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Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River - NY/PA

National Park or Protected Area
Upper Delaware scenic and recreational river – Photography by: Ginny Fiero

Congress recognized the many attributes of the Upper Delaware River; and to preserve its “outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural ...and other similar resource values” the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River was added to the nation’s National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and made a unit of the national park system on November 10, 1978.

Beginning at the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Delaware River at Hancock, New York, and extending 73.4 miles downstream to Railroad Bridge No. 2, near Mill Rift, Pennsylvania, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River --the northernmost reach of the main stem Delaware River-- is a national treasure!

Though located less than 75 miles from New York City, under 140 miles from Philadelphia, and about a half-day’s drive from Boston and Washington D.C., today’s Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River doesn’t appear to have changed much since the 1940s.

The least developed section of the last major river on the east coast that is undammed the length of its main stem, the Upper Delaware has extraordinary ecological integrity and excellent water quality and provides outstanding habitat for aquatic, riparian, and adjacent terrestrial life. The free-flowing condition of the main stem of the Upper Delaware River maintains connectivity to and from the Atlantic Ocean that is essential for sea-run migratory species such as the American shad and the American eel.

Learn more about Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River

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Pet Friendly Notes

Pets must be kept on leash no longer than 6' in length, and are not allowed inside structures.

Please clean up after your pet.

Recreational Opportunities

Whether by canoe, kayak, raft, or tube, the best way to see and get to know they Upper Delaware is to be on the river. The boating season usually runs from April to October. Most of the Upper Delaware River is a Class 1 stream in terms of difficulty, which means "moving water with a few riffles and small waves; few or no obstructions." The most important thing to know about boating is to always wear a properly fitted life jacket.

The river has swift currents and sudden drop-offs. The Delaware's bottom can be rocky or muddy, shallow or deep. Rocks may be slippery. Wear a life jacket and appropriate footgear, such as sneakers, while swimming, boating, fishing, or floating.

The Upper Delaware is popular with casual and serious anglers. Brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, and American eels are abundant. The American shad spawn here in late spring. A New York or Pennsylvania fishing license is required.

Clean water, ample food, and stands of tall trees along the river make the Upper Delaware and ideal habitat for the bald eagle. The Delaware River watershed is home to the largest population of wintering bald eagles in the northeast. A growing year round population of eagles has made the area an ideal location for eagle watching.

Seasons Accessible

The park is open year round.


There are no fees associated with the park.

Nearby Places