Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- How To Get to Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Where Is Valley Forge National Historical Park?
- Valley Forge National Historical Park Opening Hours and Seasons
- Nearest Airports to Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Driving to Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Taking the Train to Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Taking the Bus to Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Getting Around Valley Forge National Historical Park
- What To See and Do in Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Best Times To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park for Ideal Weather
- Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park To Avoid the Crowds
- Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park for Viewing Wildlife
- Cheapest Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Annual Events in Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Where To Stay in Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Where To Eat In and Near Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Valley Forge National Historical Park Facts
- Final Thoughts
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Valley Forge National Historical Park, located outside of Philadelphia, is a treasure trove of American history. It preserves the encampment of General George Washington and the Continental Army from December 1777 to June 1778 during the American Revolutionary War.
Nearly 2 million visitors visit this historic park yearly and learn about such a monumental moment in America’s history.
How To Get to Valley Forge National Historical Park
Where Is Valley Forge National Historical Park?
Valley Forge National Historical Park is located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, approximately 18 miles from Philadelphia. This park consists of 3,500 acres, including monuments, woodlands, and meadows that preserve the Continental Army’s encampment site during the Revolutionary War.
Valley Forge National Historical Park Opening Hours and Seasons
Visitors can explore the park, monuments, and historic landmarks from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset. The park is open year-round and closes on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Different park areas may have seasonal hours, so check the Valley Forge National Historical Park website before visiting to ensure the areas you wish to explore are open.
Nearest Airports to Valley Forge National Historical Park
Flying is one of the best ways to maximize travel time and not waste valuable time. Most visitors choose to fly into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). This airport is just 30 miles from Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Philadelphia International Airport offers flights to dozens of major cities and is served by Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and many others.
Driving to Valley Forge National Historical Park
Driving to Valley Forge National Historical Park is relatively easy, and arriving by your own vehicle allows you to reduce the amount of stress when it comes to touring this park and the nearby attractions.
The park is located off U.S. Route 422. Those from the Pennsylvania Turnpike will take exit 326, and those from I-76 will take U.S. Route 422 West to State Route 23 West/Valley Forge. Finally, visitors traveling from State Route 252 will use State Route 23 East.
Taking the Train to Valley Forge National Historical Park
There is no train service that takes visitors to Valley Forge National Historical Park. In the past, a train would take visitors to the area, but today, that station is used by the National Park Service as a museum. You can see the train tracks near this museum during your visit.
Taking the Bus to Valley Forge National Historical Park
Public transportation by bus is a great, affordable way to arrive at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority (SEPTA) offers 2 bus routes to the Valley Forge National Historical Park area.
Utilizing SEPTA is a wonderful way to let someone else take over the stress of driving in an unfamiliar city and allows you to enjoy the journey.
Getting Around Valley Forge National Historical Park
There are a variety of ways to explore Valley Forge National Historical Park. The most common ways visitors choose to get around the park are by driving, walking, and biking. There are excellent trails to accommodate visitors and lead them to the park’s highlights. The National Park Service offers several maps to help you plan your adventures at this national historical park.
What To See and Do in Valley Forge National Historical Park
From scenic tours showcasing the park’s historical landmarks to stellar hiking trails, and from viewing original fortifications from the 1770s to visiting historic buildings, there’s no shortage of activities and learning opportunities at this park. Take a look at the top things to see and do when visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Earthworks and Forts
Continental soldiers built several earthworks, forts, and trenches during their time in Valley Forge. The purpose of these was to fortify the defenses of the encampment in case British forces attacked. While some of these are reconstructed, others are the original earthworks and forts from the 1700s.
Redoubt 2 is a reconstruction of one of the 5 earthworks built by soldiers to protect from British attack. Redoubt 3 was partially reconstructed and was initially constructed by the Continental troops to defend from attacks to the south. Redoubt 4 is one of the many earthen fortifications the soldiers constructed to protect themselves from British attack.
Each park area offers information panels about the historical use of the earthworks, forts, and trenches.
The Valley Forge Encampment is where the Continental Army under General George Washington stayed from the winter of 1777 to the summer of 1778 during the Revolutionary War. The encampment consisted of over 1,500 log huts and 2 miles of fortifications for the 12,000 soldiers and 400 women and children who lived there.
Today, park visitors can tour the encampment in various ways and see what life was like during the war. Some sites that can be viewed include Washington’s Headquarters, National Memorial Arch, and Artillery Park.
Hiking, Biking, and Running Trails
Over 35 miles of designated trails are accessiible for hiking, biking, or running. Several historic and interpretive sites can be viewed along these trails. The Encampment Store seasonally offers bike rentals.
A favorite trail is the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail. This trail makes a loop around the central Grand Parade and showcases several of the historic highlights of the park.
