Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Quick Facts

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Pennsylvania

(610) 783-1099

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The men and women of the Continental Army were ordinary men and women like many of us, but these everyday men and women were thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates more than the collective sacrifices and dedication of the Revolutionary War generation, it pays homage to the ability of everyday Americans to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times. Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times. Of all the places associated with the American War for Independence, perhaps none has come to symbolize perseverance and sacrifice more than Valley Forge. The hardships of the encampment claimed the lives of one in ten, nearly all from disease. Despite the privations suffered by the army at Valley Forge, Washington and his generals built a unified professional military organization that ultimately enabled the Continental Army to triumph over the British. These days, Valley Forge is a popular destination for visitors looking for a combination of history and outdoor recreational activities. There are several trails through the park that offer a variety of terrain for hikes, horseback riding, or biking. Valley Forge is also one of the largest open spaces in southeastern Pennsylvania with 3,500 acres containing habitats for hundreds of plants and animals including 200 species of birds. Walking and trolley guided tours travel throughout the park, stopping at destinations such as Muhlenberg Brigade Huts and Washington's Headquarters.

Map of Valley Forge

Latitude, Longitude: 40.101355, -75.422349

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Activities

  • Boating

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Bird Watching

    Over 227 species of birds have been observed within the park. Some of the best areas to observe birds are on Mount Joy, along Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River, and in meadows throughout the park.

  • Bicycling

    There are 21 miles of authorized biking trails in the park. The paved, 6.6 mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail on the south side of the park connects the key historic and interpretive sites. On the north side, two miles of the paved, regional Schuylkill River Trail run through the park, with connections to sites in Montgomery County and Philadelphia. There also are 12 miles of flat, unpaved biking trails.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Trolley Tours: These 90 minute guided tours depart from the front of the Welcome Center and travel throughout the Park with extended stops at Muhlenberg's Brigade and Washington's Headquarters.

  • Fishing

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Hiking

    The park contains 19.5 miles of designated, marked, hiking trails. The 6.6 mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail connects the key historic and interpretive sites. The Horseshoe Trail begins near Washington's Headquarters and runs to the Appalachian Trail. Other hiking trails include such footpaths as the relatively flat River and Valley Creek trails, and the hilly trails on Mount Joy and Mount Misery. In addition, hiking is permitted in most open areas of the park.

  • Horseback Riding

    Seventeen miles of designated horse trails are available to riders. In addition, horseback riders may also cross most open fields to link up with other horse trail sections to complete circuit rides. To prevent damage to fragile historic resources and unsafe encounters in busy visitor areas, horses are prohibited in picnic areas, the vicinity of historic buildings, and tour stops (historic zones). Horse trailers may be parked in one of the following areas: the horse trailer area of the main Welcome Center parking lot, the Pawlings Road parking lot, or along the south side of the Walnut Hill access road.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic sites available.

  • Water Sports

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Enjoy the wildlife.

Seasonality/Weather

Winters at Valley Forge are cold and damp with a cool spring and fall and a hot and humid summer. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for outdoor recreation during the snowy wintery season.

Park Partners

Valley Forge Canteen

Directions

Driving

From New York, and points northeast, and from Harrisburg and points west, via the PA Turnpike (Interstate 76/276): Get off at Exit 326 (old exit 24) - "Valley Forge." Use right side of tollbooth. Take Valley Forge exit just beyond tollbooth. Sign says Exit 327 (old exit 25) Valley Forge. Head north on N. Gulph Rd for approximately 1.5 miles - just after N. Gulph becomes 2 lane, turn left at traffic light at top of hill into park entrance. From Philadelphia and points southeast, via the Schuylkill Expressway (Interstate 76 west): Get off at Exit 327, the last exit before tollbooth. Sign says, "Exit 327 (old exit 25), Mall Blvd." Make right at first traffic light. At next light make right onto N. Gulph Rd. Go north on N. Gulph Rd for approximately 1.5 miles - just after N. Gulph becomes 2 lane, turn left at traffic light at top of hill.

Flying

Philadelphia International Airport is located 25 miles away from the park. From the airport, take 95 south, 476 north, then 76 west.

Public Transportation

SEPTA Bus Route 125, stops at the Valley Forge Welcome Center, the near-by Sheraton Hotel, and King Of Prussia Mall. SEPTA Bus Route 139, stops near the Visitor Center at the intersection of PA 23 and Outer Line Drive, and also at the Washington Memorial Chapel on PA 23

Phone Numbers

Primary

(610) 783-1099

Links