World class hiking trails anchored by the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail, winding back roads and scenic byways that ascend steep tree-lined ridges, countless spectacular waterfalls, and scenic vistas that include unimpeded views of the famous Delaware Water Gap beckon visitors as they have for generations. So do canoe, hiking, kayak, bicycle and fishing outfitters; diverse ethnic and unique niche restaurants featuring locally harvested fare; and a vibrant art scene ranging from live theater to top-flight jazz.
Small Town Magic
The region has long been a magnet for city dwellers looking to escape the urban heat and congestion of summer while basking in the fresh air, clear water and slower pace of rural life. Camps, small inns and resorts, cabins and the spare rooms of local farmers and laborers once provided basic but quaint accommodations. Some returned at other seasons to enjoy the migratory patterns of birds and mammals, or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on a blanket of snow that muffled the sound of human and animal activity.
Food, Drink, and Festivities
Today’s visitors from the nearby New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas – and from around the world – can recapture that nostalgic, rustic experience. Or they can enjoy the sophistication, comfort and variety of modern world-class resorts featuring live entertainment, recreation, and good food and drink. These venues are within minutes of farmers’ markets or homegrown shops in historic colonial and Victorian districts. No matter the time of year, visitors enjoy festivals celebrating uses and varieties of garlic, a community’s founding, old-fashioned ice harvesting, artistic ice sculptures and the lifestyles of back woodsmen.
Arts, Culture, and History
Take a drive on Old Mine Road along the Delaware River on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, retracing steps taken by Ben Franklin and John Adams as they made their way between Philadelphia and Boston while forging American independence. Travel vast sections of Sullivan’s Trail carved out of the Pennsylvania wilderness by colonial troops during the American Revolution. Explore canal-era buildings and the Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation at D&H Canal Park in lush Orange County, New York.
Outdoor Recreation and Nature
Hike an extensive network of interconnected trails, anchored by the Appalachian Trail, that tie the national recreation area to other trail systems in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. See how Tannersville’s Cranberry Bog in Monroe County, Pennsylvania stands in stark contrast to the surrounding Pocono Mountains landscape, the southernmost boreal bog east of the Mississippi River, with black spruce and tamarack trees at the southern limit of their ranges. Discover Warren County, New Jersey's scenic and secluded parklands along the historic Morris Canal Greenway. View Bald eagles and over 200 species of birds in Sullivan County's Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in New York.
This and more awaits visitors to the unspoiled Scenic, Wild Delaware River.
~ David Pierce, Journalist, The Pocono Record
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