Top 10 Spots For Hiking In Delaware Water Gap - Updated 2024

hiking in delaware water gap
Faith
Faith 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 3 min read

Delaware Water Gap is a national recreation area in the United States of America and it lies on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is one of the most popular spots where visitors engage in outdoor activities like canoeing, rafting, swimming, fishing, and rock climbing. If you’re thinking of making a trip there to admire the beauty of nature and the luscious greenery that surrounds you, hiking and trekking would be the best way for you to do so. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced hiker, there are different routes you can take where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view! So after checking in to one of the best beachfront hotels or maybe after checking out some of the best places to visit in Delaware, read on to find out the top spots for hiking in Delaware Water Gap.

1. Council Rock and Lookout Rock

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Council Rock and Lookout Rock is a 3.9-kilometer (2.4-mile) long hiking trail in the Delaware Water Gap. Hiking enthusiasts will find this trail extremely fulfilling as it takes a little over an hour to complete it. Along the way, you will be greeted by stunning vistas of the Delaware River, making the effort more worthwhile.

Additionally, this is a dog-friendly trail - do note that dogs must be leashed. Hikers will also be able to indulge in bird watching while enjoying the beautiful forest views. Furthermore, you can find parking spaces near Lake Lenape for added convenience.

Council Rock and Lookout Rock

Address: 114 Mountain Rd, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327, United States

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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2. Raccoon Ridge

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you are planning an out-and-back hike near the Appalachian Mountains, then choose Raccoon Ridge. This is a 5.0-mile (8.0-kilometer) hiking trail located in the Worthington State Forest. Hikers will be delighted to witness stunning vistas of the Delaware River and Kittatinny Mountain. This trail is also best known for being a great vantage point for hawk-watching as the trail is frequented by migrating hawks.

Moreover, hikers who plan to bring their cars can leave them at Camp Road and start their hike worry-free.

Raccoon Ridge

Address: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Worthington State Forest, Hardwick Twp, NJ

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3. Hornbecks Creek Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Hornbecks Creek Trail, locally known as Indian Ladders, is one of the best trails in Delaware Water Gap. It features just 6.0 kilometers (3.7 miles) of hiking trail with beautiful sceneries of lush greens, forests filled with hickories, oaks, maple and chestnut trees, mossy creeks, and a waterfall. Hornbecks Creek Trail may exactly be the escape you’re looking for. It is more than just the easy to moderate hiking and the natural beauty, though, since it also offers birdwatching and fishing opportunities.

Because of the easy hike (more like a casual stroll, really), you can bring along your kids and even your dogs here, which is great for de-stressing.

Hornbecks Creek Trail

Address: Hornbecks Creek, 18328, Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328, United States

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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4. Buttermilk Falls and Crater Lake Loop Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Experience one of the best Delaware Water Gap hikes at Buttermilk Falls and Crater Lake Loop Trail. It is an easy to moderate trail located on the easternmost edge of Pennsylvania near the town of Newton, New Jersey. It’s perfect for casual hikers and kids as it’s just 6.8 miles (10.9 kilometers) long and it usually takes an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes to complete.

Buttermilk Falls and Crater Lake Loop Trail is open all year round but the best time to go is between April and November when it is said that the views are in their loveliest. Some of the scenes to be enjoyed here include two lakes, a waterfall, forested areas, boulders, wildflowers, and a wide array of wildlife.

Buttermilk Falls and Crater Lake Loop Trail

Address: Mountain Rd, Layton, NJ 07851

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5. Slateford Creek Falls

Impeded
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nicholas_T used under CC BY 2.0

Located near Mount Bethel in Pennsylvania along the edge of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Slateford Creek Falls is another popular hiking destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It may be a short hike at just 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) long but it’s considered a difficult hike due to some areas with steep inclines, thick vegetation, and slippery slopes, especially during wet seasons.

The not-so-easy trail, though, is worth it as this popular hiking spot features the highest waterfall in the state, not to mention the scenic views along the creek.

