Beach North Trailhead to River View Trailhead, will be temporarily closed for construction starting September 14. Construction is expected to take approximately five days to complete.

This 2.2 mile segment of the McDade Trail is one of the most heavily-used trail segments along the 32-mile multi-use trail. During construction, the trail will be resurfaced with “trail surface aggregate” (TSA) which is a sustainable, low-maintenance material composed of sand and crushed stone. The resulting trail will be compacted, even, and similar to pavement. Resurfacing with TSA will improve drainage on the trail, provide a more consistent surface, and meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for gravel surface trails. 

All areas of the Smithfield Beach recreation site will remain open during construction. The McDade Trail closure will be in effect starting September 14th from the northern trailhead at Smithfield Beach (near the motorized boat launch area) to the River View Trailhead 2.2 miles to the north. The trail will be re-opened to the public on Friday, September 18th at approximately 5pm. If construction has not yet been completed, the trail will be closed again starting on Monday, September 21. 

The project is one of several recreation projects at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that are being funded as compensatory mitigation for PPL and PSE&G’s Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line, which was constructed through the park starting in 2013. “Construction of the transmission line in 2013 and 2014 was somewhat disruptive to park visitors in certain areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in particular where trails crossed through active construction zones,” said Superintendent Donahue. “This project will greatly enhance the surface on this section of the McDade Trail, which will improve our visitors’ experience and be an appropriate compensation for the effects that construction of this powerline had on our visitors.” 

Other recreation projects being funded as compensatory mitigation through the transmission line’s “Middle Delaware Mitigation Fund” include a trail maintenance crew, the creation of six new reservation-only river campsites, scenic vista management, the Visitor Use Management Plan, and replacement of the motorized boat launch at Kittatinny Point.

Editor’s Note: Meet at Smithfield Beach at 10:30 am on Tuesday, September 15 for a short hike on the McDade Trail to see the new trail surface being applied.

Last updated: September 9, 2015

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