Revolutionary Ramble George

New Routes & Rest Stops for Ramble XIV

All our hills are historical!

All routes are not final and are subject to change.

Click on any of the images to view a slide show. All routes start and end at Drew University

25-Mile Tour

On flat to rolling terrain through Revolutionary historic areas and the Great Swamp. 

Route Description

Starting at Drew University, you’ll ride on flat to rolling terrain with a few climbs through Revolutionary historic areas in the New Vernon and Basking Ridge areas. You’ll explore the Great Swamp and enjoy a mid-tour rest stop…and if you want another stop along the way, you can pull into the Raptor Trust for a quick visit to encounter a Raptor, sneak by a Snowy Owl, observe an Owl and rave about Ravens! This year the 25 mile tour is the basis for the 35 and 70  mile tours.  Note that at mile 6 the 25, 35, and 70 continue straight up the hill while the 45 and 70 turn right.

Highlights for 25-mile tour:

  • The small, unincorporated community of New Vernon was the birthplace of William O. Baker, Chair of Bell Labs; Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, philanthropist; and sports figures Eric Mangini, former head coach of the NY Jets; Kerry Kittles, former guard for the NJ Nets; and Justin Gimelstob, professional tennis player.
  • Bought for a barrel of rum, 15 kettles, 4 pistols, 4 cutlasses plus other goods, and 30 pounds of cash, the current Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is all that remains of a 30,000-acre tract deeded by the Delaware Native Americans 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. The Refuge now protects 7,800 acres in Morris County, NJ. Established in 1960, it is a migration-resting and feeding area or permanent habitat for more than 244 species of birds.
  • The mission of the Raptor Trust is to rehabilitate injured birds for an eventual return to the wild. There are approximately 50 resident birds on exhibit in large outdoor aviaries viewed by walking along the trails. Currently, the Trust is home to two Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, Ravens, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawks, a Snowy Owl and many more! If you decide to stop for a free self-guided tour, please be mindful that the small parking lot is used for staff, flocks of volunteers, class trips and the many visitors who come to view the birds each week.
Passing through Great Swamp NWR

35-Mile Tour

On flat to rolling terrain through the Great Swamp and Liberty Corner

Route Description

An extended version of the 25-mile tour which adds flat miles for riders who want more but do not want to ride the challenging hills of the 45 mile tour.  This route splits off the 25 mile route at mile 13 (watch for signs) and continues to historic Liberty Corner.  Your first rest stop will be at mile 17 at Harry Dunham Park.  After a brief stop you will travel quiet roads through Bernards, Millington, and Basking Ridge.  There it re-joins the 25 mile tour.  The second rest stop is at mile 27 at Southard Park.  The last segment of this tour takes you back to Drew on some beautiful rolling hills.

Highlights for 35-mile tour:

  • In 1722, the Liberty Corner area was known as “Annin’s Corner” because the primary landholder was John Annin. The name was changed to Liberty Corner during the American Revolution. Part of the Liberty Corner school built in 1905 for a farming community still stands today.
  • Basking Ridge was originally settled in the 1720’s by British Presbyterians escaping religious persecution. The land was bought from the Lenape Native Americans. It was added to the New Jersey and National Registries 254 years later.
Liberty Corner

45-Mile Tour

More challenging terrain for experienced riders

Route Description

You’ll start and end at Drew University and join us on a ride through New Vernon, Jockey Hollow, Liberty Corner and Basking Ridge, with scenic roads and some challenging climbs.  This year the 45 follows a more traditional and somewhat more challenging route to get to Harry Dunham Park. There are big rewards for the 3,200 feet of climbing including beautiful views and long, pleasant descents. You’ll have an opportunity to re-fuel at three different rest stops along the way, one of which is the Jockey Hollow area of Morristown National Historical Park where the Continental Army spent the worst winter of the Revolution. 3 rest stops will be available on the route.  After the rest stop at Harry Dunham Park, it rejoins the other routes for a common route back to Drew University.

