Turtle Beach~ the Delaware Water Gap. However, I didn’t see any turtles.

 

Turtle Beach

Old Mine Road
Delaware Water Gap
(Near the southern end of the National Park)

Part 4 of 4 of the Delaware Water Gap Series.

Here it is…..The infamous, Turtle Beach! I heard about Turtle Beach prior to¬†our trip as something to definitely check out. However, I was not able to find much information about the beach prior to traveling. This was at the top of my list to see in The Delaware Water Gap.

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Turtle Beach, Delaware Water Gap

If you have been hiking, biking, or enjoying the lush greenery offerings….
This is a great place to cool off and go for a swim.

There are bathroom/changing room facilities on the premises. As well as, lifeguards on the summer weekends for your safety.

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Picture of the lifeguard area and beach from the water

You may also fish here. Just go towards the end of the beach.

You don’t want to be snagging the folks here, do ya?
Well, unless you are into catching some humans.

The only thing about Turtle Beach is that you have to pay for admission. It is $7 for an entire carload.

However, the Yummygal and Beautyspots found a way around this. Of course, we don’t mind paying the entrance fee. However, I am always trying to help folks in these tough economic times to save some dough.

Here’s a little trick. Come during the week. No crowd. Probably one or two groups will be around.

Instead of parking in the reserved lot.
Park before the bridge leading to the Turtle Beach entrance of the parking lot. (southbound side of Old Mine Rd.)

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Park before this guy. There is an asphalt parking spot near the road. It’s a short walk to the entrance.

There is still a fee, but if you “walk or bike in” instead of parking on the premises…

It’s just 1 buckaroo!
See……I saved you some cash my friends.

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Near entrance

Pay at the pay station/entrance and you are well on your way.

Take a short little hike on this path.

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The path to Turtle Beach

Around that bend you see there. Is this big boy.

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Turtle Beach, Delaware Water Gap

The beach only spans about 100ft. There are buoys for your protection. The tide can be fairly strong at times. Don’t swim too far out! People die on a yearly basis because they don’t realize how strong the current is.

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Out swimming, baby!

The clean and refreshing Delaware river (The cleanest river on the east coast, FYI). It’s a great spot to check out the local wildlife.

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Yup, a beauty!

It’s fantastic that there are facilities here. Charcoal grills are scattered throughout for your fun and blissful day.

Perhaps, cook up some fish that you caught at Turtle Beach?

Ahhhh. The good life. The bass are known to be huge here.

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Sandcastle at Turtle Beach.

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The Yummygal cooling off at the end of the eventful journey in the Delaware Gap

I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Also, there was a lack of bugs. Most of my adventures as of late have had lots of bugs around and bug spray has been quite necessary.

This was quite lovely and refreshing.

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A family making memories ūüôā

I sure hope you’ve enjoyed my series on the Delaware Water Gap. There will be plenty more in the foreseeable future!

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The Beautyspots and the Yummygal enjoyed their day at Turtle Beach

If you want more privacy, but still want to swim and cool off….Check out my Coppermine Trail secret beach post. (Plus, doesn’t cost a thing.)

Enjoy the serenity my friends!

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Turtle Beach, she’s a keeper

Delaware Water Gap/ Buttermilk Falls Revisited~ Top Places to see in the Philadelphia Area before you die

Buttermilk Falls

The Delaware Water Gap
New Jersey side
Walpack Township, NJ

Top Places to see in the Philadelphia Area before you die.

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Yummygal giving her two thumbs up for the Delaware Water Gap

The Delaware Water Gap receives 3,000,000 visitors a year and I am going to show you why.

I am doing a 4 part series on the National Park. Here is part 1 of 4.

Nestled on the upper northwest corner of New Jersey, sits this magnificent treasure.
The Delaware Water Gap is about 2 hours from New York or Philadelphia encompassing nearly 70,000 acres. It is the 14th most visited site in the United States. They believe the National Park was created millions of years ago from major uplift and erosion through glacial activity. This natural event over time has created gorgeous streams, lakes, and rhododendron ravines that we enjoy today. The park sits at a higher elevation which makes it a cooler environment almost by 10 degrees in the summer than the rest of the state. Making this a nice getaway from the heat in the city.

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Buttermilk Falls in the Delaware Water Gap

The Old Mine Rd. that runs north and south through the park can be traced back to 8,000 years ago.
It is one of the oldest roads remaining on the east coast. It travels from New England to Philadelphia in almost the same laid out roadway as thousands of years prior.

The Old Mine Road was used as a major thoroughfare in colonial times for the mining of the copper mines that reside on either side of the road.

The Delaware Water Gap has also played a major role in our history. Especially, during the revolutionary and civil wars. There are cemeteries residing here of rested soldiers from both conflicts. The cemeteries have become overgrown with weeds.

