The perimeter trail may also be accessed here, and fishing is allowed from the shoreline. Warren County's Scott's Mountain, so named since at least 1885, is known locally as Montana Mountain, named for the small hamlet that sits on its scenic plateau. Outdoor areas will be open from Sunrise to Sunset, seven days a week, year round, except where use restrictions are stated in the rules or posted at the location. Even the tall cluster of Edison's cement silos are partly hidden as nature reclaims its territory. Mike W. & … Explore the 650-acre reservoir between sunrise and sunset, when the gates are open to allow boating. Water would be pumped up from the Delaware River three miles west, to be contained by a half-mile-long, 235-foot high dam constructed in narrow Low's Hollow gorge a thousand yards ahead, and kept available for release back to the river at times of low flow. Merrill Creek is connected to the Delaware River, about three miles away, by an underground tunnel. Inside the Visitor Center there are various informative nature and historical displays, a lecture hall with many raptor and wildlife mounts, classroom, bird feeder observation window, and restrooms. Or watch an eagle suddenly fly toward an osprey as it tries to quickly escape with its newly-caught fish, snatching it in mid-air drop. He bought land here, and began construction of the cement mill by 1901, with quarrying operations at Oxford, more recently the Tilcon quarry. Made the 2 hour drive back down south to fish new waters and avoid the bad New York weather. While canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats with small electric motors may be on the water generally from dawn to dusk, check Merrill Creek Reservoir's website for the exact hours of ramp operation. The 110-acre site once contained more than fifty buildings: offices, mills, shops, and 700-foot-long stock houses that could store 600,000 barrels of cement. Mountain Hawk Watch from September through November, where thousands of hawks pass over along a major raptor migration flyway. It has a variety of wildlife including deer, turkey, and bald eagles. Other portions of MCR's trail network may be accessed from here. There are dozens of duck species, snow geese by the tens of thousands, even occassional loons have been spotted here. And the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad carried freight and passengers through here for many years. The visitor center of Merrill Creek Reservoir is located at 34 Merrill Creek Road, Harmony Township (or Washington Township depending on which map you are using), New Jersey, 07882. Since it opened in May of 1989 the area has become a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Here the reservoir's inlet-outlet tower handles the Delaware River water as it is taken in or released from the reservoir. Merrill Creek Reservoir (1/5/2013) Months after Hurricane Sandy swept through the area, the majority of NJ state parks are still closed with (as far as can be determined) no date on when they will open. In 1903, to supply water for its new location at Phillipsburg, the Ingersoll-Rand Company built a ten-acre reservoir just upstream from the site of today's huge dam, which now hides the old thirty-foot high concrete barrier under two hundred feet of the reservoir's deepest waters. It's one of the few places that is beautiful during all four seasons. Trails leading from the Visitor Center take hikers along the water's edge on the perimeter trail, through forests, old conifer stands, and quiet trickling streams. The reservoir has hosted a pair of nesting bald eagles for more than a decade, and hundreds of observers have watched the royal birds, the growth and antics of the fledglings, and their interaction with other wildlife. Follow it for three miles as it twists and turns downward through beautiful terrain. Public access is allowed.) 6.7 miles. In 2019, the Historic Moravian Village of Hope celebrated 250 years since the Moravians first settled the hills along the Beaver Brook. Private campground for RVers and Tenters with wooded sites available by the day to by the season. Turn right onto Millbrook Road. Hiking counterclockwise leads over the main dam and its scenic vista overlooking Low's Hollow. Route 57, which follows a very old road alignment from the early 1770s, was authorized as a Turnpike as early as 1806, and has been designated a Warren Heritage Scenic Byway. Inside the Learning Center, open on the second Sunday of each month, there are detailed models of the canal as well as other exhibits. No boats may be on the premises before the gate is open or after the gate is closed. 7 reviews of Merrill Creek Reservoir "A privately held reservoir and environmental preserve, open to the general public, that's a scenic, relaxing spot to hike. Located in central Warren County, New Jersey, Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre (2.6 km²) artificial lake that is surrounded by 290 acres (1.2 km²) of protected woodland and fields. Sunday concerts on the manor lawn are a favorite during the summer. You might see an eagle plucking a meal of fresh duck off the water's surface. Open water surrounded by deciduous woods. Continue across Route 57, cross the Pohatcong Creek and in less than a mile, just before turning right onto Good Springs Road, an 1874 map shows a depot at the rail crossing. Whether you’re on or off the water, you’ll catch a glimpse of wildlife among the surrounding environmental preserve. Although his Portland cement was used for buildings, roads, dams, and other structures, including the 1923 construction of Yankee Stadium, Edison's