Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA, USA
www.nps.gov/vafo/index.htm - 1-610-783-1077
Valley Forge National Historical Park King of Prussia Reviews
A great day trip option from Philly Nov 09, 2015
If there was one day trip from Philadelphia that was worth taking, it would definitely be Valley Forge National Historical Park. Located around King of Prussia, there is a bus that goes there. But it is a lot better to see this place by car.
Valley Forge was the location of the encampment for George Washington and his troops in the winter of 1777-78, as they needed a secure location from the British. Close enough to get supplies from various locations in Philly, but far away enough to prevent any sneak attacks from the British.
A visit to the park does start at the visitor center, where there is a short film and a museum. Plus where you can pick up a map and get information on the park. The museum has artifacts that were used during the encampment, and displays on the encampment itself and the difficulties of going through the winter with a shortage of supplies. Worth checking out if time permits.
There are hiking options around the park, including one that takes you to a bunch of the main spots. One of the spots include the group of reconstructed huts, where the soldiers stayed. Another is the National Memorial Arch, dedicated to the Continental Army and their endurance during that harsh winter.
And the abandoned train station by the tracks near Washington’s Headquarters, which is now a small museum about Washington himself, and wife Martha, as well as how the buildings have been restored to their 18th century appearance. Plus the actual building where Washington stayed during that winter, with the various rooms. And the cabins where his guards stayed. I guess this was like the Secret Service back then.
There is also the Washington Memorial Chapel, but that is not part of the park itself. So there is a separate review for that place.
With good museums, along with a very nice park to have a picnic and hike around, Valley Forge National Historical Park is a definite must-visit for any history buff, especially those into colonial history. And even if you are not a history buff, this place is definitely worth a look, and a good escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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A Crucible at Valley Forge Apr 08, 2004
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, was the winter encampment for George Washington and the Continental Army in 1777-1778. The name itself conjurs up a sense of cold, privation, and sacrifice in American thought.
The British Army battled the Continental Army through the Schuylkill Valley of Pