|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
In addition to lush forests, farmland, and everglades, Morristown is steeped in American history. George Washington kept his military headquarters at the Ford Mansion. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in Historic Speedwell. This 8-mile route along the Patriots Path connects Speedwell Park to the Jockey Hollow Encampment, where Washington's Pennsylvania Brigade spent the winter of 1779-1780 in tiny huts.
Start at Speedwell Lake and follow its headwaters, the Whippany River, through flooded woods and wetlands. The scenery gets increasingly rural the farther west the trail goes. After the trail rollercoasters into a four-way junction near Mendham Road, the route turns southward into Lewis Morris Park.
Wrap around the west side of the small lake, leaving behind riparian scenery for the pristine hardwoods of Morristown National Historical Park. Here, hikers will discover a few of the remaining log cabins where 13,000 Continental soldiers camped.
The route merges with the Soldier Hut Trail, cutting through more forest as it heads south to the Wick House. An apple orchard surrounded by a wooden fence marks the historic country estate. Bushwhack through the field toward the house for a closer look at the farm garden, then finish the hike at the Visitor Center.
Note: This 8-mile route can be done as a shuttle hike. Or, hikers can stay overnight at the primitive campground on Tempe Wick Road and turn the trip into a 16-mile out-and-back.
-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan
CONDITIONS: For current conditions, go to Morristown, NJ (07962) Weather