The McDade Recreational Trail extends most the length of the park and provides views of the river, charming streams, open farm fields, forests, and historic landscapes. The trail offers hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers areas of varied difficulty, from easy to strenuous. With trailheads distributed between ½ and 5 miles apart, this trail offers a section for just about any visitor. Additionally, most trailheads are along the park's free bus route that operates summer weekends.
From Hialeah to Owens trailheads, the trail is mostly flat as it traverses former settlements and farms. From the Owens Trailhead on Freeman Tract Road, the trail switchbacks sharply up the side of the Hogback, or ridge, to the park's headquarters. Observation decks on the side of the headquarters facility provide wildlife viewing areas.
Between park headquarters and Bushkill Access, the terrain becomes rolling hills. Numerous structures, foundations, and other traces remain from the once thriving community of Bushkill.
North of Bushkill Access, the trail follows a narrow ribbon of land between US 209 and the river and then continues nearly level through agricultural fields and forests to Schneider Farm.
The next several miles of the trail are dominated by the river to the east and the cliffs to the west, with the trail and US 209 squeezed between in places. From Raymondskill Creek to Milford Beach, the Raymondskill Cliff parallels the nearly flat trail.
The northern terminus of the McDade Trail is Milford Beach, a popular recreation site for local residents since 1945. Whether you start from this end, Hialeah, or a point in between, you are sure to find something to fit any mood.
- Speed limit is 15 mph.
- Bikers yield to hikers.
- No motorized vehicles.
- Leashed pets are permitted along the trail except at Milford and Smithfield beaches and between Smithfield Beach and Hialeah late spring to early fall.
- Camping only permitted at the Dingmans Campground.
- The section between Pittman Orchard trailhead and Conashaugh trailhead is closed due to eagle nesting from December 15 through July 15.
Trailheads and Facilities
|Trailhead/ Directions||Road Mile *||Trail Mile**||Services|
|Hialeah||River Road 0.0||0.0||parking, restroom, picnic tables|
|Smithfield Beach||River Road 1.7||2.0||FEE AREA, parking, restroom, picnic tables, water, boat & canoe launch, swim beach|
|Riverview||River Road 3.5||4.6||parking|
|Turn Farm (spur)||River Road 4.0||5.2||parking, restroom|
|Owens||Freeman Tract Road 1.9||5.9||parking|
|Park Headquarters||River Road 5.3||6.6||parking, restroom, information, drinking water|
|Bushkill Village||US 209 1.4||
|Bushkill Access||US 209 2.7||10.1||FEE AREA, parking, restroom, drinking water, boat & canoe launch|
|Egypt Mills||US 209 4.5||12.5||parking|
|Eshback Access||US 209 6.4||14.3||parking, restroom, canoe launch|
|Jerry Lees||US 209 8.2||16.1||parking|
|Schneider Farm (spur)||US 209 11.5||21.4||parking|
|White Pines||US 209 14.5||24.5||parking|
|Conashaugh||US 209 15.5||26.0||parking|
|Pittman Orchard||US 209 18.3||28.5||parking|
|Milford Beach||US 209 20.8||31.0||FEE AREA, parking, restroom, picnic tables, drinking water, boat & canoe launch, swim beach|
* Road Mileage begins at southern park boundary
|Riverview||Turn Farm (spur)||0.6||easy|
|Turn Farm (spur)||Owens||0.7||easy-moderate|
|Park Headquarters||Bushkill Village||1.8||moderate|
|Bushkill Village||Bushkill Access||1.7||easy|
|Bushkill Access||Valley View||1.2||easy|
|Valley View||Egypt Mills||1.2||easy|
|Egypt Mills||Eshback Access||1.8||easy|
|Eshback Access||Jerry Lees||1.8||easy|
|Jerry Lees||Schneider Farm (spur)||5.3||easy|
|Schneider Farm (spur)||Dingmans Campground||1.1||easy|
|Dingmans Campground||White Pines||1.5||easy-moderate|
|Pittman Orchard||Milford Beach||2.3||easy-moderate|