The awesome thing about Delaware Water Gap is that it has a diverse range of outdoor activities you can partake in and I’ll show you 10 things you can do.
Here is just 1:
It’s one of the most popular scenic overlooks at Delaware Water Gap:
Last weekend, I finally did an “official” trip to this area with a few friends.
I had visited and passed through this area several times as a kid and tried a number of different activities, but the last one I did was much more immersive and I truly got to enjoy some of the best things Delaware Water Gap has to offer.
Living in NYC, this place is only about 2 hours away and is highly recommended especially if you want to get away. I was able to fit in a bunch of activities into a single day, most of which will be written up in this list of 10 things, so let’s get started.
Let’s begin with the location of Delaware Water Gap:
Now as you can see from the map, there is a whole green area which stretches north for about 30 miles, but the official location of the “gap” is in Pennsylvania (not Delaware state!). I recommend starting your trip to this spot in the southern end as shown on the map above, and working your way up like we did.
Here are the 10 things you need to do at Delaware Water Gap:
The following are the things I did when there (throughout the years):
10) Camping out in the regions close to the gap.
Since it’s the most scenic area, you will find plenty of camping areas there and the last time I was in a camping area there was years ago, but many of the spots are close to the river so you can enjoy great views. I also assume if you’re going to camp there, that you need to reserve in advance, since this spot is pretty popular, just like North South Lake in the Catskills.
Here is info on camping in the Delaware Water Gap region.
Warning: Just a heads up, when I was there as a kid, I found more than a few snakes there. Be careful there and watch out for ticks too just in case.
9) Kayaking through the Delaware River.
Since the Delaware River literally crosses through this area, you can enjoy water activities there. Kayaking is certainly one of them, but you can also try tubing and canoeing, especially during the summer. Going through the actual “gap” area is very scenic!
8) Hiking obviously. Try the Mt. Tammy trail.
Prior to going to this spot, my friends and I brainstormed which hiking trail we wanted to do. We wanted something that was short, that wouldn’t take up too much and would also allow us to have more time leftover to explore more of this region and the Mt. Tammy trail was the one which came up as being most scenic and popular and indeed it was…
We found 2 parking lots leading to this trail and overall, there are 3 hikes to the Mt. Tammy trail:
A red one, which is considered medium to hard and that’s what we started with. It’s a little over a mile and short if you’re in shape. And it leads to beautiful overlooks like the one I posted above and this:
A blue one which is the longer route (several miles), and leads to scenic spots like this:
Then there’s a green trail which we didn’t try out, but it connects with the blue one towards the start of it, then heads out elsewhere.
Here’s how we were advised to hike the Mt. Tammy trail:
Start with the red one and work your way up to the summit where you’ll see the views I did at the top of this post.
Then right at the summit, as long you continue on the red trail, it’ll interconnect with the blue trail. Take the blue trail down and you’ll hit that swimming hole we found a few miles down.
This approach gave us a great hiking experience and being able to explore a lot of nice places in the Delaware Water Gap.
7) Take route 209 to see many of the waterfalls in this region.
We asked some local rangers what to do after we finished hiking Mt. Tammy and our goal was to see waterfalls and enjoy scenic views, not really hike anymore and they suggested we take route 209 which is located on exit 309 on Interstate 80.
While this road is pretty boring and isn’t really scenic (I have a list of scenic roads near NY state here and a list of other roads across the US here you can check out for that), it is the central road that’ll allow you to see many of the other beautiful waterfalls and many other trails in the Delaware Water Gap.
For about half the length of the road, you’ll pass through towns and uneventful places, but the other half will take you back into the Delaware Water Gap and you will see signs for many waterfall areas.
6) Consider staying at the Pocono Mountain Villas if you plan a multi day trip.
When I was younger, this is where my father would take me. We would go with his friends, and their kids, and this area is right off the 209 route and allows you to enjoy most of the beautiful spots located within the Delaware Water Gap.
There were many hiking trails near this spot, horseback riding stables and more activities to do, including the 10 on this list. Now you’ll find other villas and areas to stay at there too, but this is where I used to be when I visited. It gets mixed reviews today so keep that in mind.
Here is where it’s located:
5) Check out Bushkill Falls.
As far as I know, Bushkill Falls is one of the most popular waterfall spots in this region and I did check it out years ago when I was staying at the Pocono Mountain Villas:
This area is a scenic walk across a nature trail which is easy to go through and there’s steps and walkways made for people to enjoy the falls. I don’t have a picture of Bushkill falls to share on this post yet (but I will show you others), because we decided not to visit this spot due to us being tired from the Mt. Tammy trail and we decided to stick to waterfalls that had short hikes to reach them.
4) Visit Silverthread Falls.
Here is what it looks like (it’s over 100 feet tall):
If you’re not into long nature walks and just want to see scenic spots VERY quickly, this is where I’d stop at. This waterfall is literally about 200 feet away from the parking lot and the path to it is a wooden walkway. I assume it’s called silver thread because of how skinny it is, like a string thread but it is beautiful.
Here is where you’ll find it:
3) Visit Dingman’s Falls.
The beauty of visiting Silver Thread Falls is that Dingman’s is VERY close to it and it’s literally on the same wooden walkway that leads to Silverthread. All you have to do is keep following it and if you walk at a fast pace, you’ll get there in about 5 minutes. Here’s what it looks like:
Unfortunately access to get very close to this waterfall is blocked and that picture I took was about 30 feet away from it. But it’s still quite a sight.
2) Visit Raymondskill Falls.
As we continued north along the 209 route, the last waterfall we were able to see before heading back home was Raymondskill Falls, which is over 100 feet tall as well:
There is a very short hiking trail to this spot as well and it loops for about half a mile, but there’s 2 overlooks to this trail, one which takes you to the top of the falls, which wasn’t very scenic, and a bottom one which is the area where I took this following picture.
As with the other waterfalls, access was blocked off and you could only see it from a scenic overlook, obviously because it’s dangerous to get close to it.
But this was also a very scenic falls and the hiking trail to this spot is very short, but a bit steep.
I was the only person who hiked down to this falls since my friends were too tired from the other things we were doing but the trail to this area is very beautiful and worth exploring.
In my case, I just wanted to see the waterfall, the picture and head back home.
And this trail walk, and taking the photo of this waterfall was accomplished in under 15 minutes!
Here is the location info on Raymondskill Falls:
1) Visit Milford, PA.
This is a very nice town that I’ve passed through numerous times and it has nice restaurants. It’s a good place to end a day trip or visit it if you’re hungry. This town is very scenic, and is probably the most beautiful on the route 209 path.
And that concludes the day trip I had in Delaware Water Gap and the 10 things you should consider doing if you visit too!
Note for NYC residents: If you are a resident of it like me, and want to know of more places to visit besides the Delaware Water Gap, I have several suggestions:
- Firstly, the Catskills are awesome, but the drive is 3 hours away from the city.
- Then there are these other scenic spots outside the NYC area.
- And if you want to know of even more places, then I have a whole article on scenic locations and drives in the greater New York State.