New Village plant was never very profitable. E-mail: cahill@merillcreek.com (Site owned by 7 utility companies. (908) 454-1213 (ph) Five miles of track connected everything, and over three miles of belt conveyors moved materials along. Group garages were located within the community as were a community center and grocery store. Turn left onto Montana Road, then continue for a mile and a half as it passes by the other end of Allens Mills Road and heads toward the small hamlet of Montana. Merrill Creek Reservoir Perimeter Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Stewartsville, New Jersey that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The ramp will remain open … The remains of the lock are still buried, but the lock tender's house foundation, as well as a full-scale model of a canal boat, give visitors a glimpse into canal life. If there were awards handed out for the best-hidden treasures, Merrill Creek Reservoir would certainly receive one of them. It is actually pretty well known in its immediate area, and even hiking books that cover the entire New Jersey tend to mention it, but finding the place may not be too easy. However, after the price of iron dropped, he sustained huge financial losses and abandoned his ore processing efforts. Habitat. Brochures are available, including a detailed map of the nature preserve's color-coded trails. You'll find comprehensive portraits more attentive to geographic, cultural, and historical attributes than county and municipal borders. There are special events throughout the year as well as programs for schools. Turn right onto Edison Road and look for ruins obscured by overgrowth, once part of Edison's gigantic cement production facility. Cover includes brush, ledges, timbered shoreline, riprap shoreline, coves, and fallen timber. Copyright Few visitors realize, though, that the Fox Farm Road once continued down the basin's steep western side, passing the sites of old family farms and a schoolhouse, now deep under water. The trip back down into and through the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors. At Merrill Creek Reservoir From the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife : The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing anglers that Lehighvalleylive.com includes a featured article on the great lake trout fishing in Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County. Merrill Creek Reservoir Merril Creek is a 650 acre reservoir surrounded by a 290 acre Environmental Preserve with an additional 2000 acres of woods and fields. Because housing was so critical, the first twenty-five homes in Valley View, those on Congress Street, were built as conventional frame houses, due to the initial logistics of constructing and erecting the concrete forms. Though Merrill Creek Reservoir is in fact a man made lake, the 290 acres around the water are protected land and cannot be developed. Except for the addition of sloped roofs on most of them, the homes still stand as they were built, relatively maintenance-free. Lunker Hunters Penn • Jersey Bass Club! The plant's production activities created so much dust that Edison eventually had to buy out the owners of the surrounding farms. Comments: Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. In 1903 a coal dust explosion at the mill killed eight workers including the chief engineer. In 1912 an experimental section of highway was constructed with cement manufactured at his plant, perhaps the first paved road in rural America, and certainly the first concrete surface in New Jersey. And the snowy owl appearance last winter was the talk of New Jersey. To ease the situation for its employees during the post-World War I housing shortage, the Ingersoll-Rand Company decided to build low cost workers' homes in two developments: Valley View, for semiskilled and unskilled workers; and Hill Crest, for department heads, foremen, supervisors, and highly skilled mechanics. From the unpaved parking area, hikers, runners, and nature lovers can follow the gated lane down to the five-mile-long perimeter trail which skirts the reservoir. Heading in the other direction, the perimeter trail passes a spur trail which heads down to a wildlife observation deck at water's edge. Coogan, an executive of Alpha Portland Cement Co. was the development corporation's president—it was decided that the hundred or so houses of Valley View would rise using the "Ingersoll Method". The Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends, year round, except for New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hike around Merrill Creek Reservoir for views of the water with opportunities to spot wildlife. The Visitor Center will remain closed at this time. He wanted to modify earlier, hand-shoveled techniques by casting complete houses—interior walls, floors, and roof—in reusable cast iron or steel molds loaded from the top. Continue and then turn right onto Merrill Creek Road, the most easterly of the old roads which once led into the now-flooded basin. Follow Route 57 to its end, merge with Route 22 and turn onto the Roseberry Street exit. It will pass over the old Morris Canal just before the traffic light at Route 57 in the village of Broadway, so-named since at least 1856. Turn up narrow Fox Farm Road and follow it up Montana Mountain, bearing right in about a mile. There is a small green sign pointing up to Merrill Creek at Fox Farm Road, just south of the Warren County Fairgrounds, on the other side of County Route 519 in Harmony. Back then, Pleasant Hollow's aura was one of beauty and mystery. (Please respect the