The 1st Lt. Dale Haver
In 2022 the Township officially renamed this preserve to honor First Lieutenant Dale Haver, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot from Readington Township who heroically lost his life serving in the Viet Nam conflict. First Lieutenant Haver was killed in April 1969 trying to rescue a comrade in the wreckage of their downed aircraft. He is the recipient of two Air Medals, a Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Born 02/20/1943 in Whitehouse and growing up on Old Highway 28, at the edge of what is now preserved open space, Dale and his friends spent many hours as a youth in these woods and along the banks of the Rockaway Creek.
Today, tucked right behind the Village of Whitehouse are about a hundred acres of preserved woodland, fields, well-marked trails, benches, bridges and the bluffs along the picturesque Rockaway Creek. About two miles of looped pathways over level and gently sloping terrain take the walker on an easy walk on a portion of it, through the cedar and oak woods, featuring a visit to the bluffs and the creek. The trails are shady on the wooded open space, so nice if it's hot!
Information kiosks mark the two access points:
- The parking lot of East Whitehouse Park, 95 Old Highway 28, behind the fire house, at the head of the yellow trail.
- Curbside at 61 Old Highway, about four houses west of the Methodist Church, welcoming you to the white trail.
Please stay on the marked trail; be careful not to stray on nearby private property. If you are on the trail marked with Readington trail markers, white, yellow or orange, you can be confident you are on public land.
Approaching the bluffs over the Rockaway Creek, the moss-covered terrain adjacent to the yellow-blazed trail is fragile. Please walk lightly, stay on the trail and keep well away from the cliffs.