Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ - Saffin Rock-Rill

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation - Morris County Parks

GPS Coordinates 40.99054, -74.58496
The Saffin Rock-Rill lot has ample parking on both sides but appears to be lightly used where the main parking lot is usually packed.

Mahlon Dickerson Reservation Trail Map - Morris County Parks
Jersey Highlands Trail Map 126 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ - Saffin Rock-Rill at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.8 miles

This hike took place on Shawnee's 14th Gotcha Day.  In 2001, terrified and feral, straight from the Newark, NJ shelter.  In 2015, happy to have just finished yet another hike!
Find the yellow trail by walking on the narrow paved road towards the bend.
Keep following around to the left then turn right on the grass just beyond the trees.
The trail goes into the woods on a woods road to the right.
The yellow trail begins to follow the Ogden Mine Railroad Trail.
The teal Highlands Trail joins in from the left.
Saffin Pond
Turn right on the Highlands Trail when yellow continues on the railbed and cross the bridge at the outlet of Saffin Pond.
Weldon Brook
Continuing on the Highlands Trail.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Back on yellow to ...
... an unmarked trail to ...
... back at the Highlands Trail to Headley Overlook.
We startled a mourning dove who flew into a nearby tree.
Lake Hopatocong from Headley Overlook
Break time!
When I noticed that the mourning dove had hunkered down patiently awaiting our exit, I figured we had better go so he could get back to what he was doing before we so rudely interrupted.
Second overlook off of the Highlands Trail.
Back to yellow again and staying on yellow for the rest of the hike.
We took lots of breaks because it was getting hot.
The trail follows along a pretty pond.
Back at the narrow paved road at the parking lot on the left.


  1. Beautiful pictures! Congratulations on Shawnee reaching her 14th year with you and still going strong on hikes! That's wonderful. Wonderful that you adopted her also. Thanks for sharing! Joanne

  2. These were some of the nicest photos yet, and congratulations to both you and Shawnee on Gotcha Day.

  3. Your hiking updates are great. Your photographs are incredible. I am curious to know what type of camera do you use for hiking? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks! I use a Canon SX40 HS. It's held up very well for over 2 years now with some serious hiking abuse :)

    2. Make that over 3 years - I bought it in April 2012!

  4. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. Thanks to you I've found some new places to hike. Today I visited Mahlon Dickerson Reservation for the first time, I did your hike + some trails north of Weldon Rd to make it a bigger loop. Nice park, so thanks for enlightening me!

  5. Hello,

    I'm moving to Oak ridge in jefferson in a few months. I've never been to this park but heard a lot about it. The trails look nice.

    How rugged/difficult is this hike? I can hike norvin green state forest ok for the most part but it does kick my butt when i let myself get out of shape or if its really hot. Is mahalon dickerson easier or similar to norvin in steepness and ruggedness.

    Thanks for the info.

    1. Mahlon Dickerson Reservation is much easier than Norvin Green. Norvin Green is too difficult for my 14-year-old dog now so I only hike there when she isn't able to go. She did fine at Mahlon Dickerson so she can vouch for the fact that it is much easier :)

    2. Thanks for the info! Love your site. I've used it many times when researching new places to hike.

  6. Happy Gotcha Day! I got my cat from the Newark Humane Society shelter in 2003 so I know the feeling of getting an animal out of that depressing place. I love the blog!