Driving and walking through Jockey Hollow is like entering another era. The roads and paths in the park were used by colonial soldiers, and they ended up staying in the location for a year, during which they endured some of the most bitter winters of the Revolution. Exploring the dilapidated farm buildings and huts is an experience that allows one to get a feel for what life was like for those that fought for our freedom.
What to Expect
Entering the park via Jockey Hollow Road off of Tempe Wick Road, Kyle and I drove past the Visitor Center (which is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) and turned right onto Cemetery Road, which is marked by a sign that reads “Tour Road”. After driving for a minute, we turned right to stop off at the Wick House. The building is part of a colonial-era farm.
We parked in a lot in front of the house, got out, and explored the farm area. The Wick House itself looked like it had been transported from the 18th century, and the weathered building stood proudly among bare winter trees. The neighboring barn had managed to keep its red hue, and it too remained in tact. Kyle and I also got the chance to see how the farmers lived. We looked at an old garden, an ancient well, and a decrepit smokehouse.
We then got back in the car and continued driving, eventually arriving at the site of the soldiers’ huts. We parked in another lopt and walked up the hill to the huts, and we were
able to enter them. Signs in this spot told us that the huts often housed twelve men, and we both found this hard to believe considering their size. Seeing these structures in person offered each of us a new perspective on the hardships of the Continental Army. Add to this the fact that the men spent their time in this location during one of the most brutal winters in American history, and it is difficult not to possess a newfound appreciation for them.
After spending time by the huts, Kyle and I continued to loop around the park on the tour road, passing the Guerin House (which housed a sergeant and his family) and finishing back by the visitor center.
Given the cold winter conditions, Kyle and I opted not to spend all of our time outside of the car, instead driving around on the tour road and visiting some of the historical landmarks in Jockey Hollow. We spent a little bit less than an hour there, but anybody who has a great fascination with history would likely want to spend a bit longer. In warmer weather, perhaps we would have made use of the various trails that run through the park. More information about the history and activities of Jockey Hollow can be found on its official website, https://www.nps.gov/morr/learn/historyculture/jockey-hollow.htm.
Take I-287 to exit 30B towards US-202/Bernardsville. Merge onto N Maple Ave, and then turn right onto US-202 N. After about two miles, turn left onto Tempe Wick road. Then, after about a mile and a half, turn right onto Jockey Hollow road and take this to the visitor center.
There are plenty of parking spots in front of the visitor center. There are also several places to park along the tour road, allowing visitors to get out and explore some of the historical sites and trails.