Although most visitors to Lewis Morris County Park come to enjoy the facilities around Sunrise Lake, the park also features an extensive network of trails. There are no views, but the trails offer an opportunity for a pleasant walk through the woods. Most trails in the park, including those that make up this hike, are open to bicyclists, and bicyclists are often encountered on the trails.
From the parking area, cross Mendham Road at the pedestrian crossing and continue ahead on a gravel road, the route of the Patriots’ Path, passing Sunrise Lake on the left. Just beyond the lake, the Yellow Trail begins on the right. Turn right, leaving the road, and continue on the Yellow Trail, which follows a footpath.
In about half a mile, the Yellow Trail turns sharply left and descends to cross a stream on a wooden footbridge. The trail now climbs on switchbacks. At a sharp bend to the right, you'll reach the start of the loop of the Yellow Trail. Turn right to follow the loop of the Yellow Trail in the counter-clockwise direction.
In half a mile, the trail begins to climb on a series of switchbacks. These switchbacks were constructed by mountain bikers, and some of them will seem unnecessary to hikers. At the top of the switchbacks, you’ll reach a T-intersection, marked by cut sections of the trunk of a fallen log along the trail. The Yellow Dot Trail (black dot on yellow) begins on the left, but you should turn right and continue to follow the Yellow Trail. The trail levels off for a short distance, then begins to descend. At the base of the descent, it crosses a stream on a footbridge.
After a steady climb through barberry thickets, you’ll reach an intersection with the Red Dot Trail (black dot on red). Turn right to continue on the Yellow Trail, which now begins to descend. At the next intersection, turn right and begin to follow the Red Trail, which soon crosses a stream on a footbridge and begins to climb.
Near the southern boundary of the park (about 2.5 miles from the start of the hike), the Red Trail emerges onto a dirt park entrance road (leading to a camping area) at a kiosk/parking area. Bear left and, at the northern end of the parking area, follow the Blue Trail, which begins on the right and continues on a footpath parallel to the road (the Red Trail continues ahead on the road).
After paralleling the boundary between Lewis Morris County Park and the Morristown National Historical Park, the Blue Trail once again reaches the park entrance road. Turn right onto the Red Trail and head downhill on the wide road. At the next Y-intersection at the base of the descent, take the right fork (the left fork is the Red Dot Trail), and continue to follow the red blazes along a dirt road. In 0.3 mile, the Pink Dot Trail (black dot on pink) begins on the left, but you should bear right to continue on the Red Trail.
Continue to follow the Red Trail along the road for another 250 feet, then turn left onto the Green Trail, which immediately crosses a stream on a footbridge and heads downhill on a footpath parallel to the stream. This beautiful section of the Green Trail, which passes interesting wetlands along the stream, is a welcome contrast to the unattractive dirt road that you had just been following.
When you reach a fork in the trail in 0.4 mile, bear left and begin to follow the Orange Trail, which heads uphill on winding switchbacks. Just beyond the crest of the rise, the Orange Trail ends at a junction with the Yellow Trail. Bear right onto the Yellow Trail, which now descends steadily.
After climbing a little, the Yellow Trail passes a bench and reaches the end of the loop. Turn right onto the "stick" of Yellow Trail and retrace your steps back to the parking area where the hike began.