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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

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Title: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Worthington State Forest, Gateway National Recreation Area, List of areas in the United States National Park System, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Delaware Water Gap
Collection: Delaware Water Gap, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, National Park Service National Recreation Areas, National Park Service Wild and Scenic Rivers, Protected Areas of Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Protected Areas of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, Protected Areas of Pike County, Pennsylvania, Protected Areas of Sussex County, New Jersey, Protected Areas of Warren County, New Jersey, The Poconos, United States National Park Service Areas in New Jersey, United States National Park Service Areas in Pennsylvania, Wild and Scenic Rivers of the United States
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Silver Thread Falls, the smaller waterfall at the Dingman's Falls site is located near Dingman's Ferry, Pennsylvania.
Map showing the location of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Map showing the location of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Location New Jersey & Pennsylvania, USA
Nearest city Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania,
Port Jervis, New York
Area 66,741 acres (27,009 ha)[1]
Established September 1, 1965 (1965-September-01)
Visitors 4,986,700 (in 2011)[2]
Governing body National Park Service

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a 70,000 acres (28,000 ha) protected area designated a National Recreation Area administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service. It is located along the middle section of the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania stretching from the Delaware Water Gap northward in New Jersey to the state line near Port Jervis, New York, and in Pennsylvania to the outskirts of Milford. A 40-mile (64 km) section of the Delaware River, entirely within the National Recreation Area, has been granted protected status as the Middle Delaware National Scenic River under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and is also administered by the National Park Service. This section of the river is the core of the historical Minisink region.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was established in 1978 after the eminent domain, and later by political figures. After the costly Vietnam War, government appropriations for the project dwindled in the face of opposition. In addition, a geological safety assessment revealed the dam would be built too close to nearby active fault lines.

The recreation area includes parts of Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, and Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties in Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Trail runs along much of the eastern boundary of the park and is maintained and updated by the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference. The park offers historical and cultural sites including the Minisink Archaeological Site, Millbrook Village, and the arts center in Peter's Valley and rural scenery approximately an hour's drive from New York City. The park has significant Native American archaeological sites. In addition, a number of structures remain from early Dutch settlement during the colonial period. Outdoor recreational activities include canoeing, hiking, camping, swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and picnicking. Fishing and hunting are permitted in season with valid state licenses.


  • Geology and geography 1
  • History 2
    • Minisink 2.1
    • Tocks Island Dam and Park creation 2.2
  • Gallery 3
  • Notable sites within the Park 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Geology and geography



View of the Delaware Water Gap from the west, near Dunfield

Tocks Island Dam and Park creation

The Delaware River is prone to floods—some resulting from seasonal snow melt or rain run-off from heavy rainstorms. However, record flooding occurred in August 1955 in the aftermath of two separate hurricanes (Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane) that passed over the area within the span of one week. On 19 August 1955, the river gauge at Riegelsville, Pennsylvania recorded that the Delaware River reached a crest of 38.85 feet (11.84 m) above flood stage.

A project to dam the river near Tocks Island was in the works before the 1955 floods. But several deaths and severe damages resulting from these floods brought the issue of flood control to the national level. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed the construction of the dam, which would have created a 37-mile (60-km) long lake between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with depths of up to 140 feet. The area around the lake would be established as the Tocks Island National Recreation Area under the oversight of the National Park Service, to offer recreation activities such as hunting, hiking, fishing, and boating. In addition to flood control and recreation, the dam would be used to generate hydroelectric power and provide a clean water supply to New York City and Philadelphia.

Starting in 1960, the present-day area of the Recreation Area was acquired for the Army Corps of Engineers through eminent domain. Approximately 15,000 people were displaced by the condemnation of personal property along the Delaware River and the surrounding area. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 dwellings and outbuildings were demolished in preparation for the dam project and subsequent flooding of the valley. This included many irreplaceable historical sites and structures connected with the valley's Native American and colonial heritage. The plan was embroiled in controversy and engendered strong opposition by environmental groups and embittered displaced residents.

Because of considerable opposition from environmental activists, the unavailability of government funding, and a geological assessment revealing the dam would be located near active

  • National Park Service: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • The Friends Of The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

External links

  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  3. ^ Obiso, Laura. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (2008), 7-8.
  4. ^ Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area,
  5. ^ See: Feiveson, Harold; Sinden, Frank; and Socolow, Robert. Boundaries of Analysis: An Inquiry Into the Tocks Island Dam Controversy. (1976). Albert, Richard C. Damming the Delaware: The Rise and Fall of Tocks Island Dam (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987).
  6. ^ "The Legacy of Tocks Island," Pocono Record, August 12, 2001


Notable sites within the Park



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