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 round trip. Surface is dirt and root not a lot of rocks. 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.
- Variations: “Yellow, Aqueduct Loop, Primrose Brook” plus some more route/distance options at the bottom of this page.
Updates: 4/2018 – re-hiked; new map link. 1/10/17 – minor updates, fall photos added, notes added for BLUE and driving directions. 5/8/14 – hike description, GPX, and photos updated.
Trail Map: Print ahead, or 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.
Parking: 40.772538, -74.528235
Rt 287 N to exit 30B (Bernardsville), then follow the brown and white park signs to “Jockey Hollow”. This hike starts from the interior 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.
Note: The main entrance and visitor center is off of Tempe Wick Road. Google etc will likely direct to the rear entrance instead, directly to the interior trail parking via 202 to Bailey Hollow Rd to Jockey Hollow Road – so if you’re using that then the following directions won’t apply:
To get to the trail lot from the visitor center, continue on the road through the park. 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: At the visitor center and also at a parking area in the middle of the park.
Hike Directions: Overview: BLUE – WHITE (Grand Loop) – BLUE.
Note: On the trail map the BLUE trail is marked NY Brigade with Inner and Outer loops, and portions of blue are marked Old Camp Rd – for simplicity we’re using just “BLUE”. (Old maps show “Mt. Kemble Loop”, which is now the Inner/Outer loop of the NY Brigade trail). The directions below mark sign #s, which may not be correct or may be missing now… forgot to check on those.
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 – Continue following BLUE, 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 [An unmarked 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
[Shorter option: 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 description below at 4.2 miles]
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.
4.1 – 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 – Continue following WHITE (Grand Loop) past a sign on the left for Lewis Morris park. 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: 4/1/18. Grand Loop.
Hiked: 10/29/16. Var.; 5.7 m: NY Brigade – Primrose – Grand – Orange – NY Brigade
Hiked: 12/6/15. Var.; 5.1 m: “Jockey Hollow – Yellow, Aqueduct Loop, Primrose Brook”
Hiked: 7/25/15. Var.; 9.2 m: Grand Loop – NJ Brigade – Cross Estate – Wick House – Orange
Hiked: 5/4/14. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop and Blue Trail”
Hiked: 5/16/12; Var.; 6.3 m: “Morristown National Park – New Jersey Brigade Area”
Hiked 11/14/11; Var.; 9.1 m: “Jockey Hollow/Lewis Morris Park”
Hiked: 5/2/09. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop and Mt Kemble Loop trails”
Hiked: 2/11/06. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop/Blue”
Hiked: 1/29/06. Trail Blog: “Jockey Hollow – Grand Loop (portion)”