The remains of the lock are still buried, but the lock tender's house foundation, as well as a full-scale model of a canal boat, give visitors a glimpse into canal life. Follow it for three miles as it twists and turns downward through beautiful terrain. Lunker Hunters Penn • Jersey Bass Club! The 110-acre site once contained more than fifty buildings: offices, mills, shops, and 700-foot-long stock houses that could store 600,000 barrels of cement. It's one of the few places that is beautiful during all four seasons. His involvement, however, certainly helped promote the growth of the young industry. From about 1906 the trolley tracks of the Easton & Washington Traction Company ran along Route 57, carrying passengers between Washington and Phillipsburg for 25 cents. We appreciate our visitors understanding while we are closed during this most challenging time. These lands are themselves part of 2,000 acres (8.1 km ) of open spaces. It will pass over the old Morris Canal just before the traffic light at Route 57 in the village of Broadway, so-named since at least 1856. The telephone number for the Visitors Center is (908) 454-1213. Turn up narrow Fox Farm Road and follow it up Montana Mountain, bearing right in about a mile. But the cast iron molds proved to be too heavy to be purchased and handled economically. Then look for the gravel lane on the right in another half-mile, and a gated, unpaved parking area. Hike around Merrill Creek Reservoir for views of the water with opportunities to spot wildlife. Although the first Valley View concrete houses had only four rooms, the rest had six rooms, and both types had modern bathrooms and basements, all cast in one operation. Follow Reservoir Road and then Low's Hollow Road back down to Route 57. The Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends, year round, except for New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Because housing was so critical, the first twenty-five homes in Valley View, those on Congress Street, were built as conventional frame houses, due to the initial logistics of constructing and erecting the concrete forms. He wanted to modify earlier, hand-shoveled techniques by casting complete houses—interior walls, floors, and roof—in reusable cast iron or steel molds loaded from the top. Brian S. & Eric G. 5 12.00lbs ( Lunker 4.24lbs ) ( Late Penalty -1lb ) 2. The plant's production activities created so much dust that Edison eventually had to buy out the owners of the surrounding farms. After about a mile it is easy to see the very large buildings which house thousands of chickens at the Ise Farms egg production facility. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until December. At Merrill Creek Reservoir From the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife : The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing anglers that Lehighvalleylive.com includes a featured article on the great lake trout fishing in Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County. Merrill Creek Reservoir Perimeter Trail est un sentier en boucle de 5.2 miles très fréquenté situé près de Stewartsville, New Jersey. While canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats with small electric motors may be on the water generally from dawn to dusk, check Merrill Creek Reservoir's website for the exact hours of ramp operation. Turn left on Route 57 and continue through New Village, which in 1918 held a population of 250 people, had the trolley, railroad, post office, school, two churches, and telephone. Contact: Curtis A. Hill, Superintendent. Since it opened in May of 1989 the area has become a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Merrill Creek Owners Group Back to All Projects Next → Principals of TERRA have been continuously involved with the Merrill Creek Reservoir since the pre-design site investigations. Five miles of track connected everything, and over three miles of belt conveyors moved materials along. The Merrill Creek Reservoir boat ramp and trails will be re-opened on June 15, 2020. Website by D.C. Helms, Inc. There is a small green sign pointing up to Merrill Creek at Fox Farm Road, just south of the Warren County Fairgrounds, on the other side of County Route 519 in Harmony. Located in central Warren County, New Jersey, Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre (2.6 km²) artificial lake that is surrounded by 290 acres (1.2 km²) of protected woodland and fields. Merrill Creek Reservoir In the mid-1980s New Jersey's largest one-day count of migrating fall raptors was recorded nearby; an amazing 18,500 broadwing hawks! Merrill Creek Reservoir Environmental Preserve offers opportunities for year-round recreational activities on over 3,000 acres of open space (total includes a 650-acre