Fort Washington Park

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13551 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington, MD, USA - (301) 763-4600

Fort Washington Park Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Fort Washington Aug 29, 2016
Fort Washington was built in 1824 as a defensive bastion to protect the capital city from naval attack along the Potomac River. A decade earlier a much smaller fort on the site proved utterly incapable of stopping a British war fleet on its way to sacking Washington during the War of 1812. The American commander panicked and evacuated the structure, burning it behind him as the British sailed merrily along. An epic moment of courage and bravery.

The new fort never saw much action. During the Civil War, the Confederates did not attempt an invasion by water and instead tied to reach Washington by land from the north (culminating in the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg). The Union men on site were as fearful of the locals who sympathized with the South as they were of actual combat. In the 1890s, a series of eight concrete artillery batteries were built around the fort as part of the Endicott Coastal Defense System meant to defend American cities from the mighty destroyers being developed by the European powers. The batteries were dismantled in the 1920s and the fort was used as an officers’ training school until it closed in 1947.

Fort Washington is an oddball member of the National Park System. No battles were fought here, no events of real importance took place here, no one famous was ever involved with it. Yet it’s fun exploring the many underground dungeon-like tunnels that once held cannon and men, and some of the areas are downright spooky. There are some great views of the river from atop the fort walls, trails to walk along the shore and picnic areas throughout the surrounding park land. The Visitor Center has a few displays, but there isn’t much of historical artifacts or signage in the actual fort. You can probably see everything in about two hours, so this is more of an afternoon jaunt than a serious day trip. Still worth checking out. It costs $5 to enter and the pass is good for three days.
Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington
Time to explore
Battery at the base of the fort
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Ils1976 says:
I can't but say the same as Cho ... congrats on the feature and I am sure this is worth a detour ... now I only need a ticket in your direction! :)
Posted on: Sep 04, 2016
Cho says:
I haven't been active on TB for some time but happened to notice your featured review today, so congratulations, Bill!
Posted on: Sep 03, 2016
simsing says:
Congrats on the feature, Bill!
Posted on: Sep 03, 2016
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Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
Visiting Fort Washington Oct 10, 2004
Fort Washington, Maryland, was a Seacoast Defense Fort built to protect Washington, DC, from attack by enemy vessels sailing up the Potomac River. The fort was completed in 1824, but did not become operational until 1846. During the Civil War, Fort Washington was a part of the network of defensive forts constructed around Washington. It continued to be upgraded with new military technologies and artillery batteries until World War I. The fort became a national park in 1946 following World War II.

Tody, you can explore the well-preserved fort and its grounds to see a typical 19th century fortification. Hiking trails pass by many of the outlying artillery batteries. The fort fronts right on the Potomac and the Virginia shoreline is seen directly across the river. You may meet reenactors dressed in Civil War period attire who will eagerly provide historical interpreation of the site.

As well as being a historical site, Fort Washington is a park and has picnic areas for small and large groups. Outdoor grills are available. It's a pleasant spot to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Fort Washington
Parade Ground at Fort Washington
Reenactors at Fort Washington
A trail passses by Battery Decatur
HFC says:
I am the volunteer with the most continuous service in the volunteer in the parks program at Fort Washington NHP, Maryland ... 23 years (October 1988) and counting. On the first Sunday of the month, with some exceptions ... year round ... we have a living history program.

April through October we have artillery. November through March we have a rifle firing demonstration and tours of the fort.

We are also looking for volunteers to participate with our unit; Company D, First US Artillery. That was the unit at Fort Washington from April to December 1861.
Posted on: Oct 20, 2011
Devika1985 says:
great info
Posted on: Oct 21, 2007

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