Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Exit 1 off of I-80, New Jersey Winding through a deep, narrow rent in the Kittatinny Mountains, the Delaware River

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey
Waterfall buffs are drawn to the water gap by the likes of Factory Falls, seen here on a fine autumn day.

Exit 1 off of I-80, New Jersey

Winding through a deep, narrow rent in the Kittatinny Mountains, the Delaware River creates a vista that draws thousands of tourists annually. But just north of the water gap lies a seldom-visited recreation area of unspoiled beauty.

Flanking the Delaware River for some 35 miles as it flows between the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, the largely wooded hills and vales around the Kittatinny Point visitors center include ponds, brooks, gorges, waterfalls, swimming beaches, and a variety of wildlife.

A blacktop road traverses the length of the recreation area on the New Jersey side, overlooking the river for part of its length. Heading north, the narrow lane threads through the fern-carpeted Worthington State Forest. The rural peace and quiet and lack of traffic hearken to earlier times.

Roadside trails lead to cool glens, swift brooks, and scenic points along the Delaware River, where on summer weekends several hundred canoes may be seen gliding downstream.

An ideal and well-marked picnic spot is found at Watergate, where the trees open on a large rolling meadow bordered on one side by a pond and on the other side by a brook shaded by trees. In summer the air is heady with the scent of mown grass drying in the sun; birds sing, and the brook ripples musically.

Maps and trail guides are available at the Kittatinny Point center.

Park open year-round; Kittatinny Point visitors center open daily Memorial Day–Labor Day, then weekends through mid-Oct. Admission charged.

www.nps.gov/dewa

(908) 496-4458

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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