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Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River



Delaware State Forest- The Delaware State Forest encompasses the famous Pocono Mountains. In keeping with the popular conception of the Pocono as a mountain playground, the State Forest provides a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities including activities centered around ten lakes and ponds.

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General Information

Description - As a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River stretches 73.4 miles (118.3 km) along the New York-Pennsylvania border. The longest free-flowing river in the Northeast, it includes riffles and Class I and II rapids between placid pools and eddies. Public river accesses range from 3 to 20 miles apart along the river. These accesses are jointly managed by the National Park Service and the agencies which own the land.

The Upper Delaware is known as an excellent fishery, with trout, bass, walleye, eel and shad in abundance. Bait and tackle shops are located in the area for your convenience. A Pennsylvania State Forest primitive camping area for river users only is within the Buckhorn Natural Area of Delaware State Forest, near Stairstep Rapids, Pond Eddy, NY.

Wintering bald eagles are among the wildlife that may be seen here and in recent years the bald eagle has become a year-round resident. The eagles congregate at certain places along the Upper Delaware during the winter months, when area ponds and most sections of the river are frozen. Lackawaxen, PA, and Pond Eddy, Callicoon and Lordville, NY, are good places to watch for eagles between December and early March.

This unit of the National Park Service is also home to John Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct and the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen, PA.

Attractions - Authorized on November 10, 1978, as a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River stretches 73.4 miles (118.3 km) along the New York-Pennsylvania border. The longest free-flowing river in the Northeast, it includes riffles and Class I and II rapids between placid pools and eddies. Public fishing and boating accesses are provided, although most land along the river is privately owned. Wintering bald eagles are among the wildlife that may be seen here. This unit of the National Park Service is also home to John Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct and the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen, PA.

Recreation - Many folks enjoy boating the Upper Delaware River. It is the longest free-flowing river in the Northeast. It includes riffles and Class I and II rapids between placid pools and eddies. Its average depth is 4 - 5 feet, but 12- to 18-foot holes are common, with some even deeper (to 113 feet at Narrowsburg). The river can rise rapidly after heavy rains and after releases from dams on tributaries. Obstructions include large boulders, bridge piers and eel weirs. The Upper Delaware's boating season extends from mid-April through October. The water, even in summer, can be cold enough to cause hypothermia.

Public river accesses range from 3 to 20 miles apart along the river. These accesses are jointly managed by the National Park Service and the agencies which own the land.

The Upper Delaware is known as an excellent fishery, with trout, bass, walleye, eel and shad in abundance. Bait and tackle shops are located in the area for your convenience. If you plan to fish, and are 16 or older, you need a New York or Pennsylvania fishing license, which is valid on either side of the river between the two states. Licensed commercial fishing guides also operate on the Upper Delaware.

A Pennsylvania State Forest primitive camping area for river users only is within the Buckhorn Natural Area of Delaware State Forest, near Stairstep Rapids, Pond Eddy, NY. Required permits are available from the National Park Service Barryville Office on NY Route 97 (Phone: 914-557-0222).

Since this unit of the National Park System is mainly limited to the river itself, with little land base, there are no National Park Service hiking trails at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. However, several other agencies and organizations manage nearby public lands suitable for short day hikes: Many of these sites are multiple use areas and permit hunting. Always be aware of local hunting seasons. Wear bright clothing (hunter orange) for high visibility.

The bald eagle has become a year-round resident along the Upper Delaware River and observant river users may catch a glimpse of an eagle. Bald eagles congregate at certain places along the Upper Delaware during the winter months, when area ponds and most sections of the river are frozen. Lackawaxen, PA, and Pond Eddy, Callicoon and Lordville, NY, are good places to watch for eagles between December and early March.

Zane Grey Museum was the home of the prolific western author from 1914-18. NPS rangers and volunteers provide 20-minute guided tours through the museum, with its collection of memorabilia, photographs and books, and provide for sale a variety of Zane Grey books currently in print.

Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct was constructed in 1848 as part of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Designed by the future architect of the Brooklyn Bridge ‹ John A. Roebling ‹ the Roebling Bridge, as it is now known, is believed to be the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. NPS rangers and volunteers provide short talks and tours of the former canal remnant; the Tollhouse contains historic photos from the canal era (1825-1898).

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 22 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -4 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - Pike and Wayne counties, PA; Delaware, Orange and Sullivan counties, NY.

FROM NEW YORK CITY:
Take I-87N (New York Thruway, toll) to NY 17N, then I-84 to Matamoras, PA (Exit 11, PA Welcome Center) then US Routes 209N/6E to NY 97N; or I-84 to Port Jervis (Exit 1), then US Routes 6W/209S to NY 97N, which parallels most of the river.

FROM ALBANY, NEW YORK:
Take I-87S (New York Thruway, toll) to Kingston, NY (Exit 19), then US 209S to NY 17W to Monticello; then NY 17B to NY 52W, then NY 97N to Narrowsburg or NY 97S to Lackawaxen and points south.

FROM BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK:
Take NY 17E to Hancock, NY (Exit 87) then NY 97S.

FROM MONTICELLO, NEW YORK:
Routes NY 17B and NY 42 lead into the Upper Delaware Valley.

FROM SCRANTON, PA:
Take I-81 to US 6E (Exit 57) through Carbondale and Honesdale, to NY 652E to Narrowsburg and NY 97.

FROM PHILADELPHIA AND ALLENTOWN, PA:
Take I-476 (Northeast Extension, Pennsylvania Turnpike, toll) to Scranton, PA (Exit 39), then I-81S to US 6E (Exit 57) through Carbondale and Honesdale, to NY 652E to Narrowsburg and NY 97.

FROM STROUDSBURG AND MILFORD, PA:
Take US 209N to US 6W, then PA 434N to Shohola, PA, or 590W to Lackawaxen, PA or from Milford, take US 209N/6E to Port Jervis, then NY 97N.

FROM NORTHWESTERN, NEW JERSEY:
Take 15N and 206N lead to Milford, PA, then take US 209N/6E to Port Jervis, then NY 97N. (NJ 23N leads to Port Jervis, NY, then take US 6W/209S to NY 97N.)


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More Information

Contact Information:
Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, RR 2 Box 2428 , Beach Lake, PA, 18405-9373, Phone: 570-729-8251, Fax: 570-729-8565
, upde_interpretation@nps.gov

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania Lakes and Reservoirs - Pennsylvania boasts as having more flowing water than any other state in the "lower 48." Whether you're looking for limestone streams, famous for trout fishing or whitewater rapids for an afternoon thrill ride, this state can fulfill that desire. The keystone state offers over 2,500 lakes and 300 streams. Ricketts Glen State Park is famous for its 30 waterfalls, the highest being a 94 foot tumble. In addition, Pennsylvania is home to the Allegheny National Forest known for its lush hardwoods, rich wildlife and a 12,000 acre lake considered ideal for catching trophy walleye, pike and muskellunge.
Pennsylvania National Forests and Parks - The National Park Service boasts of having over 16 designated historical sites, battlefields, monuments, memorials, rivers and trails within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Each is significant within itself deserving the protection and maintenance from the Park Service. The National Forest Service maintains and manages one of America's finest hardwood producing territories, the Allegheny National Forest, located in the northwestern region of the state.
Pocono Mountains / Endless Mountains Area - The Pocono Mountains abound in natural wonders. The Glens Natural Area has 22 named waterfalls in a scenic gorge with old growth timber. You can also try whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River.

Links:
Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River - Official agency Website

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