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Overnight Canoe Camping - Delaware Water Gap, PA

Canoe or Flatwater Kayaking Area
Chuck Cooper

For the best camping experience in the area, I would recommend the 20 Mile overnight canoe trip in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This trip is a leisurely paddle, with amazing views, small sets of class 2 rapids, and pristine riverfront camping. You can choose many different sections of river for the trip. Lots of people like to end at Kittitanny point. I begin at Dingmans Access, and end at Smithfield Beach as I find this to be the most scenic section of river. Along the way, there are dozens of primitive camp sites to choose from. The sites are only accessible by boat, and there are no roads, bridges or houses along the way, just you and the Bald Eagles, which often build massive nests near campsites.

I recommend NOT going on a Saturday night, as the campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis and tend to fill up rather quickly. If you must go on a weekend, you will want to book one of the Alosa campsites that can be reserved. If you have a group, you will want to book one of the group sites available along the way. There are several. Valley View Campsite, Rivers Bend Campsite, or Worthing State Park, which is also a car campground. These offer bathrooms and picnic tables, but have nothing to buy, so you will want to bring plenty of water, and firewood.

There is a helpful PDF published by the National Park with the camping regulations and a map. You will want to call a local outfitter for current river conditions and suggestions on how to manage the logistics of the one way paddle.

Best Access Points

Logistics can be hard for a trip like this one. It requires 2 cars and you will have to shuttle yourselves around. Or you can just hire a liscened livery to take you. There are several in the area. You typically park at their location, they will rent you all the equipment you will need and drive you to and from the river. Edge of the Woods Outfitters has a location that is located between these 2 access points and runs this trip 7 days a week in the spring summer and fall.

If you have your own canoe, you can take the free shuttle the park service offers on summer weekends. If it is a weekday, you can hire one of the local liveries to take you and your gear up river. You can park your car where you will be ending your trip, and they will pick up there so you can paddle back to your car. Very convient.

For information on the free shuttle, and to find a list of licensed liveries, click here.

Happy camping!

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