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May 2008

Getting Back to Nature at the DWG National Recreation Area

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a huge expanse of natural beauty just waiting foRecreation_area_mapr you to enjoy. Encompassing  40 miles of the Delaware River and its surrounding watershed, as well as 100 miles of hike-able trail including 27 miles of Appalachian Trail, this Pocono treasure is a destination to visit again and again. The Park website is packed with lots of information-I encourage you to check it out and browse around.

I have not been there yet this year, but the recent beautiful weather has me longing to go. I took the photos accompanying this article during a hike last year which we accessed from the New Jersey side at the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center off of I-80.

There are access points for the trails in the Borough of Delaware Water Gap (off of Mountain Road behind the famous jazz club, The Deer Head Inn), and in Dingmans Ferry at the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center. There are also various overlooks and picnicking areas along the river via Route 611, south of DWG, north of Portland.

There are so many things to do at this spot: birding, photography, rock climbing, site seeing, biking, and so much more. Check out the Calendar of Events for programs, lectures and other ways to enhance your appreciation for the natural beauty which is right here in our backyard.

Detailed maps of the various areas of the Park and the River, parking areas, camp sites, historical buildings, boat launch areas, trails, etc., are found here.

There are no entrance fees to get in to the park or trails - imagine that, a FREE attraction in the Poconos! There may be fees for camping and other extras.



Economical Vacations in the Poconos - Rent a House!

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Online advises would-be vacationers to Rent a Vacation Home & Save. With the cost of gas and everything else going up, finding ways to cut costs while vacationing is a good idea. Some benefits of renting a house as opposed to a hotel room or bed and breakfast are:

  • More space - A whole house is great for the comfort of everyone, and also allows you to share the expense with friends or family who may want to join you.
  • Kitchen facilities - Preparing meals instead of going out for every meal can save you a lot on food expenses.
  • Fun is included - Most home rentals here include use of the community amenities so there is always something to do besides going out to the 'attractions' and spending money.

Escape_poconos Here in the Poconos, our proximity to New York City and Philadelphia allows us to remain a destination of choice for those looking for a weekend get-away, a week-long vacation, or digs for the whole summer.

The availability of homes in lake communities which offer year-round amenities like pools & tennis courts, and the myriad attractions the area has to offer, keeps the Pocono Mountains top of mind when it comes to investing in second homes and vacation properties.

My favorite site to find vacation rentals is VRBO.com. My family and I have used this site for several vacations in different areas and overall have had great experiences. There is a lot of researching involved to be sure you get what you are looking for, though. The WSJ offers some good tips to ensure a pleasant experience:

"• Ask for more photos. While many of these Internet listing sites offer several photos of the property, you may want to ask for more of them, says Justin Halloran, U.S. vice president for HomeAway. If the rental you're considering isn't too far away, it might be worth a drive to check it out.
   
  Ask specific questions. Ask the owner for recommendations of nearby supermarkets, where to get breakfast, the proximity to area attractions or any other features you're interested in, Mr. Halloran says.
   
  Do more investigating. Web tools such as Zillow.com can give you an idea of the property's value, and Google Earth can help confirm the area's surroundings, Mr. Harteveldt of Forrester Research says.
   
  Know what is included. Some rentals provide necessities such as linens, others don't. Know exactly what is provided so you're not caught off guard when you arrive."

Also check out: Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau for lots of info on things to do & see, maps and an events calendar.

For information on specific communities in the Poconos and/or great vacation investment homes for sale, contact me via email at [email protected] or by toll free telephone at 888.794.5589.