Many people are unaware of the amount of Revolutionary War history that exists in New Jersey. George Washington actually spent more time in the state than any other during our country’s battle for freedom. Some historic sights are identified by roadside markers or large stone monuments, while others have been preserved as part of the National Park System – in 1933 Morristown became the country’s first National Historical Park; protecting the site used as a winter came for Washington and his troops.
I headed to Morristown with a rough idea of what trails I would link together after reading about the area in a book I have. I parked the Jeep near the visitor center and headed inside for a trail map and to see if they had any stickers (we all know how much I love stickers.) Trail maps are available for $1.00 each (you can also view the PDF online here) in the gift shop area along with other revolutionary war trinkets. I didn’t find any stickers, but did pick up a few cool patches! Mojo and I headed toward Wick Farm to find the trail head, but after walking around the farm and taking some pictures of the awesome garden, I couldn’t find the area that matched the description I had read about. I decided to go rouge and free hike the park.
Mojo and I walked up Jockey Hollow Road near the back of the farm field and found a marker for the yellow blaze trail. Once you find the trails, they’re extremely well marked with blazes and signs. We took the yellow trail through the woods to Cemetery Road – the trail takes you up the road a few dozen yards and picks back up on the right. After about a mile or so the woods cleared revealing an open field on a hillside.
At the top of the hill near the tree line are 3 soldier’s huts and some remains of additional living quarters of the Continental Army’s Jockey Hollow Camp. Mojo took a liking to the cabins – he and I share a love for tiny houses I guess.
We headed back into the woods along the yellow trail and quickly came to a junction. The Yellow Trail continued to the right, but I let Mojo decide which way to go. After a minute of sniffing around, Mojo chose left. We took the connector up to the Grand Loop Trail where I once again let Mojo decide which way to go. Again, he chose left. We took the Grand Loop Trail to the West, crossing Sugarloaf Road before the trail turned to the South.
Mojo and I continued south along the Grand Loop Trail until we hit Tempe Wick Road. There was a short trail that would bring us back to the parking area but after checking the trail map I decided to cross the road and continue on the Grand Loop Trail. Before the path looped back up towards the road we came upon a sweet bridge crossing a stream. Mojo loves water, and it took some convincing to keep him from going from a swim. We crossed the road again (be careful here, the traffic doesn’t slow down for hikers) and headed back into the woods. We took a left at the Medham Road Trail and headed back up towards the parking lot. The total hike was 5.8 miles and took us just over 2 hours to complete. The park is full of history and pretty easy hiking due to its mostly flat topography – great for an educational outing with kids too!You can learn more about Jockey Hollow and New Jersey’s role in the revolution here: Morristown National Historic Park