Slateford Creek Falls

Address: Mt Bethel, PA, United States

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6. Tumbling Waters Trail

Summer Waterfall
Source: Photo by user Jim Lukach used under CC BY 2.0

Tumbling Waters Trail is a loop trail located near Bushkill, Pennsylvania which stretches across 3.0 miles (4.8 kilometers) and is of a moderate difficulty. It is one of the shorter hikes but do note that there are some elevation changes. As surfaces might get slippery after it rains, ensure that you wear a pair of shoes which give a good grip to help you keep your footing. This is one of the more popular trails as you’ll be able to admire a waterfall so do come as early as possible. In the mornings, there are likely to be fewer visitors and you’ll even get to catch the sunrise! This is best visited from March until October. If you’re planning to bring along your dog, do note that they must be kept on a leash.

Tumbling Waters Trail

Address: 34.651,-84.608, Ellijay, GA 30540, United States

Website: Tumbling Waters Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

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7. Sunfish Pond via Appalachian Trail

2014-08-26 15 40 35 Panorama of Sunfish Pond from the Appalachian Trail
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Famartin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Sunfish Pond via Appalachian Trail features a beautiful lake and runs for 9.7 miles (15.6 kilometers). There are several spots that allow you to get stunning shots of the lake so come prepared with your photography equipment if you wish. It is said to be of a moderate difficulty as some areas can get quite rocky. It is situated near Blairstown, New Jersey and can get quite crowded during the peak seasons. The trail is mostly used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also allowed, but they need to be leashed.

Sunfish Pond via Appalachian Trail

Address: Hardwick Township, NJ 07832, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

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8. Crater Lake Trail

Crater Lake
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nicholas A. Tonelli used under CC BY 2.0

Crater Lake Trail is a loop hike and the distance to and fro spans across 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometers) which takes about one and a half to two hours to complete. It is considered to be an easy to moderate difficulty level as it is of a fairly short distance. However, it could get slippery during winter due to the ice and snow on the ground, so do wear appropriate footwear if you intend to go during winter. The views from Crater Lake are stunning and it’ll definitely make the trek worth it!

Crater Lake Trail

Address: Layton, NJ 07851, United States

Website: Crater Lake Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

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9. Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail

Slope
Source: Photo by user Nicholas A. Tonelli used under CC BY 2.0

The Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail is also considered one of the best hikes in Delaware Water Gap. It stretches across 5.3 miles (8.5 kilometers) and is considered to be of a moderate difficulty. You can expect to take about two to three hours to complete this hike, depending on your level of experience. The first half of the trail would be a little more challenging as there are some up-slopes. However, the second part would be relatively easier as it would mostly be a straight path. You would not need to worry about getting lost as this is a well-marked trail. As with other trails, it would get slippery during winter seasons when ice starts forming on the rocks so do take extra care when hiking during winter. The view on this hike has been said to be one of the most stunning where you get to witness a waterfall, the water gap, and the greenery all around you in one single hike.

Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail

Address: Mt Minsi Delaware Water Gap, PA 18013, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

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10. Hackers Falls and Raymondskill Falls Loop

HACKERS FALLS on the RAYMONDSKILL River
Source: Photo by user DenSmith used under CC BY-SA 2.0

For one of the best Delaware Water Gap hiking experience, check this out. Hackers Falls and Raymondskill Falls Loop is a 2.3 mile (3.7 kilometer) loop trail which is great for hikers of all skill levels. This is the perfect hike if you’re hiking in a big group. On this hike, you’ll be rewarded with the glorious sight of Pennsylvania’s three-tiered waterfall, Hackers Falls. Along the way on this loop trail, you’ll also get rewarded with the views at Raymondskill Falls Loop. You might also want to pack along some swimming costumes to take a refreshing dip in the waterfall to recharge after your hike.

Hackers Falls and Raymondskill Falls Loop

Address: 105 Fisher Ln, Milford, PA 18337, United States

Website: Hackers Falls and Raymondskill Falls Loop

Opening hours: 24 hours daily

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Hiking in Delaware Water Gap

The best part about hiking and trekking is that you’ll get to clock in some exercise and witness the beauty of mother nature at the same time. Especially in today’s stressful and competitive environment where we’re constantly on our mobile phones and computers, disconnecting to reconnect with nature is something that we all need to do from time to time. On your next weekend getaway, do consider going on one of these hikes depending on your level of experience!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Faith embarked on a transformative odyssey as a freelance writer and avid traveler. Her wanderlust ignited during a memorable exchange program in Lund, Sweden, where creativity and the passion for...Read more

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