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.