You can also enter the park, via an unmarked parking area further along on South Orange Ave that is located between two overpass bridges (upper right corner of D8). This parking can only be accessed when heading towards the town of South Orange (east), so you may have to do a turn around. This is perhaps the shortest route to Hemlock Falls (~15 min at toddler pace). Once parked follow the main trail down the hill. At the bottom you will find a kiosk. Turn left here and follow the yellow trail until you get to the Falls.
If you are taking NJ Transit to Millburn, the train station is a 5 min walk to the trailhead. You will enter SMR at Locust Grove (see D1) and follow the white trail (Rahway Trail) This is a longer, but beautiful hike to Hemlock Falls. Easy to moderate. I would give yourself about 4 hours for this hike with children.
This Essex county gem is a “close enough” especially for future house hunters. NY Times considers the Maplewood-South Orange area Brooklyn West. And while there are plenty of young, laid back parents and kiddies, the food leaves something to be desired…so pack a snack! For more information on Waterfall hikes click here!