Early Spring Ride on the Patriots’ Path in Morristown, NJ
It was a chilly day for a bike ride on the Patriots’ Path in Morris County, New Jersey.
The Patriots’ Path stretches over 30 miles across several counties and townships, from East Hanover in Essex County to Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Sussex County and the Village of High Bridge in Hunterdon County.
This was my sons first time on their mountain bikes this season, so we took it easy and only did a total of about 6 miles (round trip) on the trail.
We parked at the lot next to Speedwell Lake, across the road (Route 202) from Speedwell Historic Village and rode our mountain bikes west following the abandoned Rock-a-Bye-Baby Rail-line. We turned around after reaching Cold Hill Road and Woodland Road, after climbing some hills. Otherwise, the first couple of miles were flat natural dirt terrain, double track, winding through dense woods.
With the recent rain storms, there were a lot of water puddles along the trail, which made for some muddy riding.
The first two miles of the Patriots’ Path from Speedwell Lake is kid friendly. Make sure the little ones stay to one side of the trail – the right hand side – and not weave in and out. There are a few road crossings so be sure to be in front of your kids at these points.
The trail was not too crowded when we were there but I can see it being very busy during the summer months to come. There were quite a few dog walkers, however, with ear plugs on and using those extending leashes. So make sure you follow trail etiquette and let the dog walkers, wearing ear plugs, know you are coming before passing them if you don’t want to take a spill running into a dog.
From I-287 take Exit 35 and go through the town of Morristown; follow Speedwell Avenue (202N) for 5 traffic lights. After the fourth light, at the edge of town, at the top of a hill before going down hill toward the fifth light and the entrance to Speedwell Historic Village on the right, enter the parking lot on your left. There is no sign for the parking lot but you will see the back of the big “Welcome to Morristown” sign just pass the entrance. Watch for oncoming traffic. Once you pull into the parking lot and drive toward the parking spaces, you will see the sign for the start of the trail at the water’s edge.