Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

So if anyone is looking for a quick adventure with lots of swimming, everyone needs to check out the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Center. This place could be considered an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven as the list of recreational activities seem to never end.  The place is full of water activities to do in the summer and it’s only about an hour and a half away from Philadelphia. Its free to get into National Park and State Forest; the only thing that costs money is the actual activities you partake in.

So there is hiking and, depending on where you go, if there is a waterfall you may be lucky enough to find a spot to swim in. This park has bunches of trails and therefore every trip can be a little different. This park has at least six major waterfalls you can see while on your hike. The park service does not recommend you go swimming because there is no lifeguard on duty. So make sure you feel safe enough and use common sense as to whether or not it's a good idea to swim.  They also have the option of canoeing and kayaking! You have the choice of renting a boat or bringing your own. The park has particular places where it is ok to kayak and canoe, so make sure you check in at the park info center for the best places to canoe.

The park’s one main area to swim is called Turtle Beach; this is the area of the recreation center that is known for swimming. You can set up a mini camp for the day and enjoy the outdoors. Swimming is allowed so grab your bathing suit and hit that open water. It is a great way to cool off from the heat along with having fun. This is the one part of the park that fills up fast, so if you’re traveling, I would recommend getting an early head start out there!

For those of you trying to take a less taxing approach there is also access to tubing. That’s right, you rent a float and then float down the river. I have done this once or twice and it is so much fun for all ages! You can even pack a snack and eat out of your cooler for the ride down the river!

Not all of these ideas require the knowledge of how to swim. However, it would be a real bummer if you had to limit your choices due to not knowing how to swim. Do yourself a favor and try to become acquainted with the water. If anything, before you go up there it is at least a good idea to know how to float. Another note I want to make is you should plan what you're going to do before you get up there! If you want to hike you're going to need to bring proper climbing shoes and lots of water, so pack appropriately to make the most of the what this wonderful facility has to offer!


Coach Kelcey right above the large waterfall, called Buttermilk falls.

Coach Kelcey right above the large waterfall, called Buttermilk falls.