Travel | August 6, 2022 4:53 pm

Sierra Club Releases Map of Proposed Delaware Water Gap National Park

It's unclear how likely this effort will be

Delaware Water Gap
The Delaware Water Gap.
Famartin, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’ve spent any time in the Delaware River Valley, you’ve seen some of the most scenic landscapes in all of both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the two states for which the river provides a border. The region is also home to historic sites and charming small towns — and, if a collection of environmental groups get their way, it could also result in a new national park.

The Pennsylvania and New Jersey chapters of the Sierra Club are working on a joint project to re-designate the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as the Delaware River National Park and Lenape Preserve. As the organizations explain on their website, there is some precedence for this — New River Gorge was designated as a national park in 2020.

As a new article at explains, the organizations advocating for the change released more details about what the new park might consist of. The existing recreation area is already massive, comprising tens of thousands of acres and drawing millions of visitors each year.

The map offers a sense of what the park/preserve divide could look like. The article notes that the national park would take up 9,760 acres, while the preserve — where hunting would be permitted — would involve 56,000 acres. According to the article, there has been some controversy over the impact of changing the designation, and what effect it could have on environmental protections.

Congress would have to take action to change the recreation area into a national park, and there’s little indication of how likely that could be. But it’s an intriguing prospect for an already popular stretch of land and water.