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
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.
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.