Trail maintenance work is planned for the Jockey Hollow trail system.
The needed work is varied between constructing puncheons (a plank road or short bridge of planks) and boardwalks, to installing water bars and check dams (when trail banks are higher than the trail and water bars can't be used to remove water to prevent erosion, check dams are installed) and replacing signposts. There is also a significant need for cutting back vegetation along trails and cleaning out water bars.
Work with the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference is expected to begin this summer. The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a volunteer-powered organization that builds, maintains, and protects public trails. Together with partners, they strive to ensure that the trails and natural areas we share are sustainable and accessible for all to enjoy for generations to come.
Historic documentation indicates the existence of an orchard at the time of the Revolutionary War, although the exact number of trees is unknown. By 1816, the orchard contained as many as one thousand trees, and an orchard continued to be managed at the site.
Today, the Wick Farm orchard contains over 100 trees on approximately ten acres, a mixture of modern and heirloom varieties. Unfortunately, the historic orchard has been impacted by storms, black rot, and simply the end of the natural life of the apple trees. Therefore, restoration and replanting of apple trees are needed to continue this vital park feature.
The new trail would recognize the largest Continental Army mutiny of the Revolutionary War and connect important sites at Jockey Hollow, including the Captain Adam Bettin Monument located on the Jockey Hollow Road across from the Wick Orchard. Captain Bettin was an officer killed at Jockey Hollow on January 1, 1781, by troops encamped there.
During the 1780-1781 winter, a group of about 2,500 American soldiers of Pennsylvania troops were encamped at Morristown, under the command of General Anthony Wayne. Wayne used the Kemble house as his headquarters, arriving here on November 29, 1780. General Washington was headquartered in New Windsor, New York. At the same time, the Continental Army was spread out in small encampments which stretched along the roughly sixty miles from West Point, New York, to Morristown, where the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny Occurred.
From 1779 to 1781, approximately 16,000 men from the Continental Army were encamped within the Jockey Hollow area. Jockey Hollow contains several known archeological sites, and archeological resources dating to the Revolutionary War have been located within the Jockey Hollow unit.
Recent archeological investigations have uncovered remains from these events and included excavations at the Hand’s Brigade site, the Connecticut Brigade site, and Fort Hill (Veit et al., 2019). Yet, archeological information is lacking within the locations of proposed trail work and requires initial investigations to assess the potential impact on buried cultural resources accurately. These investigations will also provide baseline documentation for previously undocumented areas of Jockey Hollow, which will contribute to an Archeological Overview and Assessment.
In collaboration with the National Parks Service, the Friends of Jockey Hollow can bring an effective mix of public relations, marketing, and community engagement to raise the profile of this national treasure.
One of the most popular hiking attractions in the Northeast continues to be Jockey Hollow’s 27 miles of trails. These well-marked, sometimes rocky stretches of terrain routinely draw thousands of hikers, naturalists, bird watchers, botanists, and scouting groups the world over.
With its wealth of woodlands, streams, diverse vegetation, and wildlife, Jockey Hollow is a particularly special place in the nation’s most densely populated state. The park’s 1,300 acres represent a largely natural environmental landscape of both cultural and ecological value.