Merrill Creek is one of my favorite day paddles...it is only 10 minutes away from home and you really feel isolated when you get to exploring the coves. Each visit is special. The wind can and does come up across the water at times, but if it gets trecherous, stick to the shoreline and you shouldn't have any trouble. If you get there and it's too windy for your tastes, get out and hike along the multitude of marked trails. (I always keep a pair of hiking boots in my truck!)
Merrill Creek Reservoir was built atop Scotts Mountain in Warren County's Harmony Township. The reservoir is privately owned by a conglomerate of 7 power companies that border the Delaware River. The water is as deep as 200 feet and encompasses about 650 acres. Boating and fishing is open to the public...FREE NO FEE. There is a boat launch that you check in at with ample parking. You can only use the reservoir during daylight hours and only battery or paddle powered boats allowed. Surrounding Merrill Creek is over 2000 acres of forest and fields. There are beautiful stands of ghostly trees lining some of the coves and mergansers, king fishers, pilated woodpeckers, and bald eagles alike can be found surveying the clear cold waters for fish. I've viewed black beer, white-tailed deer, fox, muskrat, horned owls, bald eagle, hawks, bluebirds, and herons to name just a few. The fishery consists of full size lake trout, brown and rainbow trout and also large and small mouth bass. There is also a wonderful nature center overlooking the lake that provides wildlife education to the public and also has rest room facilities. The center is open year round but closed on some holidays. The center also showcases the history of the area and the building of this engineering feat.
Well-maintained cement boat launch with docks for larger boats. Ample parking, restroom facilities. Nature Center is only building you will see on this body of water. No swimming or camping allowed.
NO FEES. To boat, you must register your name, color and length and type of boat, address and vehicle with the guard at the launch. This is for safety/insurance purposes only.
From Central Jersey, Route 78W to 31N. Take a left onto Rt. 57 at Washington, NJ. Travel approx. 7 miles and on your right is a small green street sign pointing to Merrill Creek. Road is directly across from a restaurant in New Village. Take that road up the mountain and where the road forks bear left. Go approx. 1/8th mile and turn left. Follow the signs to the boat launch.
Map of Warren County, NJ...this area is great for scenic roads worth exploring...all along Scotts Mountain, Montana Mountain and Oxford all the way to the Deleware Water Gap.