Planning Your River Trip

Distance between Access Points
Paddling time varies greatly. Water level, wind, speed of current, paddling skill, and type of vessel all affect the duration of your trip. During the summer the average paddling speed is approximately 2-2.5 miles per hour.

 
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A fun and safe trip anywhere starts with a good plan.

Things to Know Before You Go

Water Safety

If you are planning to spend time in or on the river, please bring a life jacket with you. River currents are often stronger than they appear, and the water temperature is often much colder than air temperature, with risks of drowning and hypothermia.

Life jackets are required to be within reach for anyone who is boating or using a vessel on the river, including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, inner tubes, and other watercraft. Life jackets must be worn by children 12 years old and younger. When the river is six feet or deeper, and during the Cold Water Mandatory Life Jacket season from November 1 – April 30, everyone on the river must wear a life jacket.

Call the river hotline to learn about daily river conditions at 845-252-7100. Check out our river safety information for more details on how to be safe in and around the river.

Public Accesses

Do your research before your trip on locations and amenities of public accesses. While all public accesses can accommodate visitors on-foot, only a few are designed to launch a boat. Parking may be limited.

Please respect the local community and do not launch from or park in private property.

Limited Cell Reception

Cell phone connectivity is limited within the park boundaries. Please be aware that you may not have cell phone reception and thus be unable to make calls or text in many areas of the park and while on the river.

Communication Information

With limited connectivity, it is always a good idea to make a plan. Let someone know where you are going, what you are doing, and when you plan to return, in case anything happens.

Emergency Contact Information

Know who you can call for help. In an emergency, always call 911.

National Park Service 24 Hour Dispatch: 570 426-2457

New York State Police
Delaware County: 607 467-3215
Sullivan County: 845 252-3212
Orange County: 845 856-6500

Pennsylvania State Police
Honesdale: 570 253-7126
Blooming Grove: 570 775-7374

Packing List

  • Drinking Water (no glass bottles), drinking water is not available at every access

  • Closed-toed shoes, waterproof if possible

  • Trash bags, garbage bins are not available at every access

  • Sunscreen (waterproof)

  • Rain gear

  • Hat and sunglasses

  • Food

  • Tick repellent

  • Insect repellent

  • Map, guidebook, or park brochure

  • Flashlight

  • Extra change of clothes, especially socks (wool or high performance synthetic fibers recommended)

  • Emergency contact information

  • Spare keys

If Going on the River, Also Add:

  • Life Jacket, 1 per person

  • Canoe, Kayak, Raft, Vessel, etc.

  • Paddles, 1 per person + 1 spare

  • Bailer (e.g. bucket, cup)

  • Kneeling Pads

  • Waterproof bag

Boating

Thinking of heading out on the water? Options from whitewater rafting to floating along the river abound. There are many liveries located along the river where you can rent a boat, canoe, kayak, inner tube, and other vessels and equipment from. You are also permitted to bring your own equipment. However, a valid state registration is required for all motorized watercraft and for any commercial non-motorized vessels launching from Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission accesses. Please also familiarize yourself with mandatory life jacket rules while on the river.

Fishing

The Upper Delaware is known as an excellent fishery, with trout, bass, walleye, eels, and shad in abundance. Bait and tackle shops are located in the area. If you plan to fish, and are 16 or older, you need a New York or Pennsylvania fishing license, which is valid on either side of the river. Licensed commercial fishing guides also operate on the Upper Delaware. New Jersey fishing licenses are not valid on the river.

Camping & Lodging

No campgrounds within the park boundaries are owned by the National Park Service. However, there is a Pennsylvania State Forest primitive camping area within Delaware State Forest, near Pond Eddy, NY that is administered by the NPS. This site is only accessible by boat and is for river users only. To obtain a permit to this campground, contact the National Park Service at 570-685-4871 Extension 6608. Permits are first-come, first-served.

In addition, numerous privately owned campgrounds are along or near the river. We recommend you make reservations in advance for these campgrounds.

Hotels and other lodging are available in various towns, townships, and boroughs in and along the river valley. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially during the summer season.

Last updated: December 29, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

274 River Road
Beach Lake, PA 18405

Phone:

570 685-4871

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