reservoir and a 290-acre environmental preserve). Few visitors realize, though, that the Fox Farm Road once continued down the basin's steep western side, passing the sites of old family farms and a schoolhouse, now deep under water. Here the reservoir's inlet-outlet tower handles the Delaware River water as it is taken in or released from the reservoir. Initially, potential buyers were reluctant to live in concrete houses, believing they would be cold and damp. The trip back down into and through the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors. The visitor center of Merrill Creek Reservoir is located at 34 Merrill Creek Road, Harmony Township (or Washington Township depending on which map you are using), New Jersey, 07882. Return to Route 57 and turn left to travel the Concrete Mile. This area is also the current site of the Scott's Quaker ownership continued for decades after. Merrill Creek Reservoir Info: 5/7/2017. Partly because the cement industries were nearby— F.M. Four narrow roads met at the bottom of the basin after descending its steep sides from the four points of the compass, at a place called Pleasant Hollow. However, after the price of iron dropped, he sustained huge financial losses and abandoned his ore processing efforts. Keep informed about all the great stuff to do in and around Northwest New Jersey by reading our seasonal publication, the Skylands Visitor magazine. From the gravel parking area, continue north on today's rerouted Fox Farm Road. The most popular are the broadwing hawks which fly over in huge groups, so high you'll need binoculars or a spotting scope to see most of them. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités et sa meilleure utilisation est de … Owned by: Merrill Creek Reservoir. If there were awards handed out for the best-hidden treasures, Merrill Creek Reservoir would certainly receive one of them. In one mile, turn left into the lane leading to Bread You might see a resident black bear or two at the small bridge over a marshy portion of Merrill Creek. These lands are themselves part of of open spaces. This story was first published: Autumn, 2012, Bald Pate Mountain, Washington's Crossing, Howell Farm, Reservoir Relaxation: Split Rock,Taylortown and Boonton. Continuing past the gate on foot for a few hundred yards leads to the base of Merrill Creek Reservoir's main dam. The ramp will remain open … The reservoir has hosted a pair of nesting bald eagles for more than a decade, and hundreds of observers have watched the royal birds, the growth and antics of the fledglings, and their interaction with other wildlife. Land Use. Over the years some of Merrill Creek's staff have led kayak and canoe nature tours of the reservoir, the most intriguing being their moonlight paddles (the only exception to the dawn to dusk rule). Research has shown that in 1752-3 Samuel Smith was granted the right by the Kingwood Meeting to build a Quaker meeting house and residence here in which he would hold services. Merrill Creek is connected to the Delaware River, about three miles away, by an underground tunnel. Stewartsville NJ Most of the trees are gone and construction trucks everywhere.The end is near. Montana once held a cluster of homesteads, a Presbyterian church, a Baptist church, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, store and post office. Continue past the Visitor Center entrance drive until the road ends at the boat launch. Rustic cabins also available. Mike W. & … The Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 16-billion-gallon reservoir located approximately three-and-a-half miles east of the Delaware River in Warren County, northwestern New Jersey. One trail passes alongside the old farm ruins of the Cathers and Shafers families, including building foundations and a limestone kiln. So glad with the days results! A bit farther on, there is another wildlife blind along the water's edge. There are dozens of duck species, snow geese by the tens of thousands, even occassional loons have been spotted here. NJ Audubon's thirty-fifth outpost is a model for blending environmental awareness, wildlife habitat, and agriculture. Ironically, because Edison licensed the use of his kilns to other manufacturers, cement overproduction affected profits to the industry in general. Nearby Merrill Creek Reservoir, with its vast open waters and network of wooded trails, is deserving of any excursion up the mountain. Mike W. & … Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre environmental preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. 