Other trails in Valley Forge National Historical Park include Chapel Trail, multiple trails on Mount Misery (such as Valley Creek Trail and Horse-Shoe Trail), and trails on the north side of the Schuylkill River (such as River Trail and Commissary Trail).
Valley Forge National Historical Park consists of 81 historic buildings. These buildings were all built in the mid-18th and mid-20th centuries.
There are 12 buildings that stood at the time of the encampment, mostly domestic structures and outbuildings. Knox’s Quarters, Varnum’s Quarters, and Washington’s Headquarters are some of the buildings from the time of encampment that visitors can view.
The other historic buildings in the park are from after the encampment and include estate dwellings, farmhouses, small village homes, sundry outbuildings, and barns.
There are 17 miles of designated horse trails at Valley Forge National Historical Park for visitors who enjoy horseback riding. Horses are prohibited in picnic areas, near historic buildings, and near tour stops.
Horse owners must clean horse waste from the paved walkways, roads, and parking areas. Horseback riding is a great way to experience the park as the soldiers and generals did in the 1700s.
Statues and Monuments
There are several monuments and statues around Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The National Memorial Arch was built when soldiers marched into Valley Forge in December 1777. It commemorates the sacrifices of the Continental Army and General George Washington during the winter of the Revolutionary War.
Another monument in the park is the Patriots of African Descent Monument. This monument pays tribute to the contributions of African Americans in the Revolutionary War. Other statues and monuments include the Soldiers of New Jersey Monument, Von Steuben Statue, Washington Statue, and Wayne Statue.
Tour the Encampment
The Encampment Tour is a 10-mile loop with 9 major stops and opportunities to view and learn about other statues, monuments, and locations throughout the park.
There are different options for touring the encampment: trolley tours, self-guided auto tours, and bicycle tours. The tour can take 2 to 8 hours, depending on how you tour the encampment.
Some places along the Encampment Tour include the visitor center at Valley Forge, Muhlenberg’s Brigade, and the National Memorial Arch. Still, there are over a dozen others along the way.
Best Times To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park
Visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park is amazing, no matter what time of year you visit. However, some times are better than others, especially if you hope to participate in a particular event or experience. Take a look at the best times throughout the year to visit Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park for Ideal Weather
Weather can significantly impact a vacation, so looking ahead at the weather is a great idea. The best time to plan to visit Valley Forge National Historical Park for ideal weather is in September. The temperature ranges from the mid-50s to the upper 70s, making it a comfortable time for a visit.
Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park To Avoid the Crowds
A vacation without crowds is a dream come true for most travelers. If you want to visit Valley Forge National Historical Park without dealing with crowded conditions, you should plan to come in mid-October. The park sees a drop in visitation at this time of year, which allows you to explore the park at your own pace and truly enjoy the landscape and attractions.
Best Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park for Viewing Wildlife
There are hundreds of species of animals that call Valley Forge National Historical Park home. If you hope to see many animals during your visit, the best month to come is in April, once spring arrives.
Many birds will be migrating back from their winter migration locations, baby mammals like the white-tailed deer are out and about, and a host of other animals are easily spotted in April.
Cheapest Time To Visit Valley Forge National Historical Park
Saving money when traveling is a possibility with proper research and planning. There are several times during the year when flight and lodging rates are cheaper, but the cheapest time to visit this Pennsylvanian park is in mid- to late September.
Annual Events in Valley Forge National Historical Park
Valley Forge National Historical Park offers a regular programming schedule throughout the year, but visitors and locals look forward to annual special events.
March-In of the Continental Army
March-In of the Continental Army occurs each year in December at Valley Forge National Historical Park. This event commemorates the anniversary of when the Continental Army arrived at Valley Forge in 1777. This event offers programs, reenactments, hands-on activities, and demonstrations for guests of all ages.
There is also a guided walk that reenactors lead so visitors can participate in the march. This walk begins at the visitor center and ends at Muhlenberg’s Brigade for exciting outdoor programs.
March-Out of the Continental Army
March-Out of the Continental Army occurs each year at Valley Forge National Historical Park in June. This event is celebrated each year in remembrance of the day the Continental Army departed Valley Forge.
Some activities can be enjoyed by guests of all ages, including demonstrations, reenactors, and musket and cannon firing. This is an excellent way for visitors to gain an accurate representation of what Valley Forge was like in the 1770s.Hot Tip:
Check out the Valley Forge National Historical Park event calendar for more details on upcoming events.
Where To Stay in Valley Forge National Historical Park
One of the first things to choose when planning any vacation is where to stay during your time away from home. There are numerous options for setting up a home base when visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Inside the Park
There are no lodging options within the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Towns Near Valley Forge National Historical Park
There are several towns and cities near Valley Forge National Historical Park. Whether you are looking for somewhere close to the park or a town filled with exciting places to explore, there are plenty of places from which to choose.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Valley Forge National Historical Park is located in King of Prussia. This town has several dining options, lodging, and recreation options. From luxury hotels to quaint inns to affordable motels, there’s something for everyone to choose from.
