We didn't have time for a long or far away hike this weekend so we decided to try out Merrill Creek Reservoir in Washington, NJ. It's about 50-60 minutes from central NJ (New Brunswich-ish area). It's a nice park with easy hiking, well marked trails, and a very nice visitor center. There are some ruins of farm buildings along the trails near the visitor center.
287 to 78W to exit 4, then meander through back roads... Get the detailed directions on the Merrill Creek site
. Also, there is a trail map there.
Trail surface is mostly easy, with some rocks/roots in areas. The end of the loop we did was very flat - mostly level dirt or gravel. You could make the hike .9 miles longer if you added on the orange trail loop, and perhaps added a bit more if you overlapped some trail portions around the visitor center... but otherwise, that's all the trail here.
RED - BLUE - YELLOW - BLACK. We started from behind the visitor center and took trails that hugged the reservoir, then picked up the Perimeter Trail (BLACK). The trails are very well marked, and at intersection there were plaques with "you are here" maps.
For the full blog post, check out Merrill Creek Reservoir
on the main NJ Hiking site.