Rip & Go: Jockey Hollow

Explore quiet forests where George Washington wintered his troops.
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Explore quiet forests where George Washington wintered his troops.

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DO IT


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

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KEY GEAR: Versatile hikers



With road walking, trail hiking, and city commuting, this trip demands do-it-all footwear. Enter the Patagonia Nine Trails. This light hiker provides all-day comfort with loads up to 30 pounds. It has firm support, a lacing system that distributes tension equally, and forefoot padding that cushions during street walking while protecting against on-trail stingers. A mesh upper provides great ventilation, while a protective toe cap guards against rough terrain. In the city, the Nine Trails’ low-key style hearkens to retro running shoes—always de modo on urban streets. 1 lb. 6 oz.; $110; patagonia.com

SEE THIS

A revolutionary war site

In the winter of 1779-80, General George Washington sheltered 13,000 of his troops near Jockey Hollow, because of its proximity to strategic defenses in Morristown. Amid the dogwoods at mile 6.4, replica log cabins indicate where the Continental Army’s Pennsylvania Brigade suffered through nearly 30 snowstorms. Washington’s men cleared 600 acres of forest to build more than 1,000 huts, but the frigid cold exacted a toll: 1,072 soldiers deserted.


LOCALS KNOW

Make it a multisport weekend by renting a mountain bike from Marty’s Reliable Cycle on Speedwell Avenue in Morristown ($45/day; 973-538-7773; martysreliable.com). The shop is three-quarters of a mile south of the Patriots’ Path trailhead in Speedwell Park; cruise straight from the shop to the gravel doubletrack. At just less than four miles in, you’ll cross NJ 24 to enter Lewis Morris Park. Here, you’ll leave the Patriots’ Path and link to the Yellow Trail, a six-mile loop of hilly singletrack through deciduous forest with tricky technical sections of roots and rocks. Retrace your route to Marty’s for a 14-mile day.

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ON THE MENU




Breakfast 1


On the road

Lunches 1 & 2

Bagels with

avocado and cucumber

Dinner 1

Garden State Quesadilla

Breakfast 2

General Washington Griddle Cakes

Snacks

Apples, trail mix

RECIPES

Garden State Quesadilla

A no-hassle dinner using fresh New Jersey tomatoes

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar

4 whole wheat tortillas

2 Jersey tomatoes, chopped

1 handful spinach

2 pads butter

salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan and grease it with half a pad of butter. Lay down the tortilla, and layer cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese again. Cook 3-4 minutes, regrease pan, flip, and cook until golden brown and crispy.


General Washington Griddle Cakes

A hot morning pick-me-up

2 cups milk (from powder)

1 cup flour

4 large eggs

¼ cup sugar

4 apples, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Heat and grease pan. Combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour ¼ cup blobs of batter into pan and top with apple. Bake until pancake is light brown (3-4 minutes), then flip and cook 2-3 minutes.



The Grocery List


[ ] Apples (produce)

[ ] Avocado (produce)

[ ] Cucumber(produce)

[ ] Tomatoes (produce)

[ ] Bunch spinach (produce)

[ ] Powdered milk (2)

[ ] Flour (2)

[ ] Sugar (2)

[ ] Trail mix (4)

[ ] Bagels (5)

[ ] Jelly (5)

[ ] Whole wheat tortillas (11)

[ ] Eggs (11)

[ ] Shredded cheddar (11)

[ ] Butter (11)

Pack Salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and maple syrup



NEAREST

GROCERY STORE


Acme

158 Speedwell Ave.,

Morristown, NJ; (973) 539-5520


PIT STOP Pig out like a local at the Famished Frog. The slider sampler gets you mini sandwiches in threes: buffalo chicken, cheeseburgers, French dip, and BBQ pulled pork. 14 Washington St., Morristown, NJ; (973) 540-9601; famishedfrog.com