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Forest Canopy in the summer

This National Park has also been one of the first movements in the US. for environmental conservancy. In the 1960s, the army corp of engineers were going to build a dam to generate electricity upriver. This project would have made the gap area a big 20+ mile long lake. People were actually removed out of their homes through eminent domain to build this dam.

However, there was a huge public outcry in this matter. It occurred over a few years of fighting congress and the senate. The battle was won by conservancy organizations and was issued a National Park by President Johnson in 1965.

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NJ Paradise

Presently it is the home to many resorts, lakes, fishing, river, streams, waterfalls, boating, kayaking, canoeing, bathing, hiking, biking, train rides, black bears, camping, and the list goes on for your own discovering pleasure.

Recently, I went up with one of my girlfriends for a beautiful adventurous day. We wanted to check out the park in the smallest amount of time and decided to start north trickling down south for our journey. We started at Buttermilk Falls, the tallest waterfall in NJ. I entered Mountain Road in Walpack, NJ into my navigation unit. The GPS coordinates that the National Park Service gives on their site does not match up to this location. It actually shows a town in Pennsylvania, when the falls are located on the New Jersey side. This is your best bet to get here accurately.

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Ferns near Buttermilk Falls, NJ

Your journey along is breathtaking as the forest and rolling hills wander on for miles of untouched beauty.

On Mountain Rd., there are many creeks and streams for the fishing enthusiast.

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Stream on Mountain Rd. on your way to Buttermilk Falls

The water is clearer than any river source I’ve ever seen in New Jersey. I live within walking distance of the southern end of the Delaware River and it does not look like this.

In actuality, The Delaware River is the cleanest river in the eastern corridor.

It’s a great drive in.

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Beautiful Delaware Water Gap!

Your getting close my friends. Take in the fresh air and scenery.

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Another picturesque shot of the Delaware Water Gap National Park

Eventually, you will come to rolling farm hills of days of old. Look to your right.

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Farmhouse

Keep going until you reach the one lane bridge, and go onto the bridge.

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Bridge to Buttermilk Falls

Make sure no cars are coming so you can get another picture and you can get across.
Remember, one car only at a time!

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Shot of the stream below the bridge

You’ll eventually see this to your left, by now the road is dirt/gravel and no longer paved.

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Extremely gorgeous.

You will come up to these ruins and then you will shortly know you are getting to Buttermilk falls.

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Old Ruins

This will be on your right and then Buttermilk falls will be just ahead.

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More ruins

These homes were left in the 1960s when the government used their eminent domain power. No one has lived in them since then.

Keep going and shortly ahead you can park to the left.

You have reached Buttermilk Falls.

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Obvious sign of Buttermilk Falls

I was here a decade ago. A lot has changed.

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Buttermilk Falls, Delaware Water Gap

They have built in stairs that travel up the falls.

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The stairs

The stairs are pretty steep. USE CAUTION while traveling up.

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Another view at halfway up to the top of Buttermilk

They also offer great lookout decks along the stairs to the top of the falls.

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The very top of the falls with one of the lookout decks

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Top of the Falls

Make your way back down and check out the falls again.

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She’s a keeper

Make sure you make a pose at the falls…….

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The biggest dork ever at Buttermilk Falls, Yummygal

The second biggest dork ever….

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“thebeautyspots” she writes a blog about Harpers Ferry and her adventures in Tennessee and the south

Here’s the clear water of the falls. There are also small fish in here.

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The water at the bottom of Buttermilk Falls

Check it out and explore the area. You will not be disappointed!

I Will be featuring 3 more articles with 2 beaches and 1 is VERY private here in the park.

Stay tuned as I continue, The Delaware Water Gap series.

Sometimes Paradise… Is Just Not Paradise …When You’re In The Dark.

Sometimes Paradise… Is Just Not Paradise …When You’re In The Dark.

The Yummygal tends to get caught in a little snafu from time to time. Usually, it’s quite hilarious. I’m one of those nutbags¬†who always over packs and does tremendous research prior to any engagement.

I recently ran into trouble here in the states on an adventure. I had to call 911 (in which I never called before). I will air the story in the future and explain the details.

However, I have been out almost every single day exploring our area. There are great posts to come on fantastic museums and unique places which are extremely economical, if not free. I know some of you folks are hurting from this tough economy and I’m trying to show you an exciting array of activities you can do without busting your wallet.

Read below for the funny story about a lesson learned in St. John.

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Cinnamon Bay, St. John USVI= Paradise

 

It was our 2nd night in St. John. “Jane” (not her real name) and I had just gotten back from dinner and it was still light out. We decided it would be an excellent (stupid) opportunity to walk to Coral Bay (including the Skinny Legs area) to take pictures of the firehouse and police station.

We brought a flashlight from the villa with us.

You know just in case, right?

