Morristown, NJ – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) is increasing recreational access at the park. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Morristown NHP will reopen access to Jockey Hollow and New Jersey Brigade Areas with certain restrictions in place. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, including the latest public safety recreation regulations in the state of New Jersey.
On May 20th, the following will be open for recreation in accordance with state guidance from 8 am to 6 pm daily:
- Jockey Hollow Area parking lots at Visitor Center, Wick House, and Soldier Huts, and New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate Area parking lot.
- Jockey Hollow Tour Road
- Soldier Huts
- All 27 miles of hiking trails
- Equestrian trail use (5 trailer spaces at the visitor center parking lot only)
Appropriate recreation includes such activities as:
Prohibited activities include:
- group gatherings and activities
Permanent restroom facilities in Jockey Hollow will be closed; however, portable restroom units will be available for public use. Parking will be restricted to the park’s surface parking lots only and are at a reduced number based on state guidelines. Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles (carry in / carry out) at the New Jersey Brigade Area.
Additionally, the following areas will remain closed to the public in this phase in the interest of public health and following federal, state and local guidelines:
Vehicular use of the Tour Road at Jockey Hollow between the Soldier Huts and Visitor Center (Tour Road is accessible by pedestrians and bicyclists only in this area)
- Western Avenue Park Access Gate (at Jockey Hollow Road) will be closed to vehicular access
- New York Brigade parking lot and Comfort Station
- Jockey Hollow Trail Center parking lot
- Jockey Hollow Visitor Center
- Wick House and herb garden
- Fort Nonsense Area
- Washington’s Headquarters Area: Ford Mansion and Washington’s HQ Museum (grounds and parking lots are open for passive recreation)
“We encourage visitors to safely enjoy the park as the weather warms up and we head into Memorial Day Weekend,” said Tom Ross, superintendent of Morristown NHP. “Please follow recommended social distancing practices at all times. Since many trails are less than six feet wide, we encourage good, healthy hiking etiquette by yielding to other hikers in wider trail spots and turning your face away as you pass other hikers.”
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Morristown NHP, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and are regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, park vehicles in designated parking spaces, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health