If you happen to have the urge to go tubing when you’re in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York, then on of the best options you have is Delaware River tubing. It’s a family-friendly activity that everyone in the family can enjoy and even large groups are welcomed at many of the starting points which are available.
You can even contact the Delaware River Family Campground to have a floating location and a place to stay if you want to take a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of regular life.
Because of the popularity of tubing on the Delaware River, some outfitters and starting points may require advance reservations, especially if you are planning to float in a party of 10+. You may need to provide 7-21 days of notice in the summer months.
Why Is Delaware River Tubing So Popular?
It is the water temperature of the river which draws so many to this floating option in the US Northeast. There are several weeks in summer where the temperature may be as high as 80F. This prevents the chill which other rivers provide while still being able to provide some of the rapids, chutes, and water movement which makes floating so much fun.
The Delaware River also offers some unique scenery options compared to other rivers in this area of the country. You’ll often find the air smelling sweet, with just a tinge of ocean salt lingering when the winds are blowing in toward you. There are plenty of bird-watching opportunities as you float along as well, plus you have easy access to communities like Easton and Phillipsburg so you can grab a bite to eat before or after your float.
If you start floating on the Delaware River near the Lehigh River, you can also catch a glimpse of the local waterfalls as you float. The lines are generally not very long either and you can bring your own river floating gear.
How Long Does It Take to Float the Delaware River?
River conditions will always dictate the exact time that you spend floating on any river. Under normal conditions, however, it generally takes about an hour per mile to float down the Delaware River. Since most outfitters which offer shuttle services offer 3-mile floating trips, you’ll want to plan on spending at least 2-3 hours floating.
In low water conditions, you may need to add an additional hour to this time.
Morning trips are available on the Delaware River, but it is generally recommended to begin a floating trip after 12:30pm on most days. This allows you to grab some lunch before you begin floating and then you can enjoy the river at the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to bring some sunscreen along since there are several places with limited shade in some locations.
Delaware River floating is fun, affordable, and easy enough that it can be enjoyed by those who have never been floating before. Expect to pay rental fees of $20-$30 per person if you don’t have your own river inflatables and then prepare to have a great time.