Merrill Creek Reservoir Professional Review and Guide
"A contemporary visitor to Merrill Creek views the placid, sun-dappled surface of a 16-billion-gallon lake encircled by forest and field atop Scotts Mountain. But this is my home ground, where I wandered as a child and where I witnessed the swift remaking of the natural landscape by human beings. In the 1960s, I played explorer here with boyhood friends, puzzling out humankind’s past influences. After a spring rain, black chert arrowheads shone against the red clay of plowed farm fields, revealing a 12,000-year Native American legacy.
Amid dense second-and third-growth forest, we found incongruous walls and sunken roads, evidence of abandoned eighteenth-and nineteenth-century farms. We explored old homesteads—overgrown, stone-lined cellar holes— with the same romantic zeal as Schliemann uncovered Troy. This 4.1-mile loop hike within the 290-acre Merrill Creek Environmental Preserve explores the north shore of the reservoir, passing through a remnant of the deciduous, conifer, streamside, wetland, and field habitats which once covered all of Scotts Mountain."