By Don Tripp, West Jersey Trails Chair
The good news for visitors to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) this holiday weekend is the re-opening of the visitor center at Kittatinny Point. Park Superintendent John J. Donahue stated in part, “The park is definitely on the rebound. I am very pleased to announce that we have had some of our funding restored and can once again offer a variety of services, activities, and programs.”
Last year the Kittatinny Point center was closed for the entire season for lack of funds due to the federal budget sequestration. Instead of a padlocked door, this season the visitor center will be staffed with Park Service staff to assist visitors with hiking and recreation activities. Starting May 24, the Visitor Center will be open 9 am to 5 pm daily through Labor Day. The center is located on the Appalachian Trail right after crossing the highway bridge from Pennsylvania into New Jersey. Take Exit 1 off Interstate 80, the last exit in New Jersey.
With easy access from Exit 1 off I-80, hiking trails fan out from the Dunnfield Creek trailhead, on the north side of I-80, offering options for short or longer hikes. For some great vistas, head up either the Blue Dot or Red Dot trails to M.t Tammany for a two-hour hike, or if you have plenty of time, either the Appalachian Trail or the Dunnfield Creek Trail will take you north and up on the Kittatinny Mountain range.
On a hot day, a great way to cool down is to soak your feet in Sunfish Pond. Most trails in this area are in Worthington State Forest (NJ) and along with the DWGNRA and Stokes State Forest, further north, create a greenway all the way up the Delaware Valley to High Point State Point, adjacent to the New York State Line. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails are out there waiting for you.
Don’t have a car, or don’t feel like driving? Go green! Martz Trailways provides frequent non-stop express bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to the village of Delaware Water Gap, PA. Get off the bus and go down Main S.t and follow the Appalachian Trail a short distance over the bridge crossing the Delaware River and you’re back in New Jersey. Be sure to stop at the Kittatinny Point visitor center.
All trails and references mentioned in this article are clearly noted on the Kittatinny Trails 4 Map Set published by the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference, available on our website.