The green trail will take you past this brook along the western edge of the reservation.
Here in the burbs of northern New Jersey, you’d probably expect that it’s hard to find a decent patch of woods in which to go hiking. But thankfully, we have a few such patches, including one that is literally up the hill from me.
Eagle Rock Reservation is perched high up on the ridge of the First Watchung, straddling the town lines of Montclair, Verona and West Orange. Like South Mountain Reservation down in Millburn, Eagle Rock is under the aegis of the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
We finally got a weekend where the temperatures weren’t bone-chillingly freezing, or that it was either raining or snowing cats and dogs. So I spent that Sunday afternoon treating myself to a few hours of light hiking.
Hemlock Falls in South Mountain Reservation.
Some days when you’re hiking, the goal is to cover as much ground as possible, as quickly as possible. Other days, you just want to find a certain spot out on the trail and linger for a while. And a few weekends ago, it was one of those lingering days when I was out for a romp in South Mountain Reservation here in northern New Jersey.
On this particular day, I had someplace else I needed to be later on. So instead of going in for a full-blown loop hike like I usually do when I’m at South Mountain, I decided just to do a short out-and-back to Hemlock Falls.
The falls – and a nice clearing with some benches set up – are along the yellow-blazed Lenape Trail in the center of the reservation, not far from where the boundaries of West Orange, Millburn and Maplewood come together. The falls are fed by one of the branches of the Rahway River – in this part of the reservation, the river’s more like a brook.