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Delaware State Forest



Appalachian Trail- The Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail segment touches nine public lands offering an opportunity for refreshment at campgrounds, restroom facilities, beaches and concessions. Many of the state parks and state forests along the route offer scenic overlooks, picnic grounds, fishing opportunities and fresh drinking water.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area- This scenic area preserves relatively unspoiled land on both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the middle Delaware River. The park sponsors a craft village and several environmental education centers.

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General Information

Description - The Delaware State Forest lies in the heart of the famous Pocono Mountain Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania and derives its name from the Delaware River that drains the entire area. The river was named for the Delaware Indians, a tribe of the Algonquian Nation, who inhabited its shores, valleys and cliffs.

The area is easily accessible, being within a two-hour drive of many major east coast cities including New York and Philadelphia. The scenic beauty is outstanding and the area is visited by thousands of people annually.

The National Park Service administers the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This recreation area attracts 10,000,000 visitors annually. It straddles both sides of the Delaware River and runs from the Water Gap to Milford and encompasses some 70,000 acres. It also serves as the terminus for Pennsylvania's portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Over 740 permanent campsites have been leased on the Delaware State Forest. Individuals and groups that use them for hunting and as seasonal homes have built attractive cabins on these sites. Snow Hill and Pecks Pond State Forest Picnic Areas are quite popular picnic, boating and fishing locations.

A major hiking trail traverses about 30 miles of southern Pike County. The trail highlights mountain streams, swamps, varieties of forest, forest management practices and other natural features found on the Pocono Plateau. This trail system offers short loop trails for day-use. Backpacking is allowed. Parking areas are provided.

Nearly 90 miles of snowmobile trails are open to the public. This system provides for long or short trail rides. Trail grooming is conducted on about 35 miles of this trail network. Snowmobile registration is required.

The George W. Childs Park, administered by the National Park Service is located three miles west of Dingmans Ferry on Legislative Route 51006. The main attraction is a series of spectacular waterfalls in the center of the Park. Picnic tables are available.

The Tarkill Forest Demonstration Area was established in the Delaware State Forest in 1948. This "Outdoor Textbook Area" of 82 acres is located near Pecks Pond, along SR 402, in Pike County. For the convenience of the visitor, "nature trails" have been marked. Along these trails, signs indicate the names of trees, examples of forest management techniques, and interesting facts about trees and the forest in general.

Groups or schools wishing to visit the area may engage the services of a forester by contacting the District Forester's Office. Trail maps and information pertaining to each activity may be obtained by contacting the District Forester's Office in Swiftwater.

Attractions - The Delaware State Forest lies in the heart of the famous Pocono Mountain Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania and derives its name from the Delaware River which drains the entire area. The river was named for the Delaware Indians, a tribe of the Algonquian Nation, who inhabited its shores, valleys and cliffs.

The area is easily accessible, being within a two hour drive of many major east coast cities including New York and Philadelphia. The scenic beauty is outstanding and the area is visited by thousands of people annually. Unlike other mountainous sections of Pennsylvania, the Pocono Mountains are characterized by a series of broad mountain plateaus at various elevations.

In 1899 the first forest tree planting on any state land in Pennsylvania was made in Pike County. One half acre of Carolina Poplar cuttings were planted, but the planting was later reported as a failure due to winter kill.

Recreation - In keeping with the popular conception of the Poconos as a mountain playground, the State Forest provides a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. There are ten lakes and ponds within the State Forest, six of which are glacial and four man-made. Many clear mountain streams originate on the State Forest and eventually tumble down to the Delaware River creating spectacular waterfalls. The streams provide excellent trout fishing, while warm water fishing is good at many of the lakes and ponds. Wildlife is plentiful throughout the area, including deer, bear and small game. Pike County is noted for its large population of black bear.

Over 740 permanent campsites have been leased on the Delaware State Forest. Attractive cabins have been built on these sites by individuals and groups that use them for hunting and as seasonal homes.

