Fees to be collected starting Monday at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Everything’s getting more expensive, it seems, and that includes getting back to nature in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

The National Park Service on Thursday announced fees will be charged starting Monday at Smithfield Beach, Bushkill Boat Launch, Dingmans Boat Launch, Milford Beach and Turtle Beach.

Federal officials in 2020 rejected a park-wide entrance fee in favor of the expanded amenity fees that go into effect for 2022 from April 18 until Oct. 10.

“What you pay here, will stay here,” Elizabeth Winslow, the parklands’ fee program manager, said in a news release Thursday, meaning that most revenue generated from fees collected in the park stays in the park and is used to fund projects and services that have a direct visitor benefit including facility and trail maintenance, restrooms, boat and canoe launches and picnic areas.

Daily fees are $10 per vehicle (up to seven occupants) and $2 for additional passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Where fee attendants are not on duty, visitors should deposit the daily fee in a self-registration envelope provided at the entrance to the fee areas, put it in the designated secured drop box, and place the receipt on the vehicle’s dashboard, the National Park Service says.

Annual passes are available for $45 per vehicle. Discounts apply for multiple purchases from the same household. Additional information is available at nps.gov/dewa.

The park’s 2022 season officially opens Friday, offering access to:

  • boat launches;
  • the access roads to Dingmans Falls (open daily during daylight hours); and
  • Old Mine Road from the Worthington State Forest boundary to Millbrook Village and the dirt section of Old Mine Road near Van Campen Inn.
  • In addition, Mountain Road in Walpack, New Jersey, will be open to vehicles between the Walpack Cemetery and Buttermilk Falls. The road is closed to vehicles beyond that point and from the south end at Haneys Mill due to the closure of the state-owned section of the road for repairs.
  • Crater Lake, including Skyline Drive and the upper section of Blue Mountain Lakes Road, will re-open to vehicles daily until May 21 when it will be closed to vehicles Friday evenings through Monday afternoons until Oct. 2. The road will remain closed to vehicles on federal holidays that fall on Mondays.

Other areas that will be closed on weekends from May 21 to Oct. 2 include:

  • Cadoo Recreation Site in NJ and Hialeah Picnic Area and Freeman Tract Road in Pennsylvania. These areas will be closed on Friday evenings and will re-open on Mondays by noon; they will remain closed to vehicles on federal holidays that fall on Mondays.

The following area closures go into effect on May 1 and remain in effect through September annually:

  • Adams Creek Trail and parking areas, including the drainage, from the Sproul Road and Long Meadow Road Parking Areas downstream to US Route 209;
  • White Pines McDade Trail parking area; and
  • Raymondskill Creek drainage, from the base of the lower falls, including the pool area, downstream to the confluence of the Delaware River, including the Schanno House (former) parking area and grounds on the west side of US Route 209 at Raymondskill Creek. This closure does not include the McDade Recreational Trail.

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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com.

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