Know the New Hiking How-tos
Primrose Brook Trail
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. You’ll pass the visitor center parking area on the left (you may wish to stop at the visitor center to view the exhibits or obtain a map), but proceed ahead onto the Tour Road. Bear left at the parking area for the Wick House; bear right at the parking area for the Soldiers’ Huts. When you reach a stop sign near a circular building, turn right and continue to the Trail Center parking area, on the right side of the road.
From the parking area, proceed south along the paved road for a short distance, crossing a bridge over Primrose Brook. Just beyond the bridge, you'll notice Signpost 33 on the left (southeast) side of the road. (Trail junctions in this park are marked by signposts.) This signpost marks the start of the red-blazed Primrose Brook Trail, the route of this hike. Turn left and follow this trail, which runs along the west side of the brook, soon passing several tall red cedar trees. After crossing a footbridge over a tributary stream, the trail briefly runs directly along the brook. It bears right, crosses a wet area on puncheons, and climbs away from the brook. The trail continues along the side of a hill, overlooking the brook below.
About a third of a mile from the start, the trail reaches Signpost 32. Here, a sign "Short Trail" indicates that those who desire a shorter 0.6-mile hike should turn left onto a short cut that leads back to the return route. The main Primrose Brook Trail (indicated by a sign "Long Trail," although the trail is only 1.1 miles long) continues ahead. Unless you desire a very short hike, proceed ahead along the main trail, which soon begins to descend as the terrain becomes less steep. The trail crosses a tributary stream, briefly parallels that stream, then turns off to the left.
A little more than half a mile from the start, the Primrose Brook Trail reaches Signpost 31, where it crosses a wide woods road -- the route of the white-blazed Grand Loop Trail and the Patriots' Path (blazed with a blue path-and-tree logo on white). Continue ahead along the red-blazed trail, which descends to Primrose Brook, turns sharply left, and begins to follow the brook back to the starting point of the hike. The trail briefly runs close to the brook, bears left and crosses a tributary stream, then continues parallel to the main brook. Soon, it descends stone steps and crosses Primrose Brook on a wooden bridge. Just ahead, it again crosses the wide Grand Loop Trail/Patriots' Path at Signpost 30.
The Primrose Brook Trail now crosses and recrosses the brook on rocks. It once again crosses to the west side of the brook, where it meets the end of the "short-cut" trail. Just beyond, the trail crosses the brook - for the fifth and last time - on a footbridge and continues along the east side of the brook to end at Jockey Hollow Road, opposite the Trail Center parking area (signpost #28).