These hikes in the South Mountain Reservation are sponsored by the South Mountain Conservancy and are free and open to all, including children 10 and older with their families. Get to know your park better in the company of others who enjoy the outdoors. You do not need to register. Just be at the starting point about 10 minutes ahead of time so the hike can start promptly. Times are our best estimates, but can vary depending on conditions, and the size and pace of a group. If you have any questions, call the leader. Steady rain or snow cancels, but intermittent drizzle or flurries do not. Bring water. Wear hiking boots with good soles and traction devices if there is ice or snow on the ground. For directions to starting locations, go to www.somocon.org/about-the-reservation. Note: Dogs are not allowed.
Locust Grove picnic area: 197 Glen Avenue, Millburn, across from the first aid station and intersection with Lackawanna Place. On weekends, additional parking across the street.
Tulip Springs picnic area: 0.4 miles north of the traffic light on the corner of South Orange Ave. and Brookside Dr./Cherry La. or 0.8 miles south of the light at Northfield and Cherry/Pleasant Valley. After turning off of Cherry La., make an immediate right turn to reach the larger parking area.
Turtle Back picnic area: In West Orange, drive east on Northfield Ave. passing the ice skating area and zoo and about 3 traffic lights. Turn right at the light onto Walker Road and continue about 0.2 miles. The park entrance is on the right.
Sunday, December 17, 10 – 3:00. The Great Circle
We will hike from Locust Grove along the Lenape Trail with a break at Hemlock Falls. We’ll return along the Rahway River. Bring a snack. This is a hike of 6 miles with some uphill sections. Meet at: Locust Grove opposite the First Aid Station on Glen Ave. in Millburn. Leader: Lou Nocito: 973-953-7099 (cell).
Friday, Dec. 29: 10-11:30: Hemlock Falls in Winter: A Family Hike
We will hike the mile to the falls and hope to see it frozen, an ice spectacular. Good for children 5 and older with an adult. Taken at an easy pace. Meet at: Tulip Springs, located 0.4 mile from the traffic light at the corner of Cherry Lane/Brookside Drive and South Orange Ave. After turning off of Cherry Lane, turn immediately to the right to reach the Tulip Springs parking lot. Leader: Dave Hogenauer: 973-901-0824.
Monday, Jan. 1: 1:30-3:30: New Year’s Day Hike Out Of Old Short Hills Park
We will hike about 3 miles at a moderate pace along the Elmdale Trail in the Short Hills section of the Reservation. Meet at: the parking lot of Old Short Hills Park at 274 Old Short Hills Road in Millburn, located 1mile from South Orange Ave. or 1.3 miles from the light at the corner of Essex Street in Millburn center. Start the new year right with a walk to make you healthy (and wise?). Leader: Dave Hogenauer: 973-901-0824.
Sunday, January 14: 10:30 – 12:30: Roads and Trails
We will meet at the Dog Park and stroll through a series of woods roads and back trails for a total of just about 3 miles. Meet at: Dog Park. Directions: Drive to the top of the mountain on S. Orange Ave. and turn south on Crest Drive. In half a mile when you reach the barriers across the road, turn right to the parking area. Follow signs to dog park. Leader: Lou Nocito, 973-953-7099.
Saturday, January 27, 9:45-12:30.
2.5 Hour hike at a fast pace. Leader’s choice of trails depending on underfoot conditions. Hiking boots a must and traction devices desired if there’s snow and ice on ground. Not suitable for beginners and children. Meet at: Tulip Springs. Leader: Bijoy Mechery, 908-487-8482.
Sat., Feb. 3: 10-11:30: The Turtle Back Trail
We will hike about 2-3 miles in 60-90 minutes, depending on the wishes of the group, passing Turtle Back Rock, and going at a moderate to fast pace to trace a circuit on First Mountain. Meet at: the Turtle Back picnic grove off of Walker Road in West Orange. Leader: Kirk Barrett, 973-207-5353.
Saturday, February 10: 10:00 – 1:00: Lenape-Oakdale Combo
About 4 miles at a moderate pace. Meet at: Mayapple Hill off Northfield Avenue. The entrance to Mayapple Hill is located west (uphill) on Northfield Ave. 0.1 mile from the intersection with Pleasant Valley Way. Leader: Lou Nocito 973-953-7099
Sunday, Feb. 18: 9:45-12:30: Locust Grove
A 2.5 hour hike at a fast pace. Leader’s choice of trails depending on underfoot conditions. Hiking boots a must and traction devices desired if there’s snow and ice on ground. Not suitable for beginners and children. Meet at: Locust Grove, located across the street from the Millburn Public Library on Glen Ave. Leader: Bijoy Mechery, 908-487-8482.
Sunday, February 25: 9:30-11:30: Washington Rock
We will hike to Washington Rock, a Revolutionary War historic site, and stop briefly at the overlook. We will cover about two miles at a leisurely place. Meet at: Dog Park. From S. Orange Ave., turn south on Crest Drive, drive 0.5 miles to the pedestrian only barrier, turn right and park in the lot. Leader: Dustin Dumas: cell (day of hike only) 201-723-1206
Saturday, March 3: 10:00 – 12:00: Roads and Trails
A stroll through a series of woods roads and back trails for a total of just about 3 miles. Meet at: the Dog Park and Directions: Drive to the top of the mountain on S. Orange Ave. and turn south on Crest Drive. In half a mile when you reach the barriers across the road, turn right to the parking area. Follow signs to dog park. Leader: Lou Nocito 973-953-7099.
Sunday, March 11: 9:45-12:30: Mayapple Hill
A 2.5 Hour hike at a fast pace, following some of the new trails constructed in the area about two years ago. Leader’s choice of trails depending on underfoot conditions. Hiking boots a must and traction devices desired if there’s snow and ice on ground. Not suitable for beginners and children. Meet at: Mayapple Hill, located 0.1 miles west (uphill) of the light at the corner of Northfield Ave. and Cherry Lane/Pleasant Valley Way. Leader: Bijoy Mechery 908-487-8482.