Patriots Path: The Long Historical Path

Patriots Path: The Long Historical Path

Ryan Cornine, Writer

     Have you ever been on a hike or wanted to, but didn’t want to go through a tough journey that could beat you up along the way? Well, Patriot’s Path is just the trek for you! Although you may think this is just some normal path through the woods, that wouldn’t be true. There is much more to Patriots Path than what you would expect out of any other normal path. Patriots Path features some special characteristics, a large background in history, and an adventure with beautiful sights to see.

     Patriots Path is owned, run, and maintained by the Morris County Park Commission. The main trail is 55 miles long in total with 35 miles of spur trails, stretching to connect the Lenape Trail of Essex County with the Allamuchy Mountain State Park located in Sussex County and the Village of High Bridge located in Hunterdon County. The main stem of the trail officially begins in East Hanover, Morris County where it later intersects with the Columbia Trail which is located in Washington Township, Morris County. Patriots Path is designed to be accessible to handicap, walkers, pet owners, bikers, and horseback riders. Along with this, the trail does not permit smoking or any sort of weapons on the trail and is safe for everyone, although it does pass through streets or roads which may sometimes be busy. The trail itself runs through the woods and forests of Morris County, over streams, rivers, and marshes or swamps with the goal of providing opportunities for passive outdoor recreation, as said by the Morris County Park Commission. 

     The first plots of land were acquired in 1968 before a “bikeway dedication ceremony” was hosted in 1975. The long project was finally finished in 2014 before completely opening to the public. The trail itself isn’t the only history but also the historic sites, landmarks, and sights that may be seen along the path. The path has a clear and bright future ahead as the park commission plans to partner with many other states, counties, and communities to create a “September 11th National Memorial Trail.” This park commission says the trail would reach all 3 of the destinations where the hijacked planes had hit. These include\ the Department of Defense Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia then to the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where a group of brave Americans fought off the hijackers making a heroic sacrifice to save many others. The final location of this path would be Ground Zero of the Twin Towers where a memorial now sits. Although the path may not be major in Morris County, a piece of Patriots Path will be included which is located at the Liberty Water Gap Trail section.

     The Patriots Path holds many great adventures, wildlife, landmarks, and an experience. Patriots path can often hold many animals such as the White Tail Deer, these can oftentimes be bucks that hold beautiful racks above their head. Another animal that could be found is the Eastern Gray Squirrel which is commonly found in the trees hopping from branch to branch. Another adventure that could be experienced along this stretched path is some historic or beautiful sights such as Jockey Hollow, which dates back to the revolutionary war where General Washington’s soldiers were once camped. Other popular sites on this path listed by the Morris County Park Commission include Washington’s Headquarters, Historic Speedwell, The Ford Mansion, The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and Lewis Morris County Park, although there are way more. 

     The path is peaceful with the sun shining through the trees onto the paved concrete or laid gravel which would make it the perfect experience for someone who just wants to experience the beautiful wildlife of New Jersey. Are you interested in nature? Try to take a bit of time to just visit the path or even one of its awesome landmarks.


Works Cited

Morris, Lewis. “Patriots’ Path | Morris County Parks.” Morris County Park Commission, Accessed 28 March 2023.

“Patriots’ Path (NJ) | New Jersey Trails.” TrailLink, Accessed 28 March 2023.