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djbMcDade08

A forested section near the White Pines trail head.

So I did a story on McDade Trail in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the PA side.  And I realize that this is the Jersey Philes, but I felt it was close enough to qualify for this blog, being that most of the park IS on the Jersey side. Besides, I’m from New Jersey, so…Anyway, it’s my blog and I’ll blog what I want to.

McDade Trail in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is one of those trails that has something for just about everyone. Spanning 31 miles along the Delaware River, it runs the gamut from easy to challenging and offers scenic river views, shady forested areas, wide open farm fields and bustling wetlands. It even throws in some history for good measure. A map can be downloaded from http://www.nps.gov/dewa, or you can pick one up from park headquarters.

The first section of the trail opened in 2002 and extended from Smithfield Beach to the Riverview trailhead to the north. Later that year, it was extended southward to the Hialeah Picnic Area. It now stretches north, all the way to Milford Beach.

From a photographic viewpoint, every season on the trail offers something different, and this time of year can be somewhat schizophrenic. If there is no snow on the ground, things can seem rather dull, lifeless and bleak. However, if you allow yourself to see what’s around you, you may find that there is a lot more color and life than you imagined.   Read more here.  Or just look at the pretty pictures below.

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The late afternoon sun lights up the tops of trees below Raymondskill Cliff.

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A forested section near the White Pines trail head.

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Backlit cattails glow like hundreds of little lanterns

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A bridge crosses a stream along McDade Trail.

 

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Sumac seed pods brighten things up during the early winter months.

 

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A fresh coating of snow covers pine trees along McDade Trail north of the Pittman Orchard trailhead.

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Snow falls on trees along the edge of the fields north of the Pittman Orchard trail head.

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Fresh snow clings to pines along McDade Trail north of the Pittman Orchard trail head.

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Ice hangs over the Raymondskill where it cuts across McDade Trail.

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Critter tracks cut across a field between the Egypt Mills and Eshback trail heads.

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The trail winds its way past the Van Auken barn at Arnott Fen, just north of the park headquarters. The barn dates back to the 1880s.