Derek W.
Scotch Plains, NJ
Joined March 2017
Great NPS campsite on the Delaware

This is a campsite that is maintained by the NPS. It is just past Dingmans Ferry Campground and is only accessible by water (Kayak, canoe, boat, or in my case a packraft).   The site is free but is available on a first come first served.  I stayed here for my second night on the river (my first night was spent at Namanock Island about 8 miles north.  

The site has a designated fire pit with a grate.  It's quite spacious and can fit several tents easily.  It backs up to the McDade Recreation Trail which is pretty cool as we were able to hike out of there the next day.  

We cooked S'mores, ate hot dogs, and used a Jet boil for our meals. 

Note: this is a primitive site meaning there are no bathrooms.  Please exercise leave no trace principles and pack out all trash if you plan on visiting!

Overall I would recommend the site as it was clean, well maintained, and relatively easy to unload on small sand beach on the Delaware. Happy Camping!

Ranger Review: Gregory Zulu 55 at Namanock Island

Campground Review: This is one of my absolute favorite camping areas I have ever been. Namanock Island is only accessible by water and is roughly 4 miles down the Delaware River if you leave from Milford Beach in Milford, PA. There is a ten dollar fee per day to park your car so bring cash as the parking area is not always manned and you’ll have to leave the fee in an envelope that is available just past the entrance. These sites are canoe, kayak, or(in my case) packraft accessible. The sites are maintained by the NPS and are available on a first come first served basis. Also there is no cost to camp on the river save the parking fees you paid in Milford! This was my first time making the trip with a friend and it was awesome to have some company. We stayed at site 13 (marked by a small square sign). Once at the tip of the island you will want to stay to the right on the river and close to the shore of the island(on your left hand side) as the site comes up relatively quickly and you won’t want to shoot past it. It’s a steep climb up the shore so be prepared for that. You have a small piece of shoreline that is mostly rocks. It’s a great spot to sit and enjoy the sun, sounds of nature, and have yourself a cold beer. You are limited to one night on the island. They are primitive campsites which include a fire ring and a primitive toilet. The sites are in excellent shape! This was my first time venturing to the island on a weekend(Friday) night but we had the place to ourselves so that was awesome. I’ve read that if you are going on a weekend that it’s advisable to go earlier in the day. We were on the island by 3 and had no problem securing our site, granted it was early June so your mileage may vary if you are going during the peak of the summer. It's a rare thing to camp on an island and Namanock is so serene and peaceful, you’ll hear the water flowing gently all night, perfection! We had ourselves a nice fire and made hot dogs and s’mores. The next morning we packed up and set off for another site about 8 miles down the river. After camping at the next site we packed up and hiked back along the McDade Recreation Trail to Dingmans Ferry access where we caught the River Runner Shuttle(a free shuttle that runs along the river on Saturdays and Sundays in the summer free of charge) back to the car in Milford. We were pressed for time otherwise we would have made the full 12 mile hike, instead we hiked slightly more than 4 miles. I’ll keep going back to this site as often as I can and can’t recommend it enough. In order to be prepared for the river camping experience 

I would recommend purchasing the National Geographic map of the Delaware Water Gap and/or the DWG map set sold by the NYNJ Trail Conference as they have all of the sites outlined. 

Product Review 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. At Namanock Island, I got to test out the Gregory Zulu 55 pack. This pack comes loaded with features. It fit all of my gear (sleeping bag, tent, food sleeping pad, backpacking chair, packraft, paddle, clothes, etc with absolutely no problem. I am 5’7’’ and weigh about 145 lbs, the small/medium pack fit me perfectly. I really loaded this thing up with my rafting gear for our 4 mile hike back to the parking area and never once felt like I had a hot spot or any discomfort whatsoever. The Zulu features Gregory’s FreeFloat suspension technology designed to move with your body and I’d say mission accomplished, it really felt like it responded well to my movements and never once did it feel uncomfortable! The Zulu comes loaded with pockets both external and internal as well as multiple lashing points which perfectly suited my needs for my packrafting trip as I was able to secure it easily to my raft and lash extra gear externally. The fact that they include a rain cover is a nice bonus! The only issue I had was with my water bladder. I use a platypus big zip 3L which perfectly fit in the sleeve provided for a water bladder however it did not clip in well to the clip provided as it is designed for Gregory’s hydro reservoir. This is far from a deal breaker but worth mentioning. I have a few packs and the Gregory Zulu 55 is 100% going to be my go to for overnights and multi-day efforts! 

