VERY IMPORTANT: Seasonal gate closure hours are in effect.  Current Gate Closing time between March 16, 2024 and the Saturday (May 25, 2024) before Memorial Day will be 6:30 PM

NOTE: Boat ramp closure times are different than property closing times, they are typically 1 hour prior to property gate closure – check the white-board at the ramp for ramp closing times.  All watercraft MUST be off the water by the ramp closure time.

VERY IMPORTANT for operating watercraft at MCR between Nov. 1 and May 1.  This new NJ Regulation applies to all visitors using watercraft less than 26 feet, including boats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, at MCR between November 1st and May 1st. In short, A USCG approved life jacket is required to be worn at all times, outside of a cabin on a boat under 26 feet during the cold-water months, while in motion, from November 1st to May 1st. This rule is mandatory. For more information please see:

Perimeter Trail (Black Trail) New Permanent Reroute News: 

Working with the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg, the students have created a reroute of the Perimeter Trail (Black Trail) associated with the area of the former footbridge that was destroyed from a storm and flood waters.

This re-route is necessary because it has been determined that due to several NJDEP regulations that were not in effect when the old bridge was built and the fact that the storm and flood inadvertently created critical habitat needed for 2 NJDEP listed wildlife species, we cannot rebuild a bridge at that location.  Therefore, the new trail reroute has been blazed and extends to a natural creek crossing that should not wash out or accumulate debris in high-water as it did at the area of the former footbridge.  Please use this reroute and cross at the new area. Please do not cross at the area of the former footbridge.

So please plan your hikes accordingly based on this information.

MCR welcomes our visitors to enjoy all of the recreational opportunities that Merrill Creek has to offer, but we ask for your cooperation in being respectful to your fellow visitors, as well as MCR employees, park only at designated parking areas (not on the side of any road, unless authorized), maintain social distancing as well as adhering to all MCR rules and regulations. Thank you.



Merrill Creek Reservoir

Property Operation Hours

Property gates open year-round at 7:00 AM

VERY IMPORTANT: Seasonal gate closure hours are in effect.  Current Gate Closing time between March 16, 2024 and the Saturday (May 25, 2024) before Memorial Day will be 6:30 PM

NOTE: boat ramp closure times are different than property closing times – check white-board at boat ramp for ramp closing times

Entire Property, including all Trails, Parking Areas, and Reservoir Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas Day

The Visitor’s Center is open Wednesday thru Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM year-round, except for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In response to media inquiries concerning MCR’s new recreational times

Merrill Creek Reservoir (MCR) is a privately-owned property, and its main purpose is to store and maintain a large water supply that can be released to the Delaware River in times of low flow.  While it is not a park or other publicly-run facility, MCR grants access to the public so they can enjoy its tranquil setting and natural environment, and participate in limited low-impact recreational activities.

Over the past few years, MCR has experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of visitors to the property, which unfortunately has led to a marked increase in the number of incidents that compromise the safety of our staff. We have also experienced an uptick in other violations of our rules and regulations, all of which have the potential to impact the integrity of the site and the safety of our visitors.

Because of these continued challenges, and in order to protect the safety of our visitors, staff, property and community during these most challenging hours, MCR has made the decision to establish clearly defined public recreation times.  While we realize that this change will require some of our visitors to adjust their routines, we believe that they are necessary in order to keep MCR, its staff and its visitors safe, and for the site to remain publicly available into the future.


Weather for Merrill Creek Reservoir formally Ingersoll Reservoir