Food enthusiasts are in for a treat, with a variety of options, including American, Italian, Brazilian, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. No matter what you crave, you will find a hunger solution.
There are plenty of options for recreation and entertainment in King of Prussia, from botanical gardens and indoor sky diving to park zoos and escape rooms.
King of Prussia is an obvious choice for travelers visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park with its proximity to the park and the variety of accommodations, restaurants, and activities.
Philadelphia is 21 miles from Valley Forge National Historical Park. While it isn’t as close as some of the surrounding towns, it is a great place to set up a home base, as it has many places to stay, dine, and explore.
There are hundreds of options for lodging, from high-class hotels and boutique hotels to private rentals and charming bed and breakfasts.
For those who enjoy incredible cuisine, Philadelphia is a paradise for restaurants serving foods from around the world. Whether you crave simple comfort foods or gourmet creations, there’s something for every palate.
Philadelphia has so much to see and do. With dozens of attractions, like the Liberty Bell, art and history museums, zoos, and historical parks, it’s easy to spend many days exploring this exciting city.
Where To Eat In and Near Valley Forge National Historical Park
There are plenty of places to eat in and near Valley Forge National Historical Park. Visitors can find the perfect dining option nearby, whether you crave something quick and light or a formal meal.
Cabin Shop Café
Cabin Shop Café is located behind the Washington Memorial Chapel. This is the only place that serves snacks and light meals within the park boundaries.
This shop is housed in a historic log cabin and sells gift baskets, colonial-themed souvenirs, and homemade baked goods and candies. It also serves lunch and quick snacks, including its famous shoo-fly cake.
The Cabin Shop Café is a great place to stop for a quick bite when exploring Valley Forge National Historical Park. There’s always something to satisfy your hunger, and you may bring home some tasty treats and souvenirs as well.
The Capital Grille
The menu features appetizers, soups, and seafood and signature beef entrées. Customers rave about the New England clam chowder, the seared salmon, and the bone-in dry-aged New York Strip steak. There is also an extensive wine and dessert menu.
With its vast array of signature dishes, drinks, and desserts, you can rest assured that you will find something wonderful to hit the spot.
Seasons 52 is a top-rated restaurant under 2 miles from the park and is located just outside of the King of Prussia mall. This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and also offers curbside pickup.
The menu at Seasons 52 includes flatbreads, soups, salads, fresh seafood, and high-quality beef entrées. There are also homemade sides, a wine bar, and delicious desserts. The most popular meals include wood-grilled shrimp and grits, lobster bisque, and caramelized grilled sea scallops.
Valley Forge National Historical Park Facts
1. A New National Historical Park
Valley Forge National Historical Park was established in 1976 to protect the 3,500 acres of land and monuments that were such a crucial part of the Revolutionary War.
2. A Diverse Encampment
The encampment was diverse, with a mixture of soldiers, civilians, free and enslaved African Americans, Indigenous people, poor enlisted men, wealthy officers, and European immigrants. Keeping the soldiers concentrated in one expansive camp was better for resisting British attack.
3. A Long, Sad Winter
The winter was long and hard for those living at the encampment. There was a lack of food and supplies, making life difficult. There were also diseases like typhoid and influenza that spread through the camp. Nearly 2,000 people died from disease during the 6 months at Valley Forge.
4. Happy Birthday, George Washington
The park holds a special celebration each year to honor General George Washington. Art contests, birthday cakes, and videos are dedicated to his memory.
5. A Surprising Insect
Many animals make their home in Valley Forge National Historical Park, but one animal that can be found is invasive. The Spotted Lanternfly is native to Southeast Asia and threatens Pennsylvania’s agriculture and forestry industries.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is an incredible park to visit to learn more about America’s history. From exploring historic buildings and viewing the ancient residences of soldiers to hiking incredible trails and watching reenactments of soldiers long ago, there’s no shortage of sights and activities at this national historical park.
Once you spend time in this Pennsylvanian park, you’ll see why nearly 2 million people visit annually.
Featured Image Credit: Gabe Peck via Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to visit Valley Forge National Historical Park?
There is no fee for entering Valley Forge National Historical Park. Visitors do not need an entrance pass.
How long should I spend at Valley Forge National Historical Park?
Spending a minimum of 2 hours to a full day exploring Valley Forge National Historical Park is recommended. This allows time to drive and stop at all stops on the Encampment Tour, check out the many historic sites, and enjoy the views.
What is the weather like at Valley Forge National Historical Park?
The weather throughout the year varies depending on the season. Winters are cold and damp, spring and fall are cool and crisp, and summer is hot and humid.
Can I bring my dog to Valley Forge National Historical Park?
Dogs are welcome at Valley Forge National Historical Park as long as pet owners keep them leashed and clean up after them.
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.