Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

#9 in Best Things To Do in The Poconos
Alex Potemkin/Getty Images

Key Info

1978 River Rd

Price & Hours

24/7 daily


Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area stretches over 40 miles of the Delaware River, covering a total of roughly 67,000 acres. This expansive protected area allows outdoorsy visitors to explore more than 100 miles of hiking trails, including 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Scenic drives complement the hiking options, while motorboats, fishers, kayaks and swimmers can utilize the Delaware River. Come winter, the recreation area also allows cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Past visitors recommended hiking the Red Dot Trail up Mount Tammany, which can be combined with the Blue Blaze Trail to create a loop. The Red Dot Trail is particularly steep and rocky, though the full loop is only 3 miles, so it's recommended to take the Red Dot Trail up and the Blue Blaze Trail down. The recreation areas fall foliage also impresses recent adventurers, meeting their high expectations for the region's autumn colors.

The southern end of the Delaware Water Gap is located within 20 miles of the Pocono Mountains, making it easily accessible via car. The recreation area straddles the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There is no fee to enter the Delaware Water Dam National Recreation Area, but an expanded amenities fee of $10 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian ages 16 or older is charged April through October at the following areas: Milford Beach, Dingmans Access, Bushkill Access, Smithfield Beach, Watergate Recreation Site and Turtle Beach. More information on the national recreation area is available on the National Park Service website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Pocono Raceway

Known as the "Tricky Triangle" for its three distinct turns, the Pocono Raceway began welcoming fans in 1968. Nowadays, Pocono Raceway hosts a handful of NASCAR races every summer, while a variety of other car-related experiences are available when races are not taking place. Visitors can ride in or drive a stock car, bring their own car for a spin on the famous track, choose from a selection of exotic cars to take for a test drive and more. 

Past travelers praised the stock car ride-along experience, saying that the G-force going around the track's iconic corners provides an adrenaline rush. The park's clean atmosphere, from the restrooms to the vendors, also impresses most recent visitors. Still, those who are not racing fans expressed disappointment with NASCAR in general, and diehard NASCAR fans couldn't help comparing the Pocono Raceway to its more impressive counterparts.

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