The Recreation Area was established after the abandonment of the proposed Tocks Island Dam project in the late 1960s.The entire district was condemned, and most of the structures razed, in preparation for a vast reservoir that was to cover the communities and farms that once stood along the old road.The narrowest portion of the Water Gap has been known as "Indian Ladder" for centuries.Before blasting for the railroad and the highway that later followed cleared the way, travelers needed to use a notched log or rope to assist them up and over the projecting rocky outcropping that came straight down to the river.Today the old railbed is used as the Karamac hiking trail.Past the light, the single-lane road seems to hang from the edge of the cliff, indicating how difficult travel once was around the mountain.The trail names recall the former Camp Karamac, a large resort, popular in its day, and its predecessor, the Far View House.Karamac boasted a large lodge, tennis courts, archery range, waterfront swimming and boating areas, dances amd bands, and other activities befitting the agendas of young socialites.
Or perhaps the rusty deposits pointed to iron ore in the mountain.
In the 1600s Dutch miners discovered copper ore in a beautiful ravine located about seven miles north of the Delaware Water Gap.
To access the ore and to transport it to Kingston, New York, they constructed a road, now known as the Old Mine Road.
And knowing what was once along the route gives a better appreciation of the character of the old road and the people who have lived along its edges.
Interstate Route 80 west provides easy access to the southern portion of Old Mine Road and leads past some interesting sites on the way.