Trails and roads close as park employees assess storm damage Repairs in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area may take months or years, acting superintendent says
A maintenance worker in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area removing fallen trees in the park areas after Winter Storm Riley (Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Facebook photo)
BUSHKILL — Park employees continue to assess post-storm damage in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, after two winter storms ripped through the area last week. National Park Service officials say they're also working to re-open park roads and visitor facilities as quickly and safely as possible. According to initial staff reports, well over 100 trees fell at George W. Childs Park alone, causing significant damage to the boardwalk trails and stairs. “Heavy snow and high winds from the March 2 storm brought down hundreds of trees throughout the park,” said Deputy Superintendent Keith Farrar on Monday. “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.” Several roads and trails remain closed in and around the park on Monday, and information is not yet available on the condition of many park trails. Assessments will continue throughout the week as employees get into some areas for the first time since the storms. “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." Closed park roads in NJOld 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 Closed park roads in PARiver 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 Closed trailsDingmans Falls Trail George W. Childs Park Trails Adams Creek Trail Hornbecks Creek Trail These trails sustained significant damage from downed trees and are hazardous. More trails may be added to the list as park employees continue their assessments. Open trailsRaymondskill 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 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; visit our nps.gov/dewa; or follow the park on Facebook.