River Tubing

Every year, for the past three Julys, a group of us has gone tubing on the Delaware River. It’s really the perfect summer tradition: lazily floating downstream while surrounded by pretty scenery and sipping a beer. In my book, there are few better ways to spend a hot afternoon.

The first time, we went though a company, in Frenchtown, NJ, that provided tubes and a ride back upstream to the starting point. But then, one of my friends realized that you can just buy cheap inflatable floats, park at the Frenchtown boat launch, travel along the same route–and bring drinks and snacks along. Let’s just say that the next year was way more fun.

On Saturday, we made our annual trip. The afternoon was bright and sunny but not too hot–perfect weather for our nearly 6 mile float between Jersey and Pennsylvania.

delaware river tubing

tubing

mal, peter, doug, alex

The current was slow, so we had plenty of chillaxin’ time as our makeshift flotilla bobbed downstream. The guys even made BBQ brisket sandwiches right in their tubes!

peter tubing

mal tubing

heather tubing

doug tubing

Along the way, we saw another group of tubers launching themselves off a rope swing. I was too short to reach the rope (boo!), but Alex and Peter went for it.

alex and rope swing

alex on the rope swing

delaware river tubing

Next year we’re thinking of trading up our round floats for wacky ones like this or these–gotta up the ridiculous factor a little more every time!

(P.S. – On the way home, Mal and I had dinner at the Lovin’ Oven, a super-cute place with great food, just a minute away from where we launched our tubes.)

What’s your favorite summer tradition?

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22 comments

  1. I definitely think you need those floats!

    PS my hometown is just 20 minutes from the river & tubing! I haven’t been since I was 12. I really should go & take advantage of it. I love the pics – how’d you keep your camera dry?!

    1. Jenna, that’s too funny! That area is gorgeous! I love just driving around before we even get to the boat launch.

      I actually just used my iPhone and kept it in my friend’s dry bag when I wasn’t shooting. At first, I was really nervous about getting it wet, but the current was so slow that it never got splashed!

    1. Thanks, Sophie! I’ve just been taking short weekend trips, this summer, as well, and have a big trip planned for the fall, too. NYC is great in autumn–a little less swampy than it’s been, lately! 🙂

      1. Exactly! My previous visit to the city was last June, and I thought i was going to die. Here in the Northwest, humidity of that level is almost unheard of… it was really hard on me! I am a wimp 🙂 I adore New York in the fall! Where will you be headed?

      2. I’ve actually never been to Oregon, but it’s on my list of places to visit–it looks so gorgeous out there! I’ll be spending two weeks learning Spanish in Guatemala in September. I’m really looking forward to it!

  2. Heather, where exactly did you guys launch from? We used the tubing company in the past as well and it kind of stunk 😦 ….. also, how did you get from the end point back to your cars – did you just walk back? Did you have any trouble with bringing beers or anything like that?

    Thanks in advance! I’ve been trying to figure out this year’s trip and you seem to have it all figured out!

    1. Hi Rhea!

      Thanks for reaching out! We actually follow the same route that the tubing company does.

      There’s a parking lot/boat launch across the street from the Delaware River Tubing company; the address is 2998 Daniel Bray Highway. We’ll all meet there. Then, two cars will drive a few miles down; one will park at the point where the tubing company exits the river, and the other car will take everyone back to the starting point. I don’t have an address, but you should be able to see other cars and the tubing buses there.

      We actually have this cooler (http://www.amazon.com/Intex-58820E-Chill-Floating-Cooler/dp/B000929MEE/) to hold drinks and snacks for the ride, and it’s been great!

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions—and have a great time!

      Heather

      1. This is so awesome and helpful – thank you so so much!!!! Looking forward to our trip in August!!

        Rhea

        On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM, NYC Expeditionist wrote:

        > Heather commented: “Hi Rhea! Thanks for reaching out! We actually > follow the same route that the tubing company does. There’s a parking > lot/boat launch across the street from the Delaware River Tubing company; > the address is 2998 Daniel Bray Highway. We’ll all meet there. ” >

  3. I heard in 2013 the police were cracking down on tubers who go on their own. Have you or anyone else experienced this? I plan on going this Saturday 7/19/14 and was a little leary.

      1. We didn’t take the chance of going last weekend. We decided to go to palace outfitters in Mays Landing, NJ instead. We hope to do a Delaware river trip in august, I’ll keep you posted.
        I wanted to clarify my previous message….. we heard the cops were cracking down on the parking situation and blocking off where we would normally park our cars (not the actual tubers in the river).

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