Easy trails on wide footpaths, along gurgling streams and rolling hills in a very beautiful area that is part of Morristown National Historical Park.
Hike with history here, as the area served as quarters for the Continental Army on two occasions; the winter of 1777 and again during the winter of 1779-1780.
Mileage: 7.4 miles roundtrip, easy, well-marked trail, gentle elevation changes and a few slightly steeper hills.
- Shorter options: the RED trail is 1.13 mile, YELLOW is 2.25 miles, BLUE is 3 miles, and WHITE is 6.5 miles.
Update 5/8/14 – hike description, GPX, and photos updated.
Trail Map: Get a trail map and info on the history of the area from the visitor center. Also, at most trail junctions there are numbered signs with a trail map and “you are here” notations.
The trail network crosses the park from two central trail parking areas as well some near the Visitor Center, and it’s easy to make loops of various lengths. A portion of the Patriot’s Path runs through the center. The park is also popular with joggers and dog walkers.
Books: A 5.6 mile variation is in 50 Hikes in New Jersey, a 9.7 mile variation in Hiking New Jersey, and a 5.5 mile variation in [Hike of the Week – book]. Trail descriptions are in The New Jersey Walk Book.
Parking: N40 46.345 W74 31.672
Rt 287 to exit 30B (Bernardsville), then follow the brown and white park signs to “Jockey Hollow”.
This hike starts from the trail parking lot at the intersection of Grand Parade Road and Jockey Hollow Road. On the park map, it’s the one in the center of the park with restrooms. The park road is one-way. Continue onto the tour road after stopping at the visitor center for a trail map. Grand Parade Road ends at a T with Jockey Hollow Road at the parking lot (a round bathroom building is in the corner) – jog over to the left slightly to enter the parking lot. [A right turn onto Jockey Hollow Rd. will miss the lot entrance.]
Restrooms: are at the visitor center and also at a parking area in the middle of the park.
Hike Directions: BLUE – WHITE (Grand Loop) – BLUE. Note: On the trail map the BLUE trail is marked with 3 different names – NY Brigade, Mt Kemble Loop, Old Camp Rd. – so for simplicity we’re using just “BLUE”.
0.0 – Start following BLUE, at the sign behind the restrooms.
0.3 – Follow BLUE as is turns LEFT. GPS: BLUE/WHT1 [WHITE (Grand Loop) goes right.]
The BLUE and WHITE trails are co-aligned briefly. Shortly, pass a bench near a small pond.
0.5 – Follow BLUE as it turns RIGHT. GPS: BLUE/WHT2. SIGN: 10 [WHITE (Grand Loop) leaves to the left]
Continue following BLUE, passing unmarked trails in the area (and might have a tan-ish marker).
0.8 – At a gate, make a RIGHT and continue following BLUE as the gravel trail passes behind some homes. [A woods road goes left] GPS: BLUE/Gate. SIGN: 14
1.2 – Pass a view on the left that includes a bit of the NYC skyline in the distance, with the tops of World Trade and the Empire State building visible. A monument and signage explain that “Stark’s Brigade Occupied This Slope”. GPS: StarksBrigadeMonument
1.4 – Continue following BLUE as it veers RIGHT [An unmarked trail goes off to the left] GPS: BLUE/Unmarked1. SIGN: 16
1.7 – Follow BLUE as it makes a sharp LEFT behind you. GPS: BLUE/Unmarked2. SIGN: 17 [Straight is an unmarked trail]
1.8 – Follow BLUE as it makes a sharp RIGHT. GPS: BLUE/Unmarked3. SIGN: 19 [Old Camp Road Trail is to the left.]
2.1 – Turn LEFT and begin following WHITE (Grand Loop). [BLUE continues ahead over a small footbridge.] GPS: BLUE/WHT3. SIGN: 20
2.2 – Continue on WHITE (Grand Loop), over a small footbridge, as The RED (Primrose Brook) crosses the trail. GPS: WHT/RedPrimrose1 SIGN: 31
The RED (Primrose Brook) crosses the WHITE again in a bit and then heads uphill. GPS: WHT/RedPrimrose2
3.1 – Continue following WHITE (Grand Loop), heading downhill. GPS: WHT/Mendham1 SIGN: 55
[Mendham Road Trail goes to the right and leads to the Visitor Center/Bathrooms and Wick Farm. Take this to cut the hike shorter or to avoid the upcoming road crossing. After wandering around the area, make your way over to pick up the route again at GPS: WHT/Mendham2]
3.2 – Cross Tempe Wick Road (can be difficult with blind curves and fast moving cars)
3.3 – Follow WHITE (Grand Loop) as it turns RIGHT. [The NJ Brigade trail goes straight if you’d like to extend the hike.] GPS: WHT/Brigade SIGN: 58
The WHITE (Grand Loop) trail curves back around toward the road.
4.0 – Follow WHITE (Grand Loop), passing RED on the left which leads to a Girl Scouts camp. GPS: WHT/RedGirlScouts SIGN: 59
Cross Tempe Wick Road again, then continue on WHITE (Grand Loop) as it veers left.
4.2 – Continue straight on WHITE (Grand Loop), passing a sign for the visitor center and a trail on the right. GPS: WHT/Mendham2
The trail continues uphill, the steepest section of this hike.
4.6 – Continue following WHITE (Grand Loop) as it veers left [Unmarked trail goes right, towards the road.] GPS: WHT/Aqueduct SIGN: 3
5.3 – Continue following WHITE (Grand Loop). GPS: WHT/SoldiersHutsPkg SIGN: 4 [To the right, an unmarked trail leads to the Soldier’s Huts parking lot. Turn here to cut the hike short.]
5.5 – Bear RIGHT, following WHITE (Grand Loop). GPS: WHT/Patriot’s Path SIGN: 5 [The Patriot’s Path goes to the left into Lewis Morris County Park.]
Cross a section of mowed grass and then a park road, Sugarloaf Rd. The trail has a steady incline at this point.
6.1 – Turn LEFT, continuing on WHITE (Grand Loop). [YEL Grand Parade trail is straight.] GPS: WHT/Grand Parade SIGN: 8
6.5 – Cross the park road, Jockey Hollow Rd.
6.9 – Turn RIGHT onto BLUE (where you were earlier GPS: BLUE/WHT2 SIGN: 10).
Pass the pond, and at the next junction turn RIGHT on BLUE again and follow it back to the parking lot.
Hiked: 7/25/15. Variation; Grand Loop – NJ Brigade – Cross Estate – Wick House – Orange
Hiked: 5/4/14. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop and Blue Trail”
Hiked: 5/16/12; Variation. Trail Blog: “Morristown National Park – New Jersey Brigade Area”
Hiked 11/14/11; Variation. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow/Lewis Morris Park”
Hiked: 5/2/09. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop and Mt Kemble Loop trails”