residents' privacy and safety.) But the 1980s project was not the first to impede the creek's progress. Phone: (908)454-1213. Get our newsletter, This Week in the NJ Skylands, with updates, special offers and good ideas! Return to Route 57 and turn left to travel the Concrete Mile. Ingersoll-Rand began construction of its complex in 1903, where it eventually employed two thousand workers, producing pumps, rock drills, jackhammers, compressors, and mining equipment. Its basic purpose is to provide stored water that can be released to the Delaware River to make up for the evaporative water usage at certain electric generating units in times of low flow in the river. Continue past the Visitor Center entrance drive until the road ends at the boat launch. It is the deepest man made lake in New Jersey which allows it to keep a healthy population of lake trout year round. © 2020  Merrill Creek Reservoir Perimeter Trail est un sentier en boucle de 5.2 miles très fréquenté situé près de Stewartsville, New Jersey. Located in central Warren County, New Jersey, Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre (2.6 km²) artificial lake that is surrounded by 290 acres (1.2 km²) of protected woodland and fields.  |  A bit farther on, there is another wildlife blind along the water's edge. Owned by: Merrill Creek Reservoir. Over the years some of Merrill Creek's staff have led kayak and canoe nature tours of the reservoir, the most intriguing being their moonlight paddles (the only exception to the dawn to dusk rule). Ready for more? In the mid-1980s New Jersey's largest one-day count of migrating fall raptors was recorded nearby; an amazing 18,500 broadwing hawks! This 16-billion gallon off-stream reservoir is impounded by a 290-ft high dam and 3 dikes, all earth and rockfill embankments. Less than a half-mile to the right you'll notice a beautifully restored private (please do not enter) home known to local historians as Smith's Quaker meeting house. Charles Ingersoll had improved upon Edison's casting method by using lighter, more economical wooden forms and by eliminating the need for top forms for the floors. After the Ingersoll reservoir was completed, the Lopatcong Water Company gradually bought out most of the land within the basin, planting large stands of conifers in the abandoned fields and clear-cut wood lots, some of which are still visible. From about 1906 the trolley tracks of the Easton & Washington Traction Company ran along Route 57, carrying passengers between Washington and Phillipsburg for 25 cents. The trails and boat ramp are open from sunrise to sunset daily. By 1911 the mill had the capacity to produce 2,500,000 barrels of Edison Portland cement annually. (C. H. Ingersoll bore no relationship to the Ingersoll-Rand Company but was of Ingersoll Dollar Watch fame, later Timex.) The website of Merrill Creek Reservoir is at: www.merrillcreek.com For those unfamiliar with Merrill Creek, the 650-acre reservoir was constructed to store water for release to the Delaware River during periods of low flow. From the top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley it's fascinating to learn how big names, and not so big names, intertwine with each other, affecting each other's lives in marvelous ways but which all too soon are forgotten. Using molds to form concrete houses may have been radical in the early 1900s, but it was not a new idea when Edison announced his plan in 1906 to construct houses of poured concrete. Turn left onto Roseberry Street, continuing across Route 22 on Roseberry Street which then skirts the former Ingersoll-Rand tract on the left. Beyond the Concrete Mile, turn right and follow Richline Hill Road to the stop sign, then turn right onto Reservoir Road, which follows Merrill Creek up through Low's Hollow to a cul-de-sac. The Morris Lock Park and Warren County Historical Learning Center, which, at the site of the former Morris Canal Lock 7 West, contains a short section of cleared canal towpath and prism, a perimeter walking and nature trail, and extensive historical signage. Hands-on exhibits, dioramas and other displays may be seen in the Center. Back on Fox Farm Road, continue for a mile and a half and turn right on Richline Road. Merrill Creek Reservoir Warren - New Jersey. (908) 454-2747 (f). Nearby, to the left of the huge Ise Farms silo, lay the vast ruins of Thomas Edison's Portland Cement Company mill, now overgrown and obscured by brush, vines, and trees. Canal ran its boats through this little valley and across the state for a century from the 1820s on. Washington, NJ 07882 Hiking options range from easy (blazed trails) to moderate. The Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 16-billion-gallon reservoir located approximately three-and-a-half miles east of the Delaware River in Warren County, northwestern New Jersey. It stores 16 billion gallons of water that can be released, during low-water periods, to the Delaware River to augment river water used by electric generating stations. Also, brochures, pamphlets and general information are available. Then look for the gravel lane on the right in another half-mile, and a gated, unpaved parking area. Keep informed about all the great stuff to do in and around Northwest New Jersey by reading our seasonal publication, the Skylands Visitor magazine. Initially, potential buyers were reluctant to live in concrete houses, believing they would be cold and damp. The most popular are the broadwing hawks which fly over in huge groups, so high you'll need binoculars or a spotting scope to see most of them. 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