Release Date: November 30, 2022
Contact: Bill Tagye, Chief of Facility Management- William_Tagye@nps.gov, 570-426-2416
BUSHKILL, PA- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area provides year-round recreational opportunities, however visitor services and maintenance operations are reduced during the winter months when staffing levels and visitation are at their lowest. This includes the closure of some roads and visitor use sites and reduced maintenance at others.
“Plowing and treating the main roads through the park is our top priority when we have snow and ice. Secondary roads, administrative buildings, and visitor use sites that will remain open for the winter will be plowed after the main roads have been cleared and are safe for travel while other roads will receive no winter maintenance,” said Bill Tagye, Chief of Facility Management at the park.
Of the more than 150 miles of dirt and paved roads within the recreation area, a few have been determined to be of highest priority for snow and ice removal and treatment. These roads provide critical access to and through the park, including emergency access, and provide routes for residents living within park boundaries to get to and from their homes.
Park staff will make every effort to keep the priority routes open and safe for travel during and after winter weather events, however, roadways may be snow-covered and winter driving conditions may exist during a storm. Even high priority roads may be closed temporarily if conditions deteriorate faster than road crews can keep up with or in the event of equipment failures or breakdowns. If that occurs, these roads will be re-opened as soon as park staff can get them cleared for travel.
Areas that will be closed through the winter were selected based on several factors including winterization of water supply systems, reduced custodial and maintenance staff, safety requirements, and other priorities for snow and ice removal. Closures will go into effect on January 2, 2023, or at the first significant snowfall, whichever comes first. Most sites will re-open on April 15.
New Jersey Roads:
In New Jersey, the top priority roads that will remain OPEN during the winter months are:
Old Mine Road:
Other NJ Roads:
Visitor Use Sites
Walkways and parking lots will normally be cleared within 72 hours of the end of a storm.
River Access: River access will be available at Smithfield Beach, Milford Beach, and Bushkill Access. These areas will be closed temporarily during a storm and re-opened after priority routes are clear and safe for travel. River ice may limit access depending on conditions. The NPS does not clear river ice from launch areas. Eshback Access will remain open but will receive no winter maintenance.
Trail Access: All trails that are currently open will remain open during the winter, but trailhead parking will be dependent on conditions and may be limited in some areas. Road closures may also affect access to some trails. Trailhead parking areas that will remain open during the winter months will not be cleared of ice and snow until after all priority routes are clear and safe for travel.
Restrooms: Restrooms are available at Kittatinny Point Picnic Area, Blue Mountain Lakes parking area, and Millbrook Village in NJ and at Smithfield Beach, Bushkill Meeting Center, Bushkill Access, Hidden Lake, Toms Creek, and Milford Beach in PA. All restrooms with running water will be closed for the winter including outdoor spigots.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
This press release is also available on our website: Reduced Winter Services 2023 – Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
Public Affairs Specialist
National Park Service
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River