General Info

 NOTE: THE FOOTBRIDGE IS OUT ON THE BLACK TRAIL DUE TO STORM DAMAGE and a trail re-route at this location is in place.  DO NOT cross stream at the old location of the footbridge – instead follow new trail re-route. 

Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields.

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, and maintain social distancing as well as adhering to all rules and regulations.

Property Operation Hours

Gates open year-round at 7:00 AM

VERY IMPORTANT: Seasonal gate closure hours are in effect.  Current Gate Closing time between the Saturday (May 25, 2024) before Memorial Day and Labor Day will be 8:00 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. Hands-on exhibits, dioramas and other displays may be seen in the Center. Also, brochures, pamphlets and general information are available.

Please note that the gates of the Facility may not open at normal times during periods of inclement weather or when certain maintenance activities are needed.

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. The majority of these incidents and rule violations have occurred during evening sunset hours.

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.  These new times went into effect May 1, 2023.  In an effort to provide the public with advance notice, we have posted these times on this website and on social media and shared the information with area organizations. 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.  We appreciate the community’s understanding and support of this necessary change.

Please park in designated parking areas only, as there is no parking permitted anywhere else at MCR, including roadside parking.  Parking along roadsides and other areas at MCR is for authorized vehicles only.

MCR is a privately owned property, please help us to keep MCR safe and secure for all to enjoy by strictly following our new property recreation hours. Thank you.

Indoor restroom facilities are in the Visitors Center; outdoor facilities are available at the Boat Ramp, the Visitor’s Center and Inlet/Outlet Tower parking areas. 

All litter must be deposited in appropriate trash containers. Take out what you take in. This includes pet waste bags. Do not leave them on the ground! Please recycle!

Merrill Creek reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to deny any person access to or to eject or remove any person from the Reservoir, the land and associated facilities. The right is further reserved to search any person or property on the premises, and to seize and confiscate any item or property that is prohibited from being on the premises, as well as to direct the cessation of any activity on the premises that Merrill Creek Management, in its sole and absolute discretion, deem to be potentially adverse to the interest, health, safety, peace or welfare of any person on the premises, the environment, or any activity or property on, or part of, the premises.

Merrill Creek is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.


The rules and regulations for Merrill Creek Reservoir are subject to change without notice.

Merrill Creek Reservoir is a privately owned property and is NOT a public park or playground.