Snow Hill and Pecks Pond State Forest Picnic Areas are quite popular. The Snow Hill Picnic Area is located a quarter mile south of the Snow Hill Ranger Station just off Laurel Run Road. A small lake provides limited fishing. Pecks Pond Picnic Area is located along the south shore of Pecks Pond. Fishing and boating are permitted.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is administered by the National Park Service. This recreation area attracts 10,000,000 visitors annually. It straddles both sides of the Delaware River and runs from the Water Gap to Milford and encompasses some 70,000 acres. It also serves as the terminus for Pennsylvania's portion of the Appalachian Trail.

George W. Childs Park, administered by the National Park Service is located three miles west of Dingmans Ferry on Legislative Route 51006. The main attraction is a series of spectacular waterfalls in the center of the Park. Picnic tables are available.

This 6.5 mile trail system has been developed by Pike County 4-H Club members in cooperation with the Bureau of Forestry. It features two loop trails encircling hardwood swamps and a meadow. The trail is also open for snowshoeing in winter. It is located just west of SR 402, about .5 mile south of US 6.

A major hiking trail traverses about 30 miles of southern Pike County. The trail highlights mountain streams, swamps, varieties of forest, forest management practices and other natural features found on the Pocono Plateau. This trail system offers short loop trails for day-use. Backpacking is allowed. Parking areas are provided.

Nearly 90 miles of snowmobile trails are open to the public. This system provides for long or short trail rides. Trail grooming is conducted on about 35 miles of this trail network. Snowmobile registration is required.

Maps for the above trails and information pertaining to each activity may be obtained by contacting the District Forester's Office in Swiftwater.

The Tarkill Forest Demonstration Area was established in the Delaware State Forest in 1948. This "Outdoor Textbook Area" of 82 acres is located near Pecks Pond, along SR 402, in Pike County. For the convenience of the visitor, "nature trails" have been marked. Along these trails, signs indicate the names of trees, examples of forest management techniques, and interesting facts about trees and the forest in general.

The area is a good example of multiple-use forestry since it supports a high population of wildlife, protects and maintains the Tarkill Creek watershed, is a source of recreation to the hunter and hiker, contains a leased forest campsite and supports a good stand of timber.

Groups or schools wishing to visit the area may engage the services of a forester by contacting the District Forester's Office

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Delaware State Forest area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - The Delaware State Forest lies in the heart of the famous Pocono Mountain Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania near the New Jersey state line. The Forest totals 80,056 acres of state-owned forest land in Pike, Monroe, Northampton and Carbon Counties. Most of the forest is in Pike County.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Delaware State Forest, District Forester, HC 1, Box 95A , Swiftwater, PA, 18370-9723, Phone: 570-895-4000, Fax: 570-895-4041

Additional Information:
Appalachian Trail - The Appalachian Trail is a footpath of more than 2,150 miles with 222 miles lying in Pennsylvania. In 1921, U.S. Forest Service planner, Benton MacKaye wrote a magazine article suggesting a trail be established to connect Mount Washington in New Hampshire to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. As a result, in 1925 the Appalachian Trail Conference chose the exact path, flagged the path, built various sections, including shelters, bridges and steps. They even wrote guidebooks to aid the hiker and backpacker. In 1968, Congress passed the National Trails System Act, making the A.T. and the Pacific Crest Trail (a Canada to Mexico path) the first National Scenic Trails. Today there are ten clubs in Virginia that help maintain the trail which now extends from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area - This scenic area preserves relatively unspoiled land on both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the middle Delaware River. The park sponsors a craft village and several environmental education centers.
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.
Pocono Mountains / Endless Mountains Area - The Pocono Mountains abound in natural wonders. The Glens Natural Area has 22 named waterfalls in a scenic gorge with old growth timber. You can also try whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River.
Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River - This is a 73.4 mile stretch of free-flowing river between Hancock and Sparrow Bush, New York along the Pennsylvania-New York border. Public fishing and boating access are provided. The area also is home to the Roebling Bridge, believed to be the oldest, existing, wire cable suspension bridge. The Zane Grey home and museum are also here.

Links:
Delaware State Forest - Official agency website

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