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...
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.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 12/03/2004
This loop hike traverses the pleasant woods of this historical park, passing the historic Wick House and the Soldiers’ Huts.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.