Know the New Hiking How-tos
June 19, 2018
Probably better during winter or early spring
Went there today. Trails were beautiful but views were obstructed by leaves. Washington rock was this slim viewpoint over the area and other views through the trees were limited, too. The small rivers and brooks were dried out, but that could just be due to the extreme heat we have been having recently (hovering around 90 degrees). Hemlock falls and the Rahway river were flowing. In my opinion, this hike is probably best experienced during winter or early spring.
October 01, 2017
Loved this hike--when we went in early fall most of the streams were dry, but the waterfall and river were running and very beautiful. I was amazed at the diversity of vegetation we saw along the trail, given that it isn't particularly long. The initial climb up to Crest Drive had us winded, but after that it was a fairly easy and pleasant walk. Waymarking is adequate without being excessive. The only place we had trouble following the blazes was on the Rahway trail after the second river crossing (last mile or so)--definitely stay alert during this section. As you approach the parking lot, also be on the lookout for the "fairy houses" hidden in the trees by a local artist.
June 02, 2012
River crossing still tricky
Did this as a trail run again a few weeks ago, and the water crossing on the Rahway Trail is still tricky, as noted. Some work with stones to make it a bit easier (and drier) to cross would be a big help.
October 23, 2011
River crossing and tricky sections of Rahway trail
We did this trail today and should say we really enjoyed our time here. Fall colors is gorgeous. From that perspective, I guess this is the best time to hike here. But the foliage, wetness etc also make some sections in the Rahway trail tricky to pass. Of course, we are novice hikers, but no strangers to uneven terrain or long walks. As Elena mentioned below, we found the rock hopping across Rahway tricky. Probably the river must have been fuller than it would have been in summer. We managed to cross, but not before getting our boots fully submerged into water (ah that ickyness :|). Probably Irene had its toll here. We found many fallen trees and sections of Rahway trail which had a good deal of overgrowth (one section in Rhododendron grove had to be walked around since it was difficult to pass through). This also made the crossing the woodlands section (the section where we climb gradually from the river to walk along the side of the hill) a bit scary. There were places where we could not get proper footing and had to depend on our balance to get through. Also, towards the end of the trail (sometime after the Diamond Mills pond I guess), there was a section which went down near the river and curved sharply. We found it difficult to pass through (may be it's just us). That being said, Rahway trail was gorgeous and the scary, treacherous section (for us) was the also the most beautiful :) Lenape trail was also good, but comparatively easier to complete and the payoff (Hemlock falls) provided for a nice break. We would definitely visit again, but will tread cautiously in Rahway trails (or take the alternative bridle paths where things get tricky).
October 23, 2011
Rocky river crossing
I did this hike yesterday and it was BEAUTIFUL in the fall leaves. A warning--the river crossing just after you get on the white-blazed trail is tricky: "After curving to the left, the trail turns right and crosses the Rahway River on rocks"--maybe the river is fuller than usual, because I thought the rocks were too far apart for this crossing! I am about 5'2" and made it across with my hiking companions, but we all were a bit concerned we'd end up in the river! Also, the blazes can be hard to see since they are just white or yellow paint splotched on trees. Some of the blazes were faded and almost invisible. We did see lots of woodpeckers, some hawks, many chipmunks and squirrels. Completed in about 4.5 hours (with a lunch-stop).
June 06, 2011
Thanks for your reply- i actually went and did it today, although i ran it, and added the Orange-blazed Turtle Back Trail to make it an even 8 miles. I agree, much less technical than Harriman in most spots (i asked, because trying to run in Harriman is an exercise in frustration for me), and once you get "in deep", you would never know how close you are to suburbia. Also, this is one of the best hikes/runs for anyone like myself who relies on public transportation- the reservation couldn't be more convenient to get to from the train station.
June 05, 2011
S. Mountain Reservation Hike
It's not as rocky as Harriman trails. Last part of hike is along the river so you can expect to walk on some roots in spots. It's a nice hike considering the park is close to suburbia.
June 02, 2011
Can anyone who's done this hike comment on how these trails compare to the trails in Harriman? Are they as rocky/rooty? Or are they a little easier on the feet? :) Thanks