Fort Washington State Park
Location: Fort Washington
What is now Fort Washington State Park was the site of the Whitemarsh Encampment of 1777. The Continental Army encamped here after the Battle of Germantown, from November 11 to December 11, before moving camp to Valley Forge.
Following its defeat at the Battle of Germantown, the Continental Army camped at several different sites before choosing a more permanent, strategic location in Whitemarsh Township.
More than 12,000 soldiers arrived to set up camp on November 11, 1777. The high ground where George Washington made his camp was easily defendable against British attacks. A handful of skirmished occurred in early December, but the American's superior position dissuaded the British from a large-scale attack.
After a month in Whitemarsh, Washington abandoned the camp and moved toward Valley Forge, a similarly defendable position where the troops could build more suitable quarters and better defend the precious iron forges along the Schuylkill River.
Very little remains from the encampment in what is now Fort Washington State Park. Fort Hill was at the western end of the positions and the site of the namesake fort, though all traces are lost. Militia Hill was the position of the Pennsylvania militia during the encampment. The Clifton House, a former tavern located within the park boundary, now houses a museum and library.
Hope Lodge, a historic home adjacent to the park, is open for tours on select days throughout the year.
Fort Washington State Park includes 3.5 miles of trails rated "more difficult." The longest of the trails is the Green Ribbon Trail, a 2.5-mile tract that connects Militia Hill to the Flourtown Day Use area. The trail also extends out of the park, connecting with Fairmount Park's Forbidden Drive in Chestnut Hill. The trails are also a favorite spot for cross-country skiing in winter.
Trout fishing is a big draw during the spring when Wissahickon Creek is fully stocked. Carp, catfish, panfish and suckers are popular targets during the summer months. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.
The Militia Hill Day Use Area is home to a nine-hole disc golf course. The 10-year-old course is heavily wooded, providing a challenging round.