Are you traveling through the great state of Pennsylvania? Maybe you’re passing through Delaware, on your way to visit the in-laws up north. The northeast has a lot of nature to offer. And the first place you need to check out is Dingmans Falls. 

Even if you’re all the way down in Texas, you may want to consider taking a trip up to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The DWGNRA offers 67,000 acres of wild forest just for you, with 47 miles of river to entice your inner Tom Sawyer. Enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, and basking in the wildlife around you. 

Dingmans Falls, located in the DWGNRA, is the second-largest waterfall in Pennsylvania with a 130-foot drop. And if offers endless beauty and recreational opportunities.

Dingmans Falls: What You Need to Know Before You Go

There are a few things you need to know before you set off in search of a waterfall adventure. 

Getting there

Dingmans Falls in Pennsylvania is located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. There is a trailhead to get there at the Visitor Center, a fun little building teaching you about the history of the place.

The trail meandering over to the falls is just under a half mile long and has been recently renovated. You’ll find it to be quite an easy stroll, equipped to handle wheelchairs as well.

Best of all, you can also see Silverthread Falls from the same trail. Silverthread boasts a height of 80 feet. The renovated trail leads from the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center to viewpoints for both of these beautiful waterfalls.

The boardwalk trail leads through shade trees and flowering bushings, making perfect for a leisurely stroll to admire the natural landscape. 

Seasons

The Falls operate seasonally, so make sure you visit at the appropriate time. Dingmans falls hours are flexible in the summertime but come early. The parking lot fills up quick to see this amazing waterfall. 

The Dingmans Falls Visitor Center closes in the winter season and generally opens up Memorial Day weekend. The Falls trail operates on a different schedule. It opens whenever the trail can be navigated easily and is cleared of snow and ice.

Rules

Make sure you follow all the rules when visiting the falls:

  • No swimming or wading
  • Do not fish in the Falls
  • No pets on the trail
Birds-eye view of Dingmans Falls

Image CC BY-SA 4.0, by Tayl7205, via Wikimedia Commons

Activities to Enjoy Around Dingmans Falls

There are tons of activities to enjoy while in the DWGNRA. The park spans over 70,000 acres, making it eastern America’s largest recreation area.

Hiking Around Dingmans Falls

Delaware Water Gap hiking trails are open year-round! Barring danger from inclement weather or preservation activities, you can come here whenever you like. 

The scenery here is varied and precious. Hikers are encouraged to visit in all four seasons to experience what each one has to offer.

You’ll find picturesque snow in the winter, while spring comes with blooming flowers and flourishing wildlife. Summer is the best time for swimming, and autumn showcases a spectacular tree line of reds and yellows.

Trails are available at every level of difficulty and through all terrains. To find out which one is perfect for you, simply visit the park’s hiking page. Here, the hikes are organized by difficulty and scenery.

Swimming and Watersports in the Park

There are three secure beaches that are open to the public within the park. 

  • Milford Beach: Hike to Milford Beach if you’re in the area of Milford, Pennsylvania. This beach offers a grassy knoll for lounging. If you want to put in, Milford Beach has a boat launch just for you.
  • Smithfield Beach: This beach is located north of Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey. It has access to several hiking trails, so it’s perfect for a multifunctional day trip. 
  • Turtle Beach: Turtle Beach is more isolated, located on the Old Mine Road north of i-80. It has picnic tables, a grassy area, and restrooms for your enjoyment.

The park is open for canoeing, kayaking, and boating year-round with registered and legal boats. Biking is a completely permitted and very popular activity in the park. Mountain bikes and road bikes alike are welcome on the designated trails and along paved roads. 

Fishing and hunting

The park offers ample opportunities for hunting and fishing, and these activities are celebrated in the area. 

It is absolutely vital to check out the licenses and regulations needed by visiting the policies page of the park. Remember, hunting and fishing licenses vary depending on which state you’re in. 

Since the park spans across different states, it’s important to know which one you’ll be in and what the policies are there.

Stay for Days Around Dingmans Falls

There is currently no lodging available inside the park, but camping spots abound. 

Choose to camp along the river when you travel by canoe, boat, or kayak. Most of these spots are free of charge! For those who aren’t boating, pick the developed campground that suits your needs.

Dingmans Campground is near to the falls and opens seasonally, as does Worthington State Forest Campground. 

For year-round camping, visit the Mohican Outdoor Center. They require advance notice and reservations before your arrival.

Other Activities Near Dingmans Falls

Along with enjoying the view of the falls, there are other points of interest you can visit on your summer vacation. 

Visit Millbrook Village for a taste of 19th-century life in Pennsylvania. You can also visit the Village of Bevans and admire historical crafts and the active studio spaces. The Rosenkrans House hosts a small museum.

Old Mine Road provides one of the best scenic drives in the country. Going back to the mid-1600s, the road served as a major commercial route for farmers. Today, it’s a popular route for both cyclists and motorists. 

Dingmans Falls is the Place to Be This Summer

Dingmans Falls, Pennsylvania, is a place you’ve just got to visit. Enjoy the scenic rolling hills that accentuate the beautiful brooks between them and relax far away from the bustling city.

Visit the falls and the surrounding areas to experience all that the Delaware Water Gap has to offer.

 

Featured Image: CC by SA 2.0, by Doug Kerr, via Flickr

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