The chance to go Tubing on the Delaware River has been on our American bucket list since first moving here. We finally had the chance on Labor Day weekend.
Tubing is summer tradition for East Coast Americans. The chance to sit inside a large inner tube of air whilst floating with a beer in hand is an enticing idea for most people and with the added offer of a visiting a craft brewery on the return journey, New York’s Sourced Adventures Delaware Tubing adventure had us at hello.
With summer two weeks from its inevitable conclusion, we were always going to be at Mother Nature’s whim in terms of temperature. Waking up early to go, we were greeted with a rather brisk 12C – not the ideal temperature for sitting with your butt submerged in a river. Dressing in hooded sweatshirt and long pants, the river was the last thing we were thinking about as we clutched our coffees and signed one of four (!) indemnity forms at the Delancey Street pickup (just across from the Tenement Museum). What kind of extreme sport is this tubing caper?
The bus takes about two hours once it finally escapes the traffic congestion of Manhattan. It heads through the tunnel to New Jersey and along the interstate north. To while away the time, they play early-90s classic, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, the perfect choice to lull most back to sleep.
Passing across the state lines to Philadelphia, we drive through the picturesque township of Milford, which dates back to 1796. Stone mansions and classic weatherboard homes line the streets that once were the home of author Francis McCourt.
The bus finally stops at a classic American camping ground, River Beach Campsite. Here the group has the opportunity to strip off their warm clothes in favor of swimsuits. A general store has water shoes, inflatable beer coolers and snacks that most choose to buy before we hit the river.
Tubing the Delaware
From the campgrounds, we’re driven upstream about three miles to the launch site. It’s another half mile down a forest track that leads us to the riverbanks. Here we all choose life jackets and our tube of choice before tying them together and entering the Delaware over sharp, mossy stones. The water is surprisingly not freezing. Thank goodness.
The next three hours are spent drifting, avoiding river rocks, running aground on said river rocks, falling off the tubes, drinking tubes (old Aussie slang for cans of beer), musing about life in general and appreciating the last rays of summers as they peek out from behind the overcast clouds. At times we pass over very minor rapids, getting an added kick of momentum, but all in all, it’s low on commitment and high on the relaxometer.
With empty floating cooler and full bladders, we’re grateful to make it back to shore, teeth chattering in the cool breeze. A quick hot shower back at the campground and a plate of warm pasta and Italian sausage (part of the package), we’re restored and ready for the last part of the tour – the craft brewery.
The bus drives through lush green countryside as the rain that has been threatening to ruin the tubing finally hits. We pass through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and back into New York somewhere near Warwick in Orange County. Our destination is Pine Island Brewing Co.
The Pine Island Brewing Co.
Pine Island Brewing Co. is a small craft brewery offering a tasting room, bar food and entertainment. In the backyard under a small tent, a local country music band is performing, oblivious to the rain. Locals shelter inside playing darts and Jenga, dogs welcome! We choose from the seven or eight brews, trying two of the IPAs and one of the blondes. Like most craft beers, they’re flavorful and heavy on the alcohol volume and at $5 a beer, it was good value too.
Full of beers, good times and tasty hot dogs, we ride the back to the big smoke. Tubing on the Delaware River gets a big tick on the bucket list and we’d recommend it for anyone looking for a day trip with a difference during the summer months.
The Delaware River Tubing Adventure takes you on a relax float down one of history’s famous waterways.
The journey starts with a pick up at Delancey Street, but the actual tubing boards at River Beach Campsite in Milford, PA.
Trips start at $95. Book early to save.
- Tubing on the Delaware River
- Picnic lunch
- Visit to a local, award winning brewery and exclusive discounts on pints and growler fills
- Round-trip Transportation from NYC
To book, click here.