On the trail with Darcy and Lizzy: Delaware Water Gap (part 1)

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the various places Darcy and Elizabeth saw during their hike in Boots & Backpacks. I’ve had people tell me that the Appalachian Trail is almost another character in the story. I certainly set out to make the setting and the hike seem as real as I could for readers. A resource like the Appalachian Trail, and all the green spaces it connects, is a wonderful asset to any scene, so why wouldn’t I take advantage? I even made a map to help me write.

So we begin with Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 70,000 acres of mountains, rivers, streams, and forest straddling New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and protected by the National Park Service. It is only about an hour’s drive from New York City.

Darcy and Elizabeth start their hike at Culver’s Gap/Route 206 in New Jersey, and hike into the recreation area. One of the first things they see is Buttermilk Falls.

Buttermilk Falls (Front View)
Buttermilk Falls
Photo by Nicolas A. Tonelli

When Darcy and Elizabeth stop for lunch along the trail (and encounter Gina, Vince and Barney), it looked like this:

The Appalachian Trail in New Jersey
The Appalachian Trail along Kittatinny Ridge in NJ
photo by JJHouston

The next morning, Darcy and Elizabeth climb the Catfish Fire Tower for a spectacular view:

Catfish fire tower
Catfish Fire Tower
photo by Mark Larson
SE View from Catfish Fire Tower 1565ft
Autumn view from the tower
photo by Jean Drescher

Our backpacking duo end their second day on the trail by visiting Millbrook Village, a 19th Century pioneer village with original and re-created buildings.

Millbrook Village - New Jersey
Reconstructed Methodist church
photo by Doug Kerr
Millbrook Village - New Jersey
DePue cabin, built 1832 and relocated to site
photo by Doug Kerr

Darcy and Elizabeth spend the night in a cozy camping cabin at the Mohican Outdoor Center.

In the next installment: the famous Gap, kayaking on the Delaware, the Deer Head Inn.