The Delaware River carves a deep gorge through the Poconos, forming a stunning backdrop for camping.
The Delaware River cuts through this protected region in the Poconos, carving a deep gorge amid the mountains. This is the Delaware Water Gap, a pristine region of forests, lakes, and mountains.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area covers 70,000 acres. The water gap forms a natural boundary between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You'll find tons of hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, and kayaking in both states.
Waterfalls and scenic outlooks make for rewarding hiking here. Take the short but tough trail to Raymondskill Falls, a triple cascading fall that's the tallest in Pennsylvania. At Bushkill Falls, a series of walkways and bridges lead over the roaring water. Around 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail wind through, passing dramatic lookouts over the river.
Cool down after hiking at the three public beaches: Smithfield, Milford, and Turtle Beach. All have lifeguards on duty, picnic tables, and bathrooms for changing.
In the heart of the park is Millbrook Village, a living museum from the pioneer days. Check the calendar before you arrive. The expert docents do seasonal demonstrations such as maple sugaring and apple cider pressing.
About a dozen private campgrounds are here. Within the national recreation area, the camps have basic amenities such as bathrooms and water spigots. Outside the area, camps often have extra amenities like Wi-Fi and full hook-up RV sites. Some rent out cabins, while others operate group kayak tours and boat rentals.
The Worthington State Forest has public campgrounds. Many of these spacious sites are right on the water, with fire rings to cook bass and walleye caught from the river. At the center of the park is Sunfish pond, a glacial pond with gorgeous clear waters. The Appalachian trail runs past the pond. It's a short but steep climb to Mount Tammany, the second highest peak in the Kittatinny Mountains.
Roughly 40 miles of the Delaware River wind through this protected region. Kayakers get a stunning view of the gorge and days worth of paddling. The unspoiled river runs calmly on its course, so most stretches are ideal for beginners. Access points every 10 miles or so allow for flexible planning.
Kayakers can pitch tent at the Alosa campsites near Bushkill. Accessible only by boat, these secluded sites are ideal for multi-day adventures on the water. Make your reservations in advance and bring your own potable water. If the Alosa sites fill up, you can also camp at designated river sites on a first-come, first-served basis.