Middle Delaware National Scenic River
Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a 40-mile stretch of calm water within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area forming the boundary between Pennsylvania and New Jersey between Milford, PA in the north and the village of Delaware Water Gap in the south.
The Middle Delaware River passes between low forested mountains with barely a house in sight. Then the river cuts through the mountain ridge to form the famed "Water Gap." Exiting the park, the river will run 200 miles more to Delaware Bay at Wilmington, Delaware, and then to the Atlantic Ocean. The Delaware Water Gap is bounded by Mt. Minsi in Pennsylvania and Mt. Tammany in New Jersey. Once touted as a scenic Wonder of the World, it is an impressive site when motoring through on Interstate 80 or viewed from the overlooks along Rt. 611 on the Pennsylvania side.
With 100 miles of trails along streams, ridges, and mountains and 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail, hiking through this area is an exceptional experience. There is bountiful wildlife, waterfalls, and hemlock and rhododendron ravines to be seen along the way. If hiking doesn't sound appealing, there are also 200 miles of scenic roadways, historic villages, and 200 structures from the valley's colonial and recent past. In addition to these activities, the park boasts exceptional canoeing and kayaking along the river, rock-climbing, biking and fishing.
The northern 35 miles of these 40 miles are designated a national scenic river of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System; the remaining miles of the river within the recreation area (near the Water Gap) are designated a recreational river. The Middle Delaware River is part of the Delaware River Water Trail, a unit of the National Recreation Trails Program.
Seasonality / Weather
In the spring, climate is variable. Temperature can drop rapidly after sunset on warm days. In the summer, air temperatures average from 75 to 85 degrees F, with some days in the 90s, and with lows to the 50s. There may be some very hot and muggy days in summer and thunderstorms can form quickly and violently along the river. In the fall, fall colors make the Gap especially photogenic, but winds in the Gap can be strong. In late fall, some of the best vistas along the hiking trails will emerge when the leaves are down. In the winter, air temperatures from December to March are frequently below freezing, with numerous snow and ice storms in some years, and little snow in other years. Water temperatures drop from the 50s to the 30s by December, with most of the river usually freezing over each winter.
Bushkill Meeting Center is located on the est side of Route 209 just south of the blinking light at the intersection of Route 209 and Bushkill Falls Road in Bushkill PA. Northbound on Route 209, this is 1.5 miles north of the traffic light at the Fernwood Resort, and 1/10 north of Milepost 1 on Route 209 within the park. Route 209 is PA Exit 53 off Interstate 84 near Matamoras PA; Route 209 will enter the park 5 miles farther south at Milford PA. Route 209 is PA Exit 309 off Interstate 80 near East Stoudsburg PA; Route 209 will enter the park 12 miles farther north at Bushkill PA.
Martz-Trailways and Greyhound bus lines from Port Authority Terminal in New York City run to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre PA via the "Stroudsburg/DWG" terminal in the town of Delaware Water Gap PA. There are trips mid-day and on weekends and holidays. Both lines accept on-line purchase of tickets. The bus terminal is 1.5 miles from the AT southbound at Mt. Minsi trailhead and 3 miles from the AT northbound at Dunnfield trailhead (Mt. Tammany, Sunfish Pond). ShortLine Bus provides service from the New York City area to Port Jervis NY and Milford PA and Matamoras PA. There is no public transportation or private excursion out of Milford PA into the park, however.