Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Map showing the location of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Location New Jersey & Pennsylvania, USA
Nearest city Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 41°09′14″N 74°54′50″W / 41.15381°N 74.91388°W / 41.15381; -74.91388Coordinates: 41°09′14″N 74°54′50″W / 41.15381°N 74.91388°W / 41.15381; -74.91388
Area 68,714 acres (27,808 ha)
Established September 1, 1965
Visitors 5,052,264 (in 2005)
Governing body National Park Service

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, preserves almost 70,000 acres (28,000 ha) of land along the Delaware River's New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores, stretching from the Delaware Water Gap northward almost to the New York state line. Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a designated 40-mile (64 km) section of the river entirely within the recreation area.

The park came about because of a plan to build a dam on the Delaware River at Tocks Island, just north of the Delaware Water Gap to control water levels for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. The dam would have created a 37 mile lake in the center of present park for use as a reservoir. Starting in 1960, the present day area of the Recreation Area was acquired for the Army Corps of Engineers through eminent domain. Between 3,000 and 5,000 dwellings were demolished, including historical sites, and about 15,000 people were displaced by the project. Because of massive environmental opposition, dwindling funds, and an unacceptable geological assessment of the dam's safety, the government transferred the property to the National Park Service in 1978. The National Park Service found itself as the caretaker of the previously endangered territory, and with the help of the federal government and surrounding communities, developed recreational facilities and worked to preserve the remaining historical structures.[1][2]

The recreation area runs from the northeastern outskirts of Milford, Pennsylvania (250 miles (400 km) above the Delaware's mouth into the Atlantic Ocean), roughly southwest to near Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania (approximately 210 miles (340 km) above the Delaware's mouth). It is located in parts of Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, and Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties in Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Trail runs along much of the eastern boundary.

At the south end of the park, the river cuts eastward through the Appalachian Mountains at the scenic Delaware Water Gap. A one-day auto tour of the park can include waterfalls, rural scenery, and historic Millbrook Village. Visitors can also canoe, hike, camp, swim, picnic, bicycle, crosscountry ski, and horseback ride. Fishing and hunting are permitted in season with state licenses. The park hosts significant Native American archaeological sites, and a number of structures remain from early Dutch settlement during the colonial period.



  1. ^ Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (p. 7-8), Obiso, Laura, 2008.
  2. ^ Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area,

External links

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