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Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Merrill Creek Reservoir (Phillipsburg, NJ)

Recently, I found myself in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  Phillipsburg and Warren County don’t get a lot of attention in the Garden State.  It’s an area northwest of Trenton and an area that is truly considered “the Garden State.”

The reservoir is a 650-acre reservoir surrounded by a 290-acre environmental preserve.  The Merrill Creek Reservoir is a man-made lake with a dam constructed in 1986-1987. A surprising fact is the construction cost $217 million and was one of the largest construction projects in the US.

Merrill Creek Reservoir has plenty of space and can be used for running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and photography. If I was local it would be somewhere I would run. There are several loops, but I chose to walk around the 5.5-mile perimeter loop.  The Merrill Creek Reservoir is relatively flat and well maintained. The visitor center noted some of the animals seen included bald eagles, rainbow trout, lake trout, and white-tailed deer. It’s the tranquil setting of water and land that allows people to interact with the natural beauty of the Merrill Creek Reservoir.

There are beautiful views of both the Merrill Creek Reservoir as well as mountains and additional acres of woods and fields in the background.  If I lived close by, I could see myself running there.  It was quiet at the Merrill Creek Reservoir and there were only a few others on the trail.
Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

The bark peeled off means a bear got to it :O

The Merrill Creek Reservoir trail was a bit flooded over in one small section

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

You could walk over the dam

Walking Merrill Creek Reservoir

In all, it was a lot of fun and a short easy walk at the Merrill Creek Reservoir. It took about 2 hours to complete.  If you’re looking for something easy, scenic, and fun, the Merrill Creek Reservoir is a good option.

You Can See More Hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever walked around a reservoir? Have you been to the Merrill Creek Reservoir? 

Where is your favorite spot to hike around you?

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Walking Around Belleplain State Forest

Belleplain State Forest (Cape May County, Cumberland)

Recently I found myself back down near Maurice River and at the East Creek Trail in the Belleplain State Forest. Belleplain State Forest is a 20,000+  acres located in both Cape May County and Cumberland.  There are plenty of different trees like pine oak and Atlantic, and animals lurking around, and it’s pretty well maintained.

Belleplain State Forest was established in 1928.

The trail itself at Belleplain State Forest is a very flat, and runnable (if you want, I did not) 4.8-mile.  The creek is located in Belleplain State Forest. It’s marshy, swampy, and in the summer has a lot of mosquitos.  If you go to Belleplain State Forest in the Spring, Summer, and probably fall you will deal with mosquitos, but it’s like that anywhere in the Pineland area.

Also, check for ticks because I saw plenty of deer ticks of grass blades and picked about 10 off me.  Yes, 10.

Never the less, hiking at Belleplain State Forest was a lot of fun, and it was a nice and relaxing morning.  As most people know, one of my goals this summer is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Here are a few photos from Belleplain State Forest:

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

many fallen trees

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Extremely long boardwalks that I almost fell a few times

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Where the bugs harbor

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

In all, Belleplain State Forest was another fun spot to go.  I’ll go back but probably wait until the winter when there are fewer bugs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite bug spray? 
Do you have any plans for the summer?

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