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It’s getting dark in paradise

By the time we got to the school near the restaurant, it was dark. No worries, there were street lights on so we walked to Skinny Legs than turned around to head back to the villa.

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Coral Bay Fire Truck

We were not prepared¬†on what we would encounter. We got to the villa road and we literally couldn’t see inches in front of us. Most roads in St. John don’t have street lights since electricity is about 4 times the cost of the mainland. The lighting they have is horrible to begin with. Street lights are predominantly on the major roads. Most villas are not on the major roads.

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Police Station

We got out the flashlight, it didn’t help at all. The two of us were walking literally hand to hand at this point.

If anyone has ever encountered the back roads of St. John, they are deadly. They are not paved, rocky, go up and down very steep inclines, and there are massive crater potholes in some areas. I’m talking meteorites just landed sort of potholes.

We thought we were destined to:

A) break a bone,
B) fall, sprain an ankle,
C) get attacked by the wildlife,

or all of the above.

We actually discussed all of these possibilities in full detail.

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The literal walking nightmare

I have never been in such darkness in my life to where you can’t see ANYTHING in front of you.

We relied on a flash of a camera about every couple of feet. Slowly walking one step at a time.

I believe the road is about a half mile to a mile long. We heard lots of rustling in the woods. Perhaps, goats or donkeys? Bats were flying all around us (the only mammal that is native to St. John, btw).

The tree frogs were croaking away. It was scary and funny at the same time.

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The road using flash from my camera to see

I thought about calling our villa owners because I know they would have come and gathered us, but we were determined to do it alone. Jared our villa owner is awesome. He owns Starlit Escape Villa, but if starlit isn’t your cup of tea, he also manages other properties on the island and they are just as reasonable.

It’s best to work with folks on the island in case you ever run into situations such as this. Which is why I strongly suggest working with the Starlit folks.

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What the heck is in front of us?

We were literally shocked when we got to the villa unharmed. No sprained knee or fall.

Folks, if walking around St. John at night, make sure you have a strong bright flashlight. It’s exceptionally dark especially if not a full moon. You are surrounded by a jungle-like canopy because the island is mostly a National Park. This also applies to some areas of Cruz Bay.

It was a lot of fun in some ways. We learned our lesson and drove at night everywhere from there on out.

You can laugh at me, it’s okay.

Francis Bay is where I want to spend the day :)

Francis Bay

St. John USVI

I enjoy Francis Bay, in St. John because it is a little farther out of the way and off the main “beach road” of the National Park. Which means.. Ding! Ding! Ding! Less of a crowd.

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See no people….hear no people my friends

The best parking is at the beginning of the Francis Bay Trail entrance. It’s a short hike down to the beach and a definite to see. The trail is pretty shaded so it’s not too hot.

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Ruins at Francis Bay

Continue walking the trail, you’ll soon end up seeing these ruins to your right. Only look, don’t touch. They aren’t that stable to hold your skinny butt. It is awesome to see a bit of history amongst your short hike to Francis Bay.

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More ruins along the Francis Bay Trail with use of the native stone bluebitch. Yes, it is the true name of the stone my friends.

As you stroll down further to your left, you will notice an old salt pond that they used back in the day as a ways to¬†dry the precious mineral. Salt was a huge commodity since it was used¬†to preserve¬†meat before refrigeration… Kind of crazy how far we’ve come along in such a short time, eh?

You are getting close my friends…

Eventually, you will come out along this clearing with a few picnic tables to sit at for your pleasure.

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My manly Mangroves.

These picnic tables are about the only facilities here. Make sure you pack accordingly. Snorkeling to the right is probably the best spot here. Near the rocks.

Francis Bay is a bit rockier than the others. However, it’s EXTREMELY calm and sheltered well on each side. Making this an AWESOME snorkel location. It’s a pretty long beach which makes it ideal because you can almost always find a great spot to sit at.

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Francis Bay

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A friend I met at Francis Bay

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My sailboat out there in the distance

This is a great kid friendly beach. A lot of fun and pure St. John tranquility at it’s best.

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My Francis Bay Artwork. It is worth a Million Dollars, fyi.

This is “Jane” and I putting our trademark on Francis Bay. I used rocks from the bay for this masterpiece.

It seems like a common artistic occurrence here. Leave your “mark” when you are here!

Definitely put it on your list for something off the beaten path for your exploration of the beloved island.

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A man swimming or twiddling his thumbs, not sure.

This is probably one of the lesser crowded beaches of all of St. John’s north shore, but just as beautiful.

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True Splendor

If you really take a look at my photos and other blogs I have posted. You can really see how unique each beach is in St. John. Every single beach you see, the more and more you will fall in love with the island. It’s pretty much how it goes.

There will also be many other beaches featured on my site in the next few weeks.

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See you again soon my little buddy!

St. John has my heart forever.

She will capture yours with love at first sight. I can bet you on that!