The Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a designated 40-mile (64.4 km) stretch of riverfront within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania. Surrounded by 100 miles (161 km) of magical streams, waterfalls, mountains, and hiking trails - including the Appalachian Trail - there are plenty of outdoorsy activities to keep RV campers busy here.
Set up camp and then head out to explore. The trails are abundant in wildlife, waterfalls and scenic views that are just waiting to be discovered. Spend your days hiking, horse riding, or rock climbing in the mountains, or fishing, canoeing and kayaking along the Delaware River. Enjoy a bit of history? There are several Native American archaeological sites from the 18th and 19th centuries scattered within the park.
The Middle Delaware National Scenic River climate is variable. While you’ll enjoy warm, humid days in the summer months (an average of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures can plummet in the evenings. In winter, temperatures often drop below freezing and the river often freezes over. Packing plenty of layers is recommended all year round.
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RV Rentals in Middle Delaware National Scenic River
Transportation in Middle Delaware National Scenic River
Middle Delaware National Scenic River stretches from the point where the river crosses the northern boundary of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to the river crossing at the southern boundary. The entrance to the park at Bushkill Meeting Center can be found along Route 209.
Once within the park, there are no specific driving restrictions, but campers should take caution and watch out for wildlife and low-hanging branches. Take note that the roads within Dingman’s Campground are unpaved. Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around the park on foot, bike, horseback, boat, or motorcycle.
Parking is available at various spots in the park, including the Bushkill Meeting Center and within the campground if you’re staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Middle Delaware National Scenic River
Campsites in Middle Delaware National Scenic River
Dingman's Campground at Middle Delaware National Scenic River offers 133 campsites in the Pocono Mountains. Campers can choose from campsites along the Delaware River, in the forest, or on the meadow available for both tents and RVs or trailers. The maximum size for RVs and trailers is at least 30 feet. Larger campsites may be available so campers are recommended to call ahead to check.
RV campers can choose from campsites with electricity and water hookups or unserviced campsites. Facilities include restrooms, a sanitary station, a boat launch area, and a big sports field.
Middle Delaware National Scenic River offers various free primitive campsites along the river. These are open only to boaters and canoeists traveling from one point to another when they can’t complete the journey in a day. They’re only meant as a stopover and are available for one night only on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no facilities.
Seasonal activities in Middle Delaware National Scenic River
The Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. With various tributaries, there are plenty of spots to enjoy some quiet angling here. Fish species you can expect to catch include blueback herring, Atlantic menhaden, white perch, bay anchovies, and American shad. Don’t miss the American shad run that occurs in the park during May and June! Please note that a Pennsylvania state fishing license is required to fish here.
During the warm and muggy summer days, campers can enjoy a range of water sports in the Middle Delaware National Scenic River. Bring your own canoes or kayaks from home and explore the river banks from the water. Lifeguards are on duty at Milford Beach and Smithfield Beach in the summertime. Snorkeling and diving are popular too, provided you keep a 50-foot distance from any boat launch area. Divers are required to use diving flags and stay close to them at all times.
There are endless hiking trails available near the Middle Delaware National Scenic River. Which trail you choose depends on how challenging a hike you’re looking for. For two to six-hour hikes, do Mt. Minsi at the Gap or the McDade Trail. Bear in mind that the McDade Recreational Trail is also a designated multi-use trail so be prepared to share the trail with cyclists, and cross-country skiers in the winter. The Appalachian Trail also leads through the area.
Bird watching enthusiasts will love hanging out at the Middle Delaware National Scenic River. There are all sorts of interesting birds to spot here - along the river banks, in the forest, or out on the meadows. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of water birds wading in the river and eagles swooping overhead. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and birding books!
Rock climbing is a popular activity in the Middle Delaware National Scenic River park. The Point of Gap is the favorite spot in the park located right in the Water Gap. You don’t need to register to rock climb here but you should always let someone know where you are going at all times. Never rock climb alone!
The Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a favorite for winter sports. While the many trails are open to cycling, hiking, and horse riding in the summer months, some of them are also open to cross-country skiing in the winter months. One of these ski-friendly trails is the McDade Recreational Trail. Please note that you are using these trails at your own risk. You will also need to bring your own ski equipment.