South Mountain’s 2nd Mayapple Festival in Photos

This past Saturday I spent the day in South Mountain Reservation wandering around the 2nd Annual Mayapple Festival. The day featured 3 separate guided hikes through the park, organized around a festival area at Summit Field that included an art show, live music, an educational booth run by the Essex County Environmental Center, and some other informational booths. All in all, a fun day for people of all ages, and some great weather.

Hike 1: Summit Field to Washington Rock

The morning started with a early hike out to Washington Rock and the overlook to the south at the Watchungs. The walk wandered a bit covering some unofficial trails and looping back along side Crest Drive. Attendance was light, but it made for a nice warmup for the day.

[Mayapple Festival]

Hiking south towards Washington Rock

Washington Rock View [Mayapple Festival]

The southern view of Watchung from Washington Rock

Hike 2: Summit Field to Hemlock Falls

This hour and a half or so, slow paced hike to the falls and back was attended by a nice crew of people. With the falls raging from the recent endless rain it was a great day to go down there. The hike mixed it up between the roads/bridal paths and the red/white falls loop trail with the highlight visiting then walking over the top of the falls.

Hemlock Hikers [Mayapple Festival]

The group hiking towards Hemlock Falls

Enjoying Hemlock Falls [Mayapple Festival]

Enjoying the view at Hemlock Falls

Walk 3: Wildflower Preserve Tour

With 2 knowledgable tour guides we wandered the enclosed wildflower preserve learning about the native plant life and doing a little bird (and woodchuck) watching.

Red Columbine [Mayapple Festival]

Red Columbine

Indigo Bunting [Mayapple Festival]

Indigo bunting visiting the preserve

Pointing at a woodchuck [Mayapple Festival]

Watching a woodchuck run off into the woods

Learn More

Learn more about South Mountain Reservation at the Hike NJ park page, or at the Conservancy website. You can also visit the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland, NJ. The photos above can all be seen in this gallery on Flickr.

How about You?

What did you do this past weekend? Did you hike the 50 miles of NJ2NY50? Did you hike around High Point or visit a lake?

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