A campsite with a view was discovered on my recent overnight trip in the Delaware Water Gap.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is along the New Jersey (NJ) and Pennsylvania (PA) border. The Delaware River cuts through the Appalachian Mountains, forming a gap. The geologic changes of the area began 500M years ago. A look at the topology suggests that water and wind erosion have been at work for a long time.
The 67,000-acre recreation area features fields that have been farmed for more than 1000 years. The area includes villages dating back to colonial times. Today, the recreation area offers more than 100 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of which are the Appalachian Trail (AT). An adventurer can enjoy canoeing, rafting, swimming, fishing, rock climbing, and hiking in the recreation area.
My first experience in the Delaware Water Gap was during November of 2012. It was a joyous occasion. I was backpacking my last few miles of PA’s AT. PA is beautiful, but the AT is composed of tens of millions of toaster-sized rocks. As I was walking along the ridge of Mount Minsi at sunset, mentally checking PA off my section hike list, I decided to return to the Delaware Water Gap when I could.
My recent overnighter was four years after my first visit. I read about potential hazards (e.g., hunting season, black bear activities) to help prepare for the trip. A salesperson at my local outfitter encouraged me to pack bear spray. It would seem that NJ is just crawling with bears. My overnight trip was limited to PA, but PA is just a short wade across the Delaware River from bear-infested NJ. I purchased bear spray.
I parked at trailhead parking, hoisted my backpack, and began to climb Mount Minsi. It is a beautiful climb, along a gentle trail that crosses a couple of streams. Soon, I was reminded of the slope’s significant patches of Rhododendrons. These year-round leaf bearing shrubs could hide large sloths of bears. I climbed, with hand on bear spray.
The video shows a few views from Mount Minsi and the campsite with a view.
There are numerous parking lots for day hikers and backpackers. Review this interactive map to plan your visit of the region.
What interests you most about the Delaware Water Gap?