The Joseph M. McDade Recreational Trail is named after a former member of Congress from the area known for his dedication to public lands. The trail, located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, offers diverse views of the river and picturesque streams, open farm fields, forests and historic landmarks. The route is mostly complete with a few short missing sections. When complete, it will extend for 32 miles. Although mostly flat, the terrain varies in difficulty.
The first section, along River Road from the Hialeah Trailhead to the Turn Farm Trailhead, is fairly level with a few gentle rises. Further north, between Owens Trailhead and Bushkill, the trail is more challenging with a steep hill and a section where you will have to travel on the roadway for a few tenths of a mile. With that exception, you can travel solely on the trail from the Hialeah Trailhead to the White Pines Trailhead, a distance of more than 24 miles. The 10-mile distance between the Eshback Trailhead and the White Pines Trailhead is flat and the best section for cross-country skiers. Note that north of the White Pines Trailhead, some sections are designated for hiking only. The most northern segment, between Pittman Orchard and Milford Beach, offers views of rural landscapes and a glimpse of the old Snyder Farm silo.
From I-80 westbound, take the first PA exit. Get onto River Road going north and then turn right to reach the Hialeah Trailhead (or continue north to another trailhead; there are many access points for this trail). Avoid Route 209 as it tends to get very congested. Also, note that some trailheads with boat launches have fees, which are indicated on the National Park Service’s trail map.