7/7/18 Merrill Creek Reservoir ( Open Buddy ) Angler # Of Fish Caught Total Weight. Beyond the Concrete Mile, turn right and follow Richline Hill Road to the stop sign, then turn right onto Reservoir Road, which follows Merrill Creek up through Low's Hollow to a cul-de-sac. Hands-on exhibits, dioramas and other displays may be seen in the Center. Merrill Creek originally entered the mountaintop basin from the plateau to the north, then flowed southerly for nearly two miles before escaping into Low's Hollow. 34 Merrill Creek Road. 1. After Roseberry Street bends into Center Street turn left onto Green Street, then in a few blocks turn left onto Congress Street and into the Valley View neighborhood, one like any other neighborhood, except for its homes made with concrete. At least three ancient roads led to or from the hamlet, one of them having been constructed around the time of the Revolutionary War. Back then, Pleasant Hollow's aura was one of beauty and mystery. Back on Fox Farm Road, continue for a mile and a half and turn right on Richline Road. Phone: (908)454-1213. Although Edison's original concrete has since been replaced—the last of it finally pulled up in 2010—the segment proved quite sturdy, and concrete went on to play a major role in the construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System. The Morris The end of this loop is very flat – mostly level dirt or gravel. Merrill Creek Reservoir is surrounded by woods and fields for a scenic setting close to the Pennsylvania border. Explore the remarkable personality of this place and get a year-round supply of great things to see and do!! Located in central Warren County, New Jersey, Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre (2.6 km²) artificial lake that is surrounded by 290 acres (1.2 km²) of protected woodland and fields. Inside the Learning Center, open on the second Sunday of each month, there are detailed models of the canal as well as other exhibits. From the top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley it's fascinating to learn how big names, and not so big names, intertwine with each other, affecting each other's lives in marvelous ways but which all too soon are forgotten. Comments: Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. Sunday concerts on the manor lawn are a favorite during the summer. Turn right onto Millbrook Road. Even the tall cluster of Edison's cement silos are partly hidden as nature reclaims its territory. Merrill Creek Reservoir Merril Creek is a 650 acre reservoir surrounded by a 290 acre Environmental Preserve with an additional 2000 acres of woods and fields. It is the deepest man made lake in New Jersey which allows it to keep a healthy population of lake trout year round. Water would be pumped up from the Delaware River three miles west, to be contained by a half-mile-long, 235-foot high dam constructed in narrow Low's Hollow gorge a thousand yards ahead, and kept available for release back to the river at times of low flow. Whether you’re on or off the water, you’ll catch a glimpse of wildlife among the surrounding environmental preserve. Warren County's Scott's Mountain, so named since at least 1885, is known locally as Montana Mountain, named for the small hamlet that sits on its scenic plateau. Le sentier longe un lac et sa difficulté est évaluée comme facile. It has a variety of wildlife including deer, turkey, and bald eagles. Canal ran its boats through this little valley and across the state for a century from the 1820s on. Ready for more? Nearby, to the left of the huge Ise Farms silo, lay the vast ruins of Thomas Edison's Portland Cement Company mill, now overgrown and obscured by brush, vines, and trees. Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. The perimeter trail may also be accessed here, and fishing is allowed from the shoreline. Ingersoll-Rand began construction of its complex in 1903, where it eventually employed two thousand workers, producing pumps, rock drills, jackhammers, compressors, and mining equipment. Its basic purpose is to provide stored water that can be released to the Delaware River to make up for the evaporative water usage at certain electric generating units in times of low flow in the river. In 1903 a coal dust explosion at the mill killed eight workers including the chief engineer. Trail surface is mostly easy, with some rocks/roots in areas. In 2019, the Historic Moravian Village of Hope celebrated 250 years since the Moravians first settled the hills along the Beaver Brook. (C. H. Ingersoll bore no relationship to the Ingersoll-Rand Company but was of Ingersoll Dollar Watch fame, later Timex.) When cement rock was discovered near New Village, NJ in 1898, he saw a way to utilize his expensive ore crushing equipment. From the unpaved parking area, hikers, runners, and nature lovers can follow the gated lane down to the five-mile-long perimeter trail which skirts the reservoir. 