We all have a place. Our favorite place. You know that place you go to when life gets a little too hard and you need a break from the chaos of your daily life. Living in New York gives me access to hundreds of brochures labeled breathtaking tourist locations. Lucky me! However, out of all of those places, there is only one that I always seem to come back to. The Delaware river believe it or not is not only in Delaware. In fact, at roughly330 miles long, it spans across four states and even connects with the Atlantic. It’s long, beautiful and more historic than the Statue of Liberty. As well, it runs near New York City. Who would have thought that such a relaxing and calm marvel of nature could be found near the city that never rests. Maybe it is the disjunction that I find so attractive. Anyway, the Delaware River is my special place, my oasis.
The Delaware river is rich with history. We all study the American revolution in our middle school classrooms but, believe me, reading and seeing are two completely different things. Standing on the shores of the Delaware river you can just imagine the atmosphere of the early Dutch and Swedish colonization. You can feel a connection with history, the taste of the river and the smell of gunfire during the First Anglo-Powhaton War. When I go to the Delaware River I can just picture Washington and his exhausted troops bravely crossing the Delaware for freedom and liberty. If you can’t imagine this, just look into a history book for that famous painting of The Delaware River crossing. Throughout history, The Delaware River has played an important role, and just by being there it makes me feel important too. I am drawn to places overflowing with history.
The Delaware river is in constant danger of being lost forever with dams, canals, and other funded projects. At one point, fifteen thousand people were displaced from their homes to make room for a dam that was to control water levels and provide hydroelectric power. These people were unwillingly removed from their homes. That would have been bad enough without even considering the destroyed historical sites and the fact that the project would have created a 37 mile lake to be used as a reservoir, smack in the middle of an existing park. Luckily, in the end, the project was abandoned due to lack of funds and a reassessment of the environmental issues. The property was given to National Park Services who since then have protected the endangered territory and preserved the remaining historical sites.
Have you ever wondered where all the water you drink comes from? Well I know for a fact that millions of people rely on the Delaware River Basin for drinking water. You would think that with that many people relying on the Delaware River to survive, the Delaware River would be better known. However, most people in America if asked would probably not even know what states the Delaware River runs through. Even I didn’t know about the major ports located on the Delaware River that import cocoa, oil and fruit and among many other commodities.
If history doesn’t excite you, The Delaware River’s breathtaking landscapes will win you over. The Delaware River passes through wonderful terrain. The water, beautiful and clear, flows freely through hills, forests and fields. Trees line the river in many places and provide much needed shade. In the winter, snow often dominates the surrounding land and and occasionally, the river freezes. The Delaware River offers both beauty and wilderness.
When I go to the river, I feel at peace. Sometimes I will just sit and take in nature’s beauty and other times I will take a long walk and just absorb my surroundings. However every person is different. Some fish, others canoe or kayak. The Delaware River has something for everyone. There is food for hungry visitors and activities that are family friendly.
For families, campsites located beside the river offer accompanying activities Just imagine the memories you and your family will make and all the fun and excitement. Unlike many of the other tourist locations in New York, the Delaware River does not proclaim its virtues. It just flows on. No city, no unnatural interference, no lines, no headaches, just nature. Believe me, one visit will be all it takes to get you hooked.
You might think that I would get over it and that one day visiting the river would be just routine for me. But you cannot tire of a river and it’s always moving and changing nature.
- Recreation Maps for the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers Available for Purchas (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Water engineer takes the reins at the Delaware River Basin Commission (stateimpact.npr.org)
- Eclectic gathering brings good cheer to Penn’s Landing (philly.com)