As the euphonious name suggests, this new trail (above, in yellow) connects three farms that are all witnesses to the battle. Starting at the Roulette Farm ("Drive 'em boys, drive 'em, take anything you want but drive 'em!") the visitor can continue to the very secluded Parks Farm on the bank of Antietam Creek, and after pausing for photos and a re-lacing of the boots hike along the creek to the Newcomer Farm at the Middle Bridge.
If one is feeling particularly ambitious, one can simply begin at stop 2 on the Cornfield trail and end one's day at stop 9 after having conquered the Snavely Ford and Final Attack trails.
This was a multi-year effort, requiring lots of planning and hard work to make this fabulous trail system possible, and much of the labor was provided by the youthful arms and strong backs of the members of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). These fantastic young people spend the summer engaged in a variety of infrastructure building projects, including:
brush removal, trail maintenance, and fence reconstruction. Much of the beauty that the visitor enjoys at the Battlefield is the result of the hard work of these enthusiastic and good-natured young people.
YCC is a great altruistic way to employ young adults for the public good. you can check out their website here.
Earlier in the week I stopped by the trail as it passes behind the Newcomer Barn and walked a few hundred yards to enjoy the wintertime aspect of this corner of the Park. You can bet I'll be packing a lunch and enjoying the view of Antietam Creek from this bench when the weather gets a little warmer.
This is the mud-proof portion of the trail that passes under the highway 34 bridge, theBoonsboro-Shepherdstown Pike just north of the Newcomer Farm.
Continuing South from Newcomer, the trail crosses a little run and makes its way toward a connection with the Sherrick Farm Trail and all points south. Note the inscription on the bridge: "YCC 2004", an earlier project of the Youth Conservation Corps.
And timing is everything...the work had been completed with a lone YCC worker glancing back at a very good days work, as well as a legacy left for several seasons of visitors by the YCC class of '08.