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Camping at Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River Primitive Campsites

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Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River is a section of the Delaware River that runs through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This area offers a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, and primitive camping. Primitive campsites in this park provide a more secluded and natural camping experience compared to developed campgrounds.

Location and Access

The river flows along the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The primitive campsites along the river are usually accessible by canoe, kayak, or by hiking in. River mileage markers indicate the location of the campsites, and access might vary depending on the water level and the time of the year.

Campsite Features

  • Camping Style: The sites offer a very basic camping experience, typically without running water, electricity, or restroom facilities.
  • Amenities: Some sites might have fire rings, picnic tables, and possibly a pit toilet.
  • Capacity: There is usually a limit to the number of people and tents per site, so check the regulations when planning your trip.

Reservations and Permits

  • Permits: Visitors may need to obtain a special use permit or ensure they are following the guidelines for the number of nights they can stay.
  • Fees: There may be a fee associated with camping permits or site reservations.
  • Reservations: Depending on the time of year and specific camping regulations within the recreation area, sites might be first-come-first-served or require advanced reservations.

Regulations and Safety

  • Food Storage: Proper food storage is essential to keep wildlife from being attracted to campsites.
  • Campfires: Restrictions on campfires often apply, and when fires are permitted, they must be kept within the designated fire rings or areas.
  • Trash and Waste: These are pack-in, pack-out campsites, and visitors are expected to leave no trace of their stay.
  • Wildlife: Be aware of local wildlife and take precautions, especially if camping in areas with bears or other potentially dangerous animals.
  • Water Safety: Since the campsites are often near the river, understanding water safety and local conditions is important.
  • Weather: Prepare for weather changes, as the river valley can experience rapid weather shifts.


  • Boating: The Middle Delaware River is popular for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting.
  • Fishing: It's a great spot for fishing, but make sure to comply with state fishing regulations and licenses.
  • Hiking: Nearby trails offer scenic views and opportunities to explore the park further.
  • Wildlife Watching: The area is home to a diversity of wildlife, including eagles, hawks, and deer.

Planning Tips

  • Research: Before going, research the latest information from the National Park Service or local ranger stations.
  • Gear: Bring all the gear you need for primitive camping, including water treatment options.
  • Connectivity: Cell phone reception might be unreliable, so plan accordingly.
  • Transport: Determine how you will access the campsites, through boating or hiking, and what protocols you need to follow.
  • Environmental Impact: Familiarize yourself with and follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.

Visiting the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recrecational River Primitive Campsites can be a deeply rewarding experience for those looking for a more rustic and intimate interaction with nature. Remember that thorough preparation and respect for the park rules ensure not only your enjoyment but also the preservation of this beautiful area for future visitors.

Location of Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River Primitive Campsites
Other Campgrounds in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
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