Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Merrill Creek Reservoir: A Compact Venue

Merrill Creek Reservoir, located about 5 miles North East of Phillipsburg, NJ.

Google “Merrill Creek Reservoir” for map and directions to the ramp.

Map of Merrill Creek Reservoir

The man-made reservoir is owned by the “Merrill Creek Owners Group”, a consortium of 7 electric companies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The reservoir is connected by a 3 mile tunnel to the Delaware River. In the spring, water is pumped from the river to the reservoir, then, during the summer months, water is fed back to the Delaware River to replace the water lost through evaporation in the cooling of 14 power plants.

The reservoir is 650 acres (2.6 km^2) in area and 235’ (72m) deep. There is abundant wildlife (fish, birds, deer) both in the reservoir and the surrounding protected woodlands and fields. There is a 5.3 mile (8.5km) hiking trail surrounding the reservoir.

Though boating/fishing is encouraged (concrete ramp and trailer parking lot), gas powered boats are not allowed.

In addition to the quiet and abundant wildlife, one interesting feature is the ‘forest’ of dead trees in the north end. When the reservoir was constructed in 1988, most of the trees were removed, but this set of trees was left standing.

Looking ENE at the North End of the Reservoir

Looking WSW from Merrill Creek as it Enters the Reservoir

…Worth a visit for a quiet paddle or row, with lots of birds and fish.

For more information:

In the next blog, we’ll introduce you to what some say is the best oar cruiser there is.

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