History buff? Nature lover? Both? Perfect. Put Morristown National Historic Park’s Jockey Hollow on your list of fall destinations. You’ll learn about the bitter winter of 1779-80, when George Washington’s 10,000-man Continental Army camped here. Start at the visitor center, where you’ll find an exhibit on soldier life, the gift shop, revolutionary dress-up for the kids, and—coming soon—abbreviated showings of NJN’s new documentary Morristown: Where America Survived. Steps away is the Wick House and its adjacent eighteenth-century herb and vegetable garden. Here the wealthy Wick family housed controversial American General Arthur St. Clair.
Today, staff in period clothing will give you a quick tour. (Come October 4 for their annual fall harvest sale.) Then drive or walk the tour road, where you’ll pass five replica soldiers’ huts and the Grand Parade field, stopping to read signposts that explain what happened during that frosty winter.
The more energetic can hike among the flora and fauna (bird lovers will find quite a variety); grab a trail map from the visitor center and choose from more than 27 miles of routes short and long. The wider trails also function as bridle paths. To lunch here you’ve got to BYO. Find a perfect picnic spot and spread your blanket. You’ll be glad it’s not snowing, you’ve got your rations, and you aren’t heading to Springfield to do battle any time soon.
Jockey Hollow is located off Tempe Wick Road in Morristown. Information: 973-543-4030; nps.gov/morr.
Click on the links below to read our Fall Day Trips stories:
Take A Hike: Aching feet and burning quads are a small price to pay for a trek on New Jersey’s Appalachian Trail.
Shudder And Quake: From fright fests to haunted hayrides, ghostly attraction abound in NJ.