March 13, 2018

Winter storm damage assessments and recovery ongoing in park

BUSHKILL - Employees at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area continue to assess the damage left behind from two winter storms while also working to re-open park roads and visitor facilities as quickly and safely as possible.  “Heavy snow and high winds from the March 2nd storm brought down hundreds of trees throughout the park,” said Deputy Superintendent Keith Farrar.  “A second storm a few days later left several additional inches of snow and further hampered efforts to remove fallen trees and clear snow from roadways.”  As of Monday, several roads and trails remained closed in and around the park. 

 “We are asking the public to refrain from hiking on park trails until we are able to get our teams out there this week to assess the damage and the risks to the public from downed trees, hanging limbs, damaged boardwalks and bridges, and accumulated snow and ice,” said Farrar.  Damage assessments on the popular 32-mile long McDade Recreational Trail have not yet been completed.  Information on the status and conditions of park trails will be posted on the park’s website and Facebook page as it is available.  

“The extent of the storm damage is both significant and widespread and it will take some time- months, perhaps even years in some cases, to repair,” added Acting Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding who is working with the team to secure additional funds to expedite the recovery process.  "We ask that our visitors and local residents to be patient as we work through the assessments and repairs in a way that protects the public, the park’s natural and cultural resources, and our staff who are out there doing the work. In some areas, recovery will not be a quick process due to the nature and amount of damage."  

Initial staff reports indicate that well over a hundred trees fell at George W. Childs Park alone causing significant damage to the boardwalk trails and stairs.   

Park Roads in NJ that are CLOSED:

  • Old Mine Road from Worthington State Forest to Millbrook Village
  • Old Mine Road between Mettler Road and Jager Road
  • Route 615 from Pompey Ridge to the Old Mine Road intersection
  • Mountain Road and the dirt section of Old Mine Road remain closed for the winter 

Park Roads in PA that are CLOSED:

  • River Road from Park Headquarters to the southern boundary near Hialeah Picnic Area
  • Zimmermann Road
  • Several township-owned roads that connect with Route 209 remain closed

Trails and Visitor Use Facilities that are CLOSED due to public hazard:

  • Dingmans Falls Trail
  • George W. Childs Park Trails
  • Adams Creek Trail
  • Hornbecks Creek Trail

These trails sustained significant damage from downed trees and hazardous conditions exist.  These sites are closed to all activities until further notice. 

Additional trail closures may occur as information on the extent of the damage and potential hazards to the public becomes available.

Trails that are OPEN (but snow-covered):

  • Raymondskill Falls Trail (from lower parking area)
  • Cliff Park Trails (with the exception of the Buchanan Spur which is closed to protect peregrine falcons)
For more information on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and updates on park roads and facilities, call park headquarters at (570) 426-2452, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm; visit our website at www.nps.gov/dewa; or follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS

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