Valley Forge National Historical Park
The picturesque, rolling hillsides of 3,500-acre Valley Forge National Historical Park are a peaceful reminder of freedom won by sacrifices long ago. It was here that General George Washington forged his Continental Army into a fighting force during the winter encampment of 1777-78.
No battles were fought; no bayonet charges or artillery bombardments took place. Nonetheless, some 2,000 soldiers died – more Americans than were killed at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown combined. Valley Forge is the story of an army’s epic struggle to survive against terrible odds, hunger and disease.
Here, too, is a reminder of our nation’s diversity. Washington’s troops were the most racially integrated of any army our country fielded up before Vietnam. An estimated 5,000 soldiers of African descent served in the Continental Army during the Revolution. Native Americans also played a role; members of the Oneida Indian Nation in particular had a crucial impact providing supplies during the Valley Forge encampment.
Today at the Park, Washington’s original stone headquarters is restored and furnished; log soldier huts have been reconstructed; a 1913 train station showcases interactive exhibits of Washington and his inner circle; and statues and monuments throughout the park remind visitors of America’s heritage. Among them are the General "Mad Anthony" Wayne and Baron Friedrich von Steuben statues; and the Monument to Patriots of African Descent.
The Visitor Center houses exhibits and artifacts. Its Encampment Store offers books, souvenirs, gifts, light refreshments and more. Self-guided walking and auto tours, ranger-led hikes and seasonal trolley tours depart from here. More than 20 miles of multi-use trails wind throughout the park’s rolling hillsides. Bike rentals are available in the summer months.
Easily accessible from the Valley Forge exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Park is located at Route 23 and North Gulph Road in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It is open year-round, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, from dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center and other park buildings are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and details about special park events, please call 610.783.1099 or visit www.nps.gov/vafo.