34 Merrill Creek Road Private campground for RVers and Tenters with wooded sites available by the day to by the season.  |  Public access is allowed.) A bear has been spied at least once swimming across a narrow part of the reservoir. No one is permitted on the dam, but steep trails in the woods on either side lead up to a scenic view at the top. No boats may be on the premises before the gate is open or after the gate is closed. A historical marker documents the stretch of road. You'll find comprehensive portraits more attentive to geographic, cultural, and historical attributes than county and municipal borders. From the Visitors Center, return to Richline Road then turn right and continue to its intersection with Montana Road. And the snowy owl appearance last winter was the talk of New Jersey. A descent into the basin through row after row of tall, dark evergreens provided a romantic setting by which to dally at the water's edge of Ingersoll reservoir at the bottom. In a short distance, notice the gravel lane on the right that leads back to a wildlife observation blind located on a former homestead, the upper Beers farm. (Please respect the residents' privacy and safety.) Home Fishing With The Lunker Hunters! He announced that he would give away the patented design to qualified builders, presumably to boost sales of his concrete made with New Village Portland cement. Hiking counterclockwise leads over the main dam and its scenic vista overlooking Low's Hollow. Though Merrill Creek Reservoir is in fact a man made lake, the 290 acres around the water are protected land and cannot be developed. And below the old dam, Merrill Creek flowed freely again, plunging down its tree-lined gorge into the hollow. Here are the results and see you all in a few weeks at our lake hopatcong open 7/7/18 Merrill Creek Reservoir ( Open Buddy ) Angler # Of Fish Caught Total Weight 1. And the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad carried freight and passengers through here for many years. E-mail: cahill@merillcreek.com (Site owned by 7 utility companies. Continue across Route 57, cross the Pohatcong Creek and in less than a mile, just before turning right onto Good Springs Road, an 1874 map shows a depot at the rail crossing. He bought land here, and began construction of the cement mill by 1901, with quarrying operations at Oxford, more recently the Tilcon quarry. Hiking options range from easy (blazed trails) to moderate. The trip back down into and through the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors. Ingersoll Dam April 1986. Visitor Center Phone: (908) 454-1213. Turn left onto Montana Road, then continue for a mile and a half as it passes by the other end of Allens Mills Road and heads toward the small hamlet of Montana. Group garages were located within the community as were a community center and grocery store. Dogs are also able to use this trail. 7 reviews of Merrill Creek Reservoir "A privately held reservoir and environmental preserve, open to the general public, that's a scenic, relaxing spot to hike. For those unfamiliar with Merrill Creek, the 650-acre reservoir was constructed to store water for release to the Delaware River during periods of low flow. Brochures are available, including a detailed map of the nature preserve's color-coded trails. The trails and boat ramp are open from sunrise to sunset daily. (This is all posted private property.). In 1903, to supply water for its new location at Phillipsburg, the Ingersoll-Rand Company built a ten-acre reservoir just upstream from the site of today's huge dam, which now hides the old thirty-foot high concrete barrier under two hundred feet of the reservoir's deepest waters. Washington, NJ 07882 Heading in the other direction, the perimeter trail passes a spur trail which heads down to a wildlife observation deck at water's edge. Habitat. Continue and then turn right onto Merrill Creek Road, the most easterly of the old roads which once led into the now-flooded basin. Copyright After about a mile, a gated old road seen on the left once led uphill and continued along the mountain's broad flat top to the hamlet of Montana. Brian S. & Eric G. 5 12.00lbs ( Lunker 4.24lbs ) ( Late Penalty -1lb ) 2. Route 57, which follows a very old road alignment from the early 1770s, was authorized as a Turnpike as early as 1806, and has been designated a Warren Heritage Scenic Byway. Made the 2 hour drive back down south to fish new waters and avoid the bad New York weather. The 650-acre Merrill Creek Reservoir, owned by a consortium of power companies, is a pumped-storage facility, completed in 1988. Mountain Hawk Watch from September through November, where thousands of hawks pass over along a major raptor migration flyway. Using molds to form concrete houses may have been radical in the early 1900s, but it was not