The outstanding natural, cultural, recreation and scenic resources of this part of the Delaware River led it to be designated the Middle Delaware River National Scenic and Recreational River. The Delaware River within this park is mostly flat and calm, perfect for family outings and for the canoeist and kayaker of any skill level.
Smithfield Beach Access is also a great place to look for wintering eagles. More information on this is available in this article: Wintering Eagles at the Gap .
There is no fee to enter Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. However, Expanded Amenity Fees are charged April through October at the following developed areas in the park.
Milford Beach (in Pennsylvania)
Dingmans Access (in Pennsylvania)
Bushkill Access (in Pennsylvania)
Smithfield Beach (in Pennsylvania)
Watergate Recreation Site (in New Jersey)
Turtle Beach (in New Jersey)
Expanded Amenity Fee Schedule
No fee is charged for those who are dropping off or picking up people from the river access ramps and those walking through Smithfield Beach on McDade Recreational Trail. Expanded Amenity Fees are not covered by America the Beautiful Annual Pass. However, holders of the America the Beautiful Senior and Access Passes, and National Park Service Golden Age and Golden Access Passes are eligible for a 50% discount on the Expanded Amenity Fees.
Private vehicle (up to 7 persons): $7.00 per vehicle on a weekday
Private vehicle (up to 7 persons): $10.00 per vehicle on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday
Vehicles with 8 or more adults (age 16 or older): $1.00 per person
Pedestrian (age 16 or older): $1.00 per person
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Season Passes
Season passes can be purchased at park headquarters, Dingmans Falls Visitor Center, Kittatinny Point Visitor Center, staffed collection stations, or through the mail. Holders of the America the Beautiful Senior and Access Passes and National Park Service Golden Age and Golden Access Passes are eligible for a 50% discount on season passes.
Season Pass: $45
A second Season Pass registered to the same name and address: $25
A third Season Pass registered to the same name and address: $12.50
Walk-In Season Pass: $10.00
For More Information
Call (570) 426-2434 for more information about fees and passes.
Best Access and Parking Areas
The boat launch is located at the northern end of the parking area. The canoe/kayak launch is located at the southern end. Large parking area with restrooms is available. Picnicking and a swim beach are also located here. Easy access to the McDade Trail on both the northern and southern ends of the parking area.
Rules and Regulations
- Always wear your life jacket.
- Children 12 years of age and younger must WEAR a life jacket on board a vessel.
- Life jackets must be worn in vessels less than 16 feet between November 1 and April 30.
- Never stand in a canoe. For better balance, kneel in a canoe when going through rapids.
- Wear shoes to protect your feet from sharp stones and from glass.
- Protect yourself from the sun: wear sun screen, a hat, light clothing, and sunglasses.
- Bring enough water. Don't drink river water unless it is boiled at least 10 minutes.
- The river has sharp drop-offs and strong currents. Do not try to swim or wade across the river, never swim alone.
- Plan to be off the river before dark.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at Milford Beach, Smithfield Beach, and Hialeah Picnic area in Pennsylvania, and Turtle Beach, Worthington State Forest, and Tocks and Labar Islands in New Jersey. Alcoholic beverages are also prohibited between Depew Island on the north and Depue Island on the south.
- Do not drink during river activities.
- River campsites are available on a first come/first serve basis for boaters on trips where the distance is too great to be traveled in one day. To use a river campsite, the total river miles traveled must be at least 14 miles for a one-night trip, at least 26 miles for a two-night trip, and at least 34 miles for a three-night trip.
- Camping is limited to one night in each location. There are no fees and no reservations.
- Small fires are only permitted in existing fire grates. Use dead and down wood only. Cutting standing trees is not permitted.
- Pack out all trash, including food and food waste.
- Use soaps sparingly. Soap should be dumped on well-drained soil away from water sources.
- Do not urinate or defecate within 100 feet of any river or stream. Fecal material, including pet waste, must be buried at least 6 inches deep and at least 300 feet away from water.
- Quiet hours are 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Loud audio devices and fireworks are prohibited.
General Boating Information:
- Boats must have a valid state registration.
- Motorized vessels may not be operated in excess of 5-mph or creating a wake within 500 feet upstream or downstream of the designated swimming area and designated canoe channel, as delineated by regulatory buoys, within the Smithfield/Coppermine Pool and the Milford Beach pool.
- Personal water craft and waterskiing are prohibited in the park.
- It is unlawful to operate a vessel while intoxicated.
- From April 1 through September 30, the speed limit is 10 mph.
- From October 1 through 31 March 31: the speed limit is 35 mph.
Liveries rent canoes and kayaks, provide paddles and life jackets, and shuttle you to and from the put-in and take-out locations. Most liveries also rent rafts and tubes. A list of authorized liveries is provided on our website here: Liveries near Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area .
Hand launching only at Namanock Access, NJ and Eshback Access, PA.
Current river conditions can be found here .
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are permitted in most areas of the park and must be on a 6-foot leash at all times. Pets may not be tied to an object and left unattended or left in a vehicle. Please clean up after your pet. Report lost pets to the park communication center at (570)426-2457.
National Park Service regulations exempt service animals, such as guide dogs for the blind and signal-dogs for the hearing impaired, from pet prohibitions.