Bushkill, PA – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is increasing recreational access in some areas of the park. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to increase access.
The health and safety of park visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. According to Superintendent Sula Jacobs, “At Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area our operational approach will be to examine each facility, function, and service that we provide to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and that they will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure that park facilities and spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”
Beginning Friday, May 29, the park will reopen access to:
• Namanock Recreation Site
• The dirt section of Old Mine Road
• All trails on the Pocono Environmental Education Center Campus
In addition, the following areas continue to be available:
• Most park trails are open and accessible to the public. Some trails remain closed due to storm damage repairs and construction. Information about hiking trails is available on our website at: www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/trails.htm.
• All boat launches and river access points are open.
• Several park roads remain open only to pedestrians and bicyclists to provide additional locations where visitors can maintain social distance from others and to provide additional opportunities for outdoor recreation experiences. These areas are much wider than park trails and will allow visitors to spread out over a larger area. Bicycles are permitted on these roads, but not on the trails.
o Johnny Bee Road and the Dingmans Falls Access Road in Pennsylvania provide an additional area for pedestrians and cyclists seeking to visit the waterfalls. Dingmans Falls Visitor Center will not be open this year and there are no restrooms available.
o Mountain Road in New Jersey provides access to the base of Buttermilk Falls, the tallest waterfall in NJ.
o Blue Mountain Lakes Road (from the parking area to Skyline Drive) and Skyline Drive provide access to the scenic overlooks on Skyline Drive, Crater Lake, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed:
• Restrooms, visitor centers, and volunteer/partner-operates buildings.
While the park is accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased in and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities, and dispose of all trash and waste properly.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website at www.nps.gov/dewa and on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.