a new idea when Edison announced his plan in 1906 to construct houses of poured concrete. And around the same time, visitors may have noticed huge excavating machines in the distance reshaping a natural geological basin into the final contour of what would become the 650-acre Merrill Creek Reservoir. Cover includes brush, ledges, timbered shoreline, riprap shoreline, coves, and fallen timber. As Edison built his concrete business, he constantly sought new ways to use his product. We appreciate our visitors understanding while we … This is the valley of the Pohatcong Creek, a corridor of commerce and transportation from Washington to Phillipsburg for more than a century and a half. Restored c.1754 stone ironmaster's home associated with c.1741 Oxford Furnace.is open first and second Sundays, 1-4pm, for tours through Colonial and Victorian rooms with costumed docents. Also, brochures, pamphlets and general information are available. The Visitor Center will remain closed. During the late 1890s, hoping to turn a profit from his iron ore mine in northern New Jersey, Thomas Edison developed and used his own iron ore milling process. (908) 454-2747 (f). Edison's cement mill employed 600 men, mostly immigrants, the majority of whom commuted daily by trolley from Phillipsburg, Easton and Washington. Outdoor areas will be open from Sunrise to Sunset, seven days a week, year round, except where use restrictions are stated in the rules or posted at the location. Bucks, does, and fawns frequent the meadow across the water, and harriers are common as the day's light fades, sweeping low across the open meadow hunting for prey. Merrill Creek Reservoir Warren - New Jersey. Retrace the route, turning left toward the Visitor Center. 6.7 miles. Get our newsletter, This Week in the NJ Skylands, with updates, special offers and good ideas! By 1911 the mill had the capacity to produce 2,500,000 barrels of Edison Portland cement annually. Coogan, an executive of Alpha Portland Cement Co. was the development corporation's president—it was decided that the hundred or so houses of Valley View would rise using the "Ingersoll Method". Turn right onto Edison Road and look for ruins obscured by overgrowth, once part of Edison's gigantic cement production facility. Home of Lakota Wolf Preserve. Merrill Creek Reservoir (1/5/2013) Months after Hurricane Sandy swept through the area, the majority of NJ state parks are still closed with (as far as can be determined) no date on when they will open. Nearby Merrill Creek Reservoir, with its vast open waters and network of wooded trails, is deserving of any excursion up the mountain. Merrill Creek Reservoir Lock Park and Warren County Historical Learning Center, which, at the site of the former Morris Canal Lock 7 West, contains a short section of cleared canal towpath and prism, a perimeter walking and nature trail, and extensive historical signage. Other portions of MCR's trail network may be accessed from here. There are special events throughout the year as well as programs for schools. In 1918, the nonprofit Phillipsburg Development Corp., a subsidiary to Ingersoll-Rand, began to implement the housing project, modeled after the attractive concrete homes erected by Charles H. Ingersoll in Union, NJ, a year earlier. You might see an eagle plucking a meal of fresh duck off the water's surface. © 2020  Until about 1860 the hamlet was called Springtown, and then Springville until the 1870s when it became known as Montana, perhaps because it is the highest elevated town in Warren County. The Merrill Creek Reservoir trails re-opened on June 15, 2020. Trails leading from the Visitor Center take hikers along the water's edge on the perimeter trail, through forests, old conifer stands, and quiet trickling streams. 18 catches; 319 followers; 9 spots; This made-man reservoir was completed in 1988, and has a maximum depth of 200 feet. Although his Portland cement was used for buildings, roads, dams, and other structures, including the 1923 construction of Yankee Stadium, Edison's New Village plant was never very profitable. It stores 16 billion gallons of water that can be released, during low-water periods, to the Delaware River to augment river water used by electric generating stations. Less than a half-mile to the right you'll notice a beautifully restored private (please do not enter) home known to local historians as Smith's Quaker meeting house. The website of Merrill Creek Reservoir is at: www.merrillcreek.com In 1912 an experimental section of highway was constructed with cement manufactured at his plant, perhaps the first paved road in rural America, and certainly the first concrete surface in New Jersey. Follow Good Springs Road which parallels the valley of the Pohatcong Creek on the right. Today, the