Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area contains another NPS unit, the Middle Delaware Wild& Scenic River. The Department of the Interior established the Wild & Scenic Rivers System 50 years ago. It protects nearly 13 thousand miles of US rivers. The National Park Service manages these areas in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish & Wildlife Service, and the US Forest Service.
I began my exploration of the Middle Delaware at the Kittatinny Point Visitors Center, right off Route 80 in Columbia, NJ. There, I was able get some pins, look at a map and speak to a ranger about places to go in the park. There is a beach behind the visitors center with a great view of the Delaware Water Gap.
A water gap is formed when water carves a path through a mountain range. In Earth’s ancient history, the North American and African continents collided, creating the Kittatinny Ridge. Streams flowing on one side of the ridge scoured a channel over the course of millions of years and became the Delaware River.
I traveled upriver on Old Mine Road, a narrow road with scary potholes and numerous pull-outs for trailheads and river access. I stopped first at a small pull-out and walked a little way on a level trail that parallels the river. There are some big old trees here.
Next I stopped at Turtle Beach, but didn’t get out. The lot looked deserted except for one run down vehicle and I couldn’t see to the river or the road from there. Maybe next time. A little further north, I found Poxono.
Poxono has a boat launch and used to be a Boy Scout camp. There were a few vehicles here, but most of the people were out fishing on the river. I got right down to the water’s edge and had some terrific, unobstructed views of the river.
Location: 40 miles of the Delaware river, Delaware Water Gap, PA to Milford, PA
Designation: National Scenic & Recreational River
Date designated/established: November 10, 1978
Date of my visit: June 3, 2018