Highlights for 45-mile tour

  • The Continental Army bivouacked at Jockey Hollow for two winters—1776-77 (following Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware and the subsequent victories at Trenton and Princeton) and 1779-80 (considered the “cruelest” winter of the war—worse than the one at Valley Forge two years earlier). The encampment for the 13,000 men was strategically sound because the elevation of Jockey Hollow was several hundred feet above the British to the east. In the days of horse power, this was considered an impregnable fort.
  • You’ll ride by a Cape Cod Style house in Jockey Hollow which Henry Wick built around 1750. His 1,400-acre farm, most of which was covered by forest, made him the largest landowner in Morristown. Henry Wick′s trees attracted Washington′s army to the area as a winter encampment site because they needed logs to build cabins for shelter and wood to burn for heating and cooking. During the winter of 1779-1780 the army chopped down over 600 acres of the trees on Mr. Wick′s property and more on his neighbor′s property. Additionally, Major General Arthur St. Clair, commander of 2,000 Pennsylvania soldiers, made his quarters in Mr. Wick′s home for the winter.
Passing an old stone house

70-Mile Tour

For experienced and fit riders.

Route Description

You’ll enjoy a tour through New Vernon, Far Hills, Bedminster, Pottersville, Liberty Corner and Basking Ridge. You’ll be climbing approximately 4,600 feet on beautiful rural roads. You’ll also have an opportunity to view several picturesque creeks and rivers along the way. This year the 70 mile tour is based on our 45 mile ride to add a more traditional feel and a bit more challenge. It adds a 25 mile loop from Harry Dunham Park out and back that goes along the Black River to Pottersville. From there you return to Harry Dunham Park for a second time. From there it takes the common route along with the 35 ,45, and 100 mile tours.

Highlights for 70-mile tour:

  • Evander H. Schley, a land developer and real estate broker from New York, purchased thousands of acres in Bedminster and Bernards townships in the 1880s. One day in 1887, Schley′s brother, Grant, and his wife, Elizabeth, arrived by horse-drawn carriage to see Evander’s farms. Elizabeth is said to have remarked on the beautiful vista of the “far hills,” thus giving the name Far Hills to the place before a village was built.
  • Bedminster Township is noted for having one of the most historic Revolutionary War sites in the U.S. at what is known as the Pluckemin Continental Artillery Cantonment Site, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. General Henry Knox, chief of the Continental Army artillery, was the leader responsible for building what was the country’s first military artillery training academy, the forerunner to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
  • Pottersville was first called Lamington and afterwards Potters Mills. There were mills there as early as 1756, built and owned by William Willet. Willet owned a daybook in which he recorded sales to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. His main consideration became supplying the Continental Army. He was paid in Continental currency, which became worthless around 1780. He was ruined financially and was forced to sell both mills to Serrin Potter in 1783, which led to the community′s name.
Along a scenic stream

100-Mile Tour

For experienced and fit riders.

Route Description

We’re excited to let you know that our 100 mile route has been redesigned and now gives you view of the crystal blue waters of Round Valley Reservoir in Clinton Township! Take your time on Route 629 as you circle the northern most part of the reservoir to take in the scenery. This challenging ride gives you more of everything—history, rolling countryside, hills, rambling rivers, more rest stops, and a cruise through Jockey Hollow, the Far Hills/Bedminster area and some of Hunterdon County’s most beautiful riding areas. Elevation gains are rewarded by spectacular views and scenic descents! This tour is based on our 45 mile tour with an outer loop to Round Valley Reservoir. The 55 mile outer loop leaves Harry Dunham on Liberty Corner Rd and goes out to Round Valley with a rest stop in Pickell Mt Park returning to Harry Dunham a second time. After the loop you will return to Drew along the common route along with the 35, 45, and 70 mile tours.

Highlights for 100-mile tour:

  • At Jockey Hollow, you’ll ride on what was originally known as the Grand Parade, which was an open field 400 yards long and 100 yards wide. A two-room log cabin located there served as the camp administrative center from which orders were issued and court martials were held. Two cannons stationed there served as alarm guns to alert the camp of attack. Guards assembled daily on the Grand Parade for inspections and to receive their orders. The Grand Parade also served as a place for military executions; two soldiers were hanged and buried there.
  • The Round Valley Reservoir is 2,350 acres in size and reaches a depth of 180 feet. Before the valley was flooded in 1960, it was home to a small farming community. Many foundations of the homes that once stood can still be found intact under the water!
Round Valley Reservoir in Clinton