Victaulic Company utilizes a few of the remaining buildings. By 1903 the plant was producing 3,000 barrels daily, although not without some glitches. Or watch an eagle suddenly fly toward an osprey as it tries to quickly escape with its newly-caught fish, snatching it in mid-air drop. Inside the Visitor Center there are various informative nature and historical displays, a lecture hall with many raptor and wildlife mounts, classroom, bird feeder observation window, and restrooms. Its basic purpose is to provide stored water that can be released to the Delaware River to make up for the evaporative water usage at certain electric generating units in times of low flow in the river. Outdoor areas will be open from Sunrise to Sunset, seven days a week, year round, except where use restrictions are stated in the rules or posted at the location. The two original churches are gone but the Methodist church, built in 1891, as well as a cluster of houses still exist today. But as the houses were completed and occupied, their comfortable nature eased those fears. It was Phillipsburg's largest employer through the 1960s, then declined in stages until the company sold the property in 2004. The 2,300-acre property surrounding Merrill Creek Reservoir holds a large network of trails worthy of exploration, including a 290-acre environmental preserve. To ease the situation for its employees during the post-World War I housing shortage, the Ingersoll-Rand Company decided to build low cost workers' homes in two developments: Valley View, for semiskilled and unskilled workers; and Hill Crest, for department heads, foremen, supervisors, and highly skilled mechanics. But the 1980s project was not the first to impede the creek's progress. The Merrill Creek Visitor Center remains closed to the public. After the Ingersoll reservoir was completed, the Lopatcong Water Company gradually bought out most of the land within the basin, planting large stands of conifers in the abandoned fields and clear-cut wood lots, some of which are still visible. Charles Ingersoll had improved upon Edison's casting method by using lighter, more economical wooden forms and by eliminating the need for top forms for the floors. Merrill Creek Reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre Environmental Preserve and 2000 additional acres of woods and fields. Except for the addition of sloped roofs on most of them, the homes still stand as they were built, relatively maintenance-free. Explore the 650-acre reservoir between sunrise and sunset, when the gates are open to allow boating. Washington, NJ 07882. (908) 454-1213 (ph) It is actually pretty well known in its immediate area, and even hiking books that cover the entire New Jersey tend to mention it, but finding the place may not be too easy. Open water surrounded by deciduous woods. Turn left onto Roseberry Street, continuing across Route 22 on Roseberry Street which then skirts the former Ingersoll-Rand tract on the left. Follow Route 57 to its end, merge with Route 22 and turn onto the Roseberry Street exit. To view another of Thomas Edison's impressive influences on the area, head into the Valley View neighborhood in Phillipsburg. The Visitor Center will remain closed at this time. This 16-billion gallon off-stream reservoir is impounded by a 290-ft high dam and 3 dikes, all earth and rockfill embankments. Merrill Creek Reservoir Perimeter Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Stewartsville, New Jersey that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Just beyond the old road, look carefully on the right for a black-topped lane leading up to a paved parking area. This picturesque plateau is enhanced by the small former one-room school house and nearby small church. 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 and wear a mask when interacting with others. The Boat Ramp is open from Sunrise to Sunset, but its use is gate-controlled on a schedule of specific hours for opening and closing. 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Edison 's gigantic cement production facility about three miles of belt conveyors materials... A paved parking area the Pennsylvania border le sentier longe un lac et sa difficulté est évaluée comme.! New Village, NJ in 1898, he sustained huge financial losses and abandoned his ore processing efforts de Owned. And grocery store than County and municipal borders helped promote the growth the! His concrete business, he sustained huge financial losses and abandoned his ore efforts! After the price of iron dropped, he constantly sought New ways to use his.. Ingersoll bore no relationship to the public moved materials along the small bridge over a portion. Things to see and do! cement rock was discovered near New Village, NJ in 1898, he sought!