Valley Forge Park
History, Recreation & Events
One of the main attractions in Montco is Valley Forge National Historical Park, where you can retrace the steps of the nation’s first president, George Washington, and the Continental Army. The year-round historical attraction caters to visitors of all ages, offering seasonal tours and recreational activities, as well as fun annual events. Here are some of the things you don’t want to miss during your visit.
See Revolutionary War History
A day trip to Valley Forge National Historical Park and its 3,500 acres offers a unique opportunity to travel over 200 years into the past.
During their six-month stay in 1777-78, on what is today a historic site, Continental soldiers built hundreds of log cabins, each housing a dozen men. Today, visitors can view the reconstructed Muhlenberg Brigade Huts on a journey through the rolling countryside. One of the most popular sites at the park is Washington’s Headquarters, a small stone building where Washington and other high-ranking officials lived and worked during their time in Valley Forge.
Other historical landmarks include the majestic National Memorial Arch and Artillery Park, which houses rows of cannons.
And don't miss the brand new museum exhibit at the Visitor Center. Guests can explore the sights, sounds and stories of the Continental Army. The exhibits include hundreds of artifacts and a life-size model of George Washington!
Explore Outdoor Activities
Although best known as a historical site, Valley Forge National Historical Park is also a fantastic destination to explore the state’s lush meadows and woodlands.
The park features a network of trails for several activities, like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are over 35 miles of designated hiking trails. The 8.7-mile Joseph Plumb Martin trail, which passes through some of the park’s main attractions, is open to hikers and cyclists. Dogs are allowed on hiking trails as long as they’re on a leash. When you’re not on the move, stop and share a packed meal with loved ones at one of the park’s three picnic areas, including Wayne's Woods, which offers a stunning view of the National Memorial Arch.
And with both Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River running through the park, Valley Forge is also a prime location for water activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Choose a Tour
To make the most of your time in the park, consider signing up ahead of time for a guided or self-guided tour to learn more about its vibrant history.
Some of the options include an Encampment drive-through tour (self-guided and audio-only) or a 90-minute guided trolley tour, which takes you from the newly renovated Visitor Center to all the main park attractions. To find out more about tours and schedule one in advance, contact the Encampment Store. The store, located inside the Visitor Center, features an assortment of gifts and souvenirs and offers bike rentals for those who'd like to explore the historical site on two wheels.
If you’d like to go on a guided bike or hiking tour, reserve a time and day, and a professional guide from the store will be happy to show you around. Park tours are available on a seasonal basis. For more information on group tours, click here.
Important: Bike rentals at The Encampment Store will open for the 2023 season on May 27. Bike tours will still be offered to visitors that bring their own bikes.
Enjoy Annual Events
Valley Forge Park hosts annual events throughout the year, including the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5 Mile Run in the springtime and in December, the March-In, which commemorates the arrival of the Continental Army at Valley Forge. To commemorate their departure six months later when they resume their fight against the British, a March-Out is held in the summer season.
The park is in a prime locale near other attractions, as well as restaurants and hotels. Some must-see attractions include the Elmwood Park Zoo and King of Prussia Mall.
Though famous for its history, Valley Forge National Historical Park offers an array of recreational activities, exciting annual events, and access to some of the best attractions in Montco — making for an unforgettable trip.