A Train Trip to Hike Mills Reservation

Yesterday, I took the train to Mills Reservation and did a two-mile hike there.  Mills Reservation is one of the few hikes in New Jersey accessible by train.  I’ve gone there by train several times in the past, taking the Montclair-Boonton Line to the Montclair Heights station and walking up Normal Avenue to the park.  But this requires an 0.4-mile roadwalk along Normal Avenue, a rather narrow and heavily trafficked street, which lacks sidewalks for part of the way.
For yesterday’s trip, I decided to detrain at the Mountain Avenue station, the next stop to the south.  This way, I had only a short road walk on Laurel Place—a dead-end residential street with sidewalks.  From there, I could climb a grassy slope and follow the Lenape Trail to the park at the crest of the ridge.  This ended up being a far more pleasant and safe route.
Yesterday was a perfect day to visit the park, which affords magnificent views of the New York City skyline:

Photo by the author.

Usually, I would have taken the Pascack Valley Line to Secaucus and changed there for a Montclair-Boonton Line train.  But midday service on the Pascack Valley Line is being bustituted, so instead I drove to Fair Lawn and took Bergen County Line Train #1168 from the Radburn station, connecting to Montclair-Boonton Line Train #6245.  On the way back, I took Montclair-Boonton Line Train #6248 and connected to Bergen County Line Train #1357.  All trains were essentially on time, and on the way back I made a four-minute connection at Secaucus.  


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