With public transportation access from New York, this 15.2-mile round-trip offers an easy escape into northern Jersey’s river-laced forests. From the Patriots’ Path trailhead (1) at Speedwell Park, hike west through wetlands and shady woods showing jumbo trillium. Bear left at each of the next six trail junctions. Be alert and follow white blazes if the trail markers don’t have the Patriots’ Path insignia. At mile 4.9, cross NJ 24 (2) to Sunrise Lake and wrap around the west bank. Turn left (southeast) at the first Y-junction (3) in Lewis Morris Park. The route climbs past streams into woodlands for one mile, then takes a right at the T-junction (4). Cross the short footbridge and go left (east) around the base of a sedgy knoll. At mile 5.8, go left onto singletrack and head southeast .3 mile to the entrance of Morristown National Historical Park (5). Walk 200 feet beneath towering, old-growth poplars, birches, oaks, and maples, and turn right at the T-junction onto the Grand Loop Trail. After .2 mile, bear left at the junction (6) and head downhill over rock-strewn trail to Grand Parade Road. Hike across the parking lot (7). Look for replicas of the Pennsylvania Brigade’s log cabins at the intersection of Grand Parade and Sugar Loaf Roads. Turn right and walk across the lawn to Soldier Hut trailhead (8). Follow yellow blazes to a four-way trail junction (9) and go right toward the 18th-century Wick House. After .3 mile, walk south to Wick Farm’s open gates (10) and enter the apple orchards (ripe in September). Go left out of the second gate (11) and take the stone path .2 mile to the Visitor Center (12). From here, walk 1.5 miles on Jockey Hollow and Tempe Wick Roads to overnight at Lewis Morris Park. The next day, head back the way you came—or call a taxi (Morristown Taxi; 973-539-2500) for an easier route back to the train station.
Trip Planner backpacker.com/hikes/413023
By train From New York’s Penn Station, take the New Jersey Transit Midtown Direct (toward Dover) to Morristown. Go south on Speedwell Ave. for 1.3 miles and turn right on Frederick St. Take another right onto Marian Pl.; Speedwell Park trailhead is on the left.
Camping Reserve primitive sites with tent platforms and fire pits at Lewis Morris Park. ($60; 973-326-7631; morrisparks.net)
Gear up Allow time to hit Paragon Sports, a 20-minute walk from Penn Station. 867 Broadway; (212) 255-8036; paragonsports.com