Splitrock Reservoir

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Map(s)

Splitrock.jpgRoad map (870x938).  177K size.  Weather conditions

Scenery

THE prettiest lake in the state, Splitrock Reservoir was openned to the public in November 2003.  The water quality is comparable to Round Valley and Merrill Creek.  Like Carnegie Lake, in Princeton, it is narrow & extends 3 ½ mi SW to NE, bending along the way.  Unlike most NJ lakes, there are islands; the largest at the bend in the middle.  The water is deep on the west side of the big island, making for an easier passage.  Stay away from the dam on the SW end; like Carnegie Lake, it is a very steep drop.

NE of the large island, there is a beaver lodge on the eastern shore; there is also one on the western shore, across from the large island.  Bald eagles have also been spotted.

Fees

None.

Directions

Take route 31 north, to route 202, then to route 287.  Take route 287 north to route 80 W.  Take route 80 west to exit 37.  The cloverleaf will spin you around so that a left at the traffic light, at the end of the exit, put you on route 511 North (Green Pond Road).

Take route 511 North to Meriden Road.  (First righthand turn, north of route 80.)  This is easy to miss, but you will know it if you see route 511 bending west.  Take Meriden Road east to Lyonsville Road.  This is a Y-intersection with Meriden Road bending to the south east.  Follow Lyonsville Road north east to the end.  Make the left onto Split Rock Road, going north west.  Shortly after passing the Charlottesburg Road intersection, the road turns to dirt and gravel.  (Hopefully, you are driving an SUV or a truck.)

Take Split Rock Road to the parking lot, which will be on your left.  Before reaching the parking lot, you will pass under high tension wires.

Parking

Gravel with a fair number of spots.  On spring days (weekends & weekdays), I have seen the lot get close to capacity.  The lot probably fills up fast on summer weekends.

Distance to the Launch Area

The worst:  Kayak carts, or a buddy, are a requirement ... NOT an option!  Even if it was not for the grade, it is not worth wasting precious paddling energy carrying the boat to the put-in.

Restrooms

Outhouse.  This is a recent, and welcome addition by the parks department.

Status of Launch Area

THE worst of those on this web site.  Use either a kayak cart, or a buddy, to help you get your boat down to the water.  Credit the parks department for paving the hill with nice, soft wood chips, but is is still a pain-in-the-butt to walk down the steep hill.

And actual put-in is smooth gravel, similar to ball bearings, with a steep drop off.  After clearing the large rocks next to the water, you have to wade in thigh-deep water, then straddle the boat to get in ... easy for those versed in dock launching, horrible for the rest of us.  (Out of 4 trips, 2 landings involved wet exits; one unintentional.)  Contrary to all or almost all locations on this web site, Splitrock is easiest to launch when there is a bad drought ... the thigh-high water drops to a few inches.

Wind Conditions

On what was supposed to be a calm, spring day, I saw the wind speed reach the mid-teens.  Generally not a problem for kayaks, but it can get interesting.

Power Boats

None.  Electrics and rowboats only.

Foliage

Do not know.  I have not been here in the fall, but the potential is there.

Rolling Practice?

Clear water, but watch for rocks just below the surface.  Because of the water quality & lack of waves, one of the best locations on this web site.