Tubing Along the Delaware

23 09 2010

Melissa, during her first tubing experience on the Delaware River.

Sometimes, a day out on the water calls for no boats at all.  All you need are some good friends, an inner tube, and a couple of hours to float lazily along in the sunshine.  (Well, sunblock, a camera, and some snacks for your journey are also good to have!)

This summer marked my very first tubing experience.  I went with friends (who had all been tubing at least once before) and it was really nice having them with me to show me the ropes.  (No pun intended!)  We drove over to Frenchtown, NJ along Route 29 and got on the river just a little north of the historic spot where George Washington crossed.

The late August morning was on the cool side and I have to admit I was pretty nervous about the idea of committing to several hours of sitting in a tube, immersed in what potentially could be really cold water, but my fears were quickly alleviated.  The water was the perfect temperature – just warm enough to be comfortable, and cool enough to be refreshing – once we got going and were directly in the sun.

Just one of the peaceful views of the day.

Since they had gone tubing once before without connecting to each other by ropes, my friends strongly advised that we tie together for this journey.  Tying the tubes together is not necessary by any means (and there were plenty of points along the way where we intentionally detached ourselves) but it was really appreciated by a beginner like me to know that I wasn’t out there completely on my own.  We kept just enough slack so that we all had our space, but could quickly and easily get to one another when anyone found themselves stuck on a rock or branches.

Being experienced tubers also helped my friends plan ahead and bring a “cooler tube” along with us.  This cooler held 60 quarts and kept our water bottles and lunches cold and dry for the entire trip.  It also served as a pretty nice foot rest (and almost like a little coffee table for us to gather around and chat for a while).  Those who go tubing and don’t have (or don’t want to bring) a “cooler tube” can find  a floating restaurant in the middle of the river that serves hot dogs and hamburgers.

The "cooler tube" that also served as a coffee table.

As we floated along the river, I sat back and enjoyed the view of the lush trees and some of the wildlife in the area.  There were plenty of birds flying above us and gathering along the sides of the river to entertain us as well.  It was a serene and peaceful experience – most of the time…Toward the end of our approximately six mile float, we hit some waters with a little more speed and activity.  The good news is, that I actually got pretty good at manuevering the tube by this point, and it was a lot of fun to float through the “rapids.”  Tubing is definitely something that I’m looking forward to trying again next year!

The "rapids" near the end of the trip.

If you’ve never been tubing before or want to consult with some experts before you go, you can check in with the folks at Delaware River Tubing for some suggestions and resources.


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9 responses

23 09 2010

Tubing is soooo much fun!!!! I love it 🙂

23 09 2010

looks like fun. Route 29 is a beautiful drive.

23 09 2010

Sounds like a good day. I’ve been tubing in Harper’s Ferry WV a few years ago. Unfortunately the day was overcast, so soaking in the tube wasn’t quite as pleasant. How did you get back to your cars after a 6 mile float?

23 09 2010

Looks like a good time. Never been water tubing but I have been snow tubing which is also fun. Mt. Creek has some awesome snow tubing.

24 09 2010

I actually went tubing for the first time on the Delaware this summer since I was a child… I forgot how fantastic such a simple float can be.

I also witnessed deer cross the river, first time I ever saw that… And I agree with you Melissa, tubing is something I look forward to trying again next year.

stay adventurous, Craig

13 11 2010
Socket Set ·

our coffee tables have a top part that is made of high strength glass, .-~

3 01 2011
2010 in review « New Jersey Outdoors

[…] Tubing Along the Delaware September 2010 6 comments […]

19 07 2011

We have our tubes and coolers and are ready to go this week my only question is where did you get on the river/park a car and get off the river/leave a car there for when you exit the river.


22 07 2011
Melissa Morris

We took two cars on that tubing trip, so one was waiting at the area where we floated to at the end of the day. I’m not sure where the best place would be for getting on the river…I think I remember it was Frenchtown. You can check the link in the post and there should be a map there to help you. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

Have a fun trip!

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