- Start at our ride HQ at Drew , a liberal arts, graduate school and seminary called the “University in the Forest” for its oak-lined campus and arboretum.
- Visit St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, founded in 1939, with its friendly adoption center and nationally renowned American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, a ground-breaking behavior program for dogs that are victims of puppy mills, hoarding, or other abuse.
- Visit Seaton Hackney Stables, a facility of the Morris County Park Commission, a complex that once housed the famous Hackney Racing Stables, popular in Morris County during the mansion era at the turn of the 20th century. Today, it is a county riding facility that offers programs for all ages and skills. Home to the young Mustang Challenges competition.
- Ride along the Traction Line, once part of a trolley system that connected with the railroads in America’s mass transit glory years.
- Check out part of Patriot’s Path, a greenway of more than 35 miles that connects to other trail systems reaching to New York and Pennsylvania. [back to top]
- Bought for a barrel of rum, 15 kettles, 4 pistols, 4 cutlasses plus other goods, and 30 pounds cash, the current Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is all that remains of a 30,000-acre tract deeded by the Delaware Indians in 1708. By the Revolutionary War, settlements dotted the area and local settlers fashioned wagon wheel parts with wood cut from the Great Swamp woods. We enjoy it because the threat of building a jetport mobilized an army of volunteers in one of the first successful battles of the environmental revolution during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s.
- For many riders there will be newly paved roads, including White Bridge Road through the Swamp. [back to top]
Our 50 and 65-mile rides feature a rest stop at Jockey Hollow, part of Morristown National Historical Park
- The Continental Army bivouacked here for two winters 1777 and 1779-80. This was strategically sound because the elevation of Jockey Hollow was several hundred feet above the British to the east. In the days of horsepower, this was considered an impregnable redoubt. The ’79-‘80 winter was the “cruelest” of the war, worse than the one at Valley Forge. Desertions and mutiny were commonplace. On May 25, 1780, Pennsylvania troops put down a mutiny. Two of the ringleaders were hanged. Fortunately, they are not still hanging around.
- Stroll from the rest stop to the Wick House, quarters of Major Joseph Bloomfield of the 3rd New Jersey Regiment and the winter headquarters of General Arthur St. Clair in 1779-80. A myth was that Henry Wick’s daughter, Tempe, in an attempt to hide her horse from the British, coaxed the horse up into the Wick House attic. Visit the Wick House at the Jockey Hollow rest stop and look up the attic stair to see if it could have been true. [back to top]
- All the best history and riding of the 50/65 plus more rolling countryside and more hills. Look for the church steeple as you pass through Long Valley at the base of Schooley’s Mountain, named after a Quaker family and once famous as a summer and health resort with fresh-flowing chalybeate springs (iron-rich mineral springs) — and a tuberculosis sanitarium. Known as German Valley since its foundation during the colonial era, the community was renamed in response to anti-German sentiment during World War I. [back to top]
All our hills are downright historical!
- Morris County was among the few Revolutionary strongholds in New Jersey. Morristown provided Washington with an important defensive advantage. The country lying behind Long Hill and the Watchung Mountains was protected from sudden attack by both those rugged heights and broad swamps.
- More importantly, the furnaces and forges that provided iron products for the army were located nearby. The army was able to subsist in the Morristown area without overburdening the local economy or depleting its food reserves.
For All Riders: Plan a Visit after the Ramble to The Ford Mansion, Washington’s Headquarters, part of the Morristown National Historical Park.
- George and Martha stayed here while the troops were in Jockey Hollow. The Mansion is a restored Georgian-style home built for colonel Jacob Ford Jr. The home became Washington’s Headquarters during the cruel winter of 1779-80.
- You can tour the Mansion and the Museum with its world-renowned collection of Revolutionary War objects, paintings and documents. [back to top]