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Yellow Trail Loop to Wick House and Soldiers' Huts
Directions to trailhead
Take I-287 to Exit 30B. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Route 202. Proceed north for 1.8 miles, and turn left onto Tempe Wick Road at a traffic light. Continue along Tempe Wick Road for 1.4 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road. The visitor center parking area is just ahead.
From the parking area, proceed to the visitor center. After viewing the exhibits and obtaining a trail map, exit the back door, and follow a paved path to the historic Wick House. Built around 1750 by Henry and Mary Wick, it was used by General Arthur Sinclair as his headquarters during the Revolutionary War. The public entrance is around the back, where an interpreter, dressed in period clothing, is usually present to explain the significance of the house. You'll want to spend some time visiting this historic building, which has been restored to its appearance during the 1700s, and the adjacent Wick Farm Garden.
When you're ready to continue, follow the paved path leading from the rear entrance of the Wick House to a parking area. Turn right and continue through the parking area, passing a red barn, then bear right towards an old wooden shack. Proceed ahead on a grassy woods road (parallel to the paved park road) for about 250 feet to signpost #49 (trail junctions in this park are marked by numbered signposts). (Do not turn right at the wooden shack, marked by signpost #48). Adjacent to signpost #49, three yellow blazes mark the start of the Yellow Trail, which you will follow for the remainder of the hike. The Yellow Trail incorporates both the Soldier Hut Trail, which you are now following, and the Grand Parade Trail. Turn right and follow the Yellow Trail, which bends left and begins to parallel the road. It climbs over a gentle rise and soon begins to descend.
In a little less than half a mile, you'll cross a woods road and reach signpost #50 at a junction with the Aqueduct Trail. Bear left here and continue to follow the yellow blazes, which parallel the Cemetery Road to the left. Then, in another half a mile, you'll reach signpost #39 and emerge onto an open field studded with cedar trees. The reconstructed Soldiers' Huts are visible on a hill directly ahead across the road.
Proceed ahead, crossing the road (note the interpretive signs), and continue up the hill on a footpath to the Soldiers' Huts. During the harsh winter of 1779-80, soldiers of the Continental Army had only these primitive huts for shelter! The four one-room huts in the front are reproductions of the huts built by the enlisted soldiers, while the two-room hut in the rear replicates the officers' huts.
After visiting the huts, continue up the hill, following the yellow blazes. Just before reaching the top of the hill, the trail bears right at signpost #41. At the summit, you'll pass a single beech tree with many carved initials. The trail now descends to reach a T-intersection at signpost #42. Turn right, following the yellow blazes, and join the route of the Grand Parade Trail. The trail continues to descend, soon reaching the paved Grand Parade Road at signpost #43. Turn left and follow the road past an open field which replicates the Grand Parade - a large open area where the soldiers of the Continental Army had to report for their daily inspections. Interpretive signs explain the significance of the Grand Parade.
Just beyond the signs, the trail turns right, crossing the paved road, and reenters the woods, passing signpost #44. It continues along a grassy woods road and, in another third of a mile, reaches the Trail Center parking area. The trail follows along the right side of the parking area and re-enters the woods just beyond signpost #35, at the southwest corner of the parking area, to the left of the Trail Center informational kiosk. Follow the yellow blazes across a wooden bridge over Primrose Brook. Just beyond, you'll reach a T-intersection at signpost #34. Here, the green-blazed Aqueduct Trail leaves to the right, but you should turn left, following the yellow blazes. Almost immediately, the trail turns right and begins to parallel paved Jockey Hollow Road to the left. You'll soon pass signpost #46 and begin a gradual climb through the woods on a somewhat rocky footpath.
In about half a mile, at signpost #47, the trail turns right and begins to run along the northern edge of an apple orchard, part of the Wick Farm. Towards the end of the orchard, the Grand Parade Trail ends near an old wooden shack at signpost #48. Turn left, going around the red barn and the Wick House, and retrace your steps to the visitor center parking area, where the hike began.