MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – 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 taking another step in 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, according to the National Park Service.
Beginning Friday, July 24, Morristown NHP will open a visitor contact station within the park. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. One station will be located at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum area, and, as staffing permits, another at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center area. Additionally, a new cell phone tour of the Washington’s Headquarters area Museum and Ford Mansion grounds is now available.
While visiting the park, the following will be open for recreation in accordance with state guidance from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily:
- All five Jockey Hollow area parking lots (Visitor Center, Wick House, Soldier Huts, New York Brigade and Trail Center)
- New Jersey Brigade/Cross Estate area parking lot will be increased to 100% parking capacity
- 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:
- large 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.
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:
- Jockey Hollow Visitor Center
- New York Brigade Comfort Station
- Wick House and herb garden
- Washington’s Headquarters Area: Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters Museum (grounds and parking lots are open for passive recreation)
“As visitors safely enjoy grounds, roads and trails, we hope that as they explore the park, they enjoy our new cell phone tour, learning about the Ford family and the winter encampment of 1779-1780”, said Tom Ross, superintendent of Morristown NHP.
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 principles (carry in-carry out trash), 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.