Your Complete Guide to Experiencing Valley Forge National Historical Park

3 minute read

Introduction:

No matter the time of year, there is always so much to do at the Valley Forge National Historical Park. The multi-seasonal one-of-a-kind experience at this gem of a destination in Montgomery County, PA provides beautiful sights to see, as well as the opportunity to hike the paved (and unpaved) trails, meet the Park Rangers and volunteers who help keep the park vibrant, and shop in The Encampment Bookstore. Besides the main attractions - the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts, the National Memorial Arch, General Wayne Statue, Washington's Headquarters, Artillery Park cannons, Varnum's Quarters, and Washington's Memorial Chapel - there are events and activities for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

The Visitor Center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. from mid-June- mid-August), provides the perfect jumping-off point for your visit. Admission to Valley Forge National Historical Park is FREE. Whether visiting internationally, or locally, Montco offers a plethora of nearby hotels and restaurants that make it easy to round out a trip to the park!

 

WINTER

Valley Forge National Historical Park is efforts of Washington’s Continental Army to survive the Winter of 1777-1778. Taking the time out of your winter holiday vacation to visit this time of year will give you a closer look at what the Continental Army may have experienced on these grounds in the Winter.

Aside from celebrating the holidays throughout the Winter season at home, Valley Forge National Historical Park is another way to celebrate the season. The VFNHP hosts an event called March-In of the Continental Army, which is an annual December 19th  event that commemorates the arrival of General George Washington’s Continental Army at Valley Forge.

The Valley Forge encampment included African Americans, and to honor those men there is a Patriots of African Descent Monument dedicated to those who “served, suffered and sacrificed during the Valley Forge Encampment 1777-1778.”

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

● Sled

● Snowshoe (No Snowmobiles)

● Cross Country Ski

Self-Guided Car Tour

Book a private car/bus tour with an expert

guide

● Holiday Week Trolley Tour

SPRING

As spring arrives at Valley Forge, grounds shed their winter coat to reveal fields of green and flowering trees in bloom. The spring blooming of trees at VFNHP include blossoming dogwood and redbud that spread across the historical grounds. The warm air and cool breezes welcome hikers, bikers, and riders to admire the scenic array of colors. The season also sees many weddings, which can be hosted within the Valley Forge National Historical Park at the Washington Memorial Chapel and Philander Chase Knox Estate.

With great weather comes a great opportunity to participate in the annual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run. This event takes place every April and is open to participants of all ages. The race includes a 3-Mile Walk, Young Patriots Run, and the 5-Mile Run.

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

Self-Guided Car Tour

Book a private car/bus tour with an expert guide

Trolley Tours (start last week of March)

Bike Rentals and Tours (start last week of May) or BYOB (bring your own bike)

● Free 40-minute Ranger Led Walks

● Picnic

Hike or book a Hiking Tour

 

 

SUMMER

School is out and family vacation is in! Taking a trip to Valley Forge over summer break is the perfect time to have some fun in the sun while learning about American History. The extended sunlight means a delayed sunset, the park grounds are open longer. Tour the park, admire the cloudless skies, or have a cookout in one of the designated picnic spots.

Tis’ the season for the Fourth of July! Every year the VFNHP hosts the Patriots in the Park event to celebrate the July 4th holiday. Open to all to celebrate, this is one of the most attended events of the year with various activities to learn about the birth of the nation and the role the Valley Forge Encampment played in securing the country’s freedom from Great Britain.

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

Self-Guided Car Tour

Book a private car/bus tour with an expert guide

Trolley Tour

Bike Rentals and Tours or BYOB (bring your own bike)

● Free 40-minute Ranger Led Walks

● Picnic

Hike or book a Hiking Tour

 

FALL

One of the greatest sights to see during the autumn season is the fall foliage around mid-October. There are different ways to experience the fall foliage in Valley Forge National Historical Park, such as driving or biking to see the vibrant color-changing trees at your own pace any time after sunrise and before the sunsets.

Besides seeing the beautiful fall foliage, the season is filled with events such as National Lands Day in September, Homeschool Day, the Evening Campfire Programs taking place in October  and the Veteran’s Day Commemoration taking place in November.

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

Self-Guided Car Tour

Book a private car/bus tour with an expert guide

●  Weekend Trolley Tour

Bike Rentals and Tours or BYOB (bring your own bike)

●  Free 40-minute Ranger Led Walks

Hike or book a Hiking Tour

 

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