Welcome to the Merrill Creek Environmental Preserve. This area has been designed and managed specifically for low impact recreational uses. Hiking, cross-country skiing, photography, wildlife observation, and nature study are all encouraged. 

Hiking is permitted on marked/blazed trails only.

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 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.

The 290-acre preserve features a variety of habitats including woodlands, fields, evergreen plantations, and wetlands

Since 1989, Merrill Creek Reservoir (MCR) has granted access to the public to enjoy its tranquil setting, natural environment, and limited low impact recreational activities. 

The entire MCR property, including hiking trails and boat ramp, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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.

In order to protect the natural beauty of the Preserve and assure that all visitors have a safe and enjoyable visit, the following rules have been established within the Preserve:

  • Hiking is permitted on marked/blazed trails only.
  • Trails are only accessible during property operation hours, this includes a section of the Warren Highlands Trail that also traverses through the Merrill Creek Reservoir property. All Merrill Creek Reservoir rules and regulations apply when hiking the Warren Highlands Trail on Merrill Creek Reservoir property.
  • Trails are open to foot travel only; horses, bicycles, and motor vehicles of any kind are prohibited.
  • Pets must remain under leashed control at all times.
  • All litter, including pet waste, must be carried out with you or deposited in the appropriate containers.

PERMITTED ACTIVITIES OR USE OF FACILITIES ARE UNDERTAKEN AT THE USER’S OWN RISK. Merrill Creek reserves the right to deny access to the reservoir, the land and associated facilities, at its discretion. The right is further reserved to search any person 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 the 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.

Welcome to the Merrill Creek Environmental Preserve