For more information and to purchase one for yourself check out the pack at Gregory’s site here: https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/backpacking-packs/zulu-55-1115ZUL55.html

Perfect Spot

Great campsite, next to some wonderful hikes, lots of recreation to be had.

Go during the week if you can

This campground is hike in or boat in. The campsites are primitive and include a fire ring as well as a picnic table. All sites are marked and are either on the water (ideal) or set back from the water in the woods. If you have a canoe, kayak, or boat you're better off just bringing your gear/ equipment in that way as the trail itself is nothing special. The hiking trail does not offer views of the reservoir and is somewhat challenging for one who is not prepared. My friend and I backpacked in and were well prepared but we found it comical to see individuals lugging in coolers on the trail. They were huffing and puffing and sweating profusely as they were hiking the trail and they were barely a mile into their hike, not smart. The campsites start at 3 miles into the trail and are spaced all the way out to 6 miles. If you're on the water the view doesn't really change but perhaps the sound changes. I can't comment on the sound as I went midweek and had peace and quiet. This place is a gem and I highly recommend it to individuals who are respectful and appreciative of what it has to offer. You're not supposed to swim in the reservoir on the camping side but I did and did not meet any resistance.

Knoebels Review

The sites are very close to one another. We lucked out in Bermuda Triangle as there was a little more space and we were further away from some of the noise. The sites are clean and well maintained. It's an excellent way to spend your time at the park. If you are looking for wilderness camping this is not the place to go. We went in late august and although it was pool weather during the day time the temperatures dropped somewhat dramatically into the evening hours so bring clothes for both 70-80 degree weather and 40-50 degree weather overnight.

Fantastic site for exploring the Catskills.

Large campsite, clean facilities, fire pit, friendly and knowledgeable staff. This is an excellent site if you're looking to explore the Slide Mountain Wilderness and a great place to prep if you're planning to go backpacking as well. No/ very limited cell service but that's not important. Did not encounter black bears but they do frequent the area.

Ranger Review: OOFOS at Namanock Island

Campground Review (Update): Namanock Island is only accessible by water and is roughly 4 miles down the Delaware River if you put in at Milford, Pa. I have now taken my packraft to the island twice and have had a fantastic trip each time! The sites are maintained by the NPS and are available on a first come first served basis. Also there is no cost! You are limited to one night on the island though as the expectation is that you will continue down river to other primitive sites. They are primitive campsites which include a fire ring and a primitive toilet. The sites are in excellent shape! I have only ever gone during the week so I have not had any issue securing one of the four available sites but would recommend getting their earlier if you intend to go during the weekend. It's a rare thing to camp on an island and Namanock is so serene and peaceful you hear the water flowing gently all night, perfection!

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. At Namanock Island, I got to test out some OOFOS OOahh Slide Sandals.

These sandals are amazing. As a runner, trailrunner, hiker, backpacker, and camper these will now be my go to recovery slide. They feel so soft and comfortable and lend themselves very well to being a quality camp shoe!

I have nothing negative to say about the slides, I've been wearing them all the time and have zero complaints! If you're in the market for a new pair I highly recommend taking a look at oofos!!

Grab your own pair at https://www.oofos.com/

For videos from my visits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I-Z5MV_OGA&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUJH4iiLH6k&t=1s