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Spruce Run Recreation Area, Clinton

3.6
#99 of 287 in Parks in New Jersey
Park · Nature / Park
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Spruce Run Recreation Area is a 1,290-acre (5.2 km2) New Jersey state recreation area located in Union Township and Clinton Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. It encompasses the Spruce Run Reservoir that is used as a backup reservoir to protect the state from prolonged droughts. The reservoir is the third largest in the state, after Round Valley and Wanaque Reservoir. The reservoir is used for recreation purposes, including hunting, fishing, boating and swimming.

Spruce Run Dam (National ID # NJ00132) was a 1964 project of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority with municipal water supply as its primary use. The earthen dam is 93 feet (28 m) high, with a length of 5,400 feet (1,600 m) at its crest. The reservoir has a maximum capacity of 46,770 acre-feet and a normal capacity of 33,670 acre-feet. The reservoir is on land formerly used for farming and metal works over the past few centuries. Prior to European colonization of the area, the land underneath the reservoir was important to the local Native Americans. Of the known Native American sites in Union Township, the majority were found on land inundated by the reservoir. The reservoir was formed by creating a series of dams that allowed the reservoirs two major tributaries to flood the basin that was created. The two main tributaries of the reservoir are the Mulhockaway Creek and Spruce Run Creek. In the 1920s the Elizabethtown Water Company took interest in buying the land and building a reservoir to provide for the growing water demands. The Great Depression postponed any plans to build the reservoir. The state of New Jersey resumed plans to build the reservoir in 1956, and by 1964 construction of the reservoir was completed.
At times of drought, Spruce Run feeds water into the nearby south branch of the Raritan River to supply water to more populated areas of the state downstream. The reservoir can store up to 11 billion gallons of water (42,000,000 cubic metres (1.5×109 cu ft)) at full capacity. Along with Round Valley Reservoir, the reservoirs play a critical role in supply raw water to much of northern New Jersey. Water levels at the reservoir fluctuate greatly throughout the year, which has led to decreased vegetation in the photic zone. This has a variety of repercussions for fish in the lake including decreased structure and habitat for juvenile fish. In recent years the reservoir's water levels have been lowered significantly for large portions of the year.
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Spruce Run Recreation Area reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
107 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Stayed for a weekend in May. Beautiful park, well kept. Nice trails. Never met the host, asked park worker for map, he was out of them. We enjoyed the trails around Spruce Run Reservoir. Real busy... 
    Stayed for a weekend in May. Beautiful park, well kept. Nice trails. Never met the host, asked park worker for map, he was out of them. We enjoyed the trails around Spruce Run Reservoir. Real busy...  more »
  • As of July 17, 2020 the beach is closed due to algae bloom for the rest of the summer. The boat launch is closed due to the virus. Capacity of the area is limited due to the virus, so it closes... 
    As of July 17, 2020 the beach is closed due to algae bloom for the rest of the summer. The boat launch is closed due to the virus. Capacity of the area is limited due to the virus, so it closes...  more »
Google
  • Open for hiking. Will let you in for free after 5pm (close at dark)
  • Excellent area to enjoy the great outdoors. Plenty to do..great fishing..hunting too. For those like myself who truly love Spruce Run its sad to see some who don't respect the area by leaving their garbage all over. Also please obey boating regulations for your safety..highly recommend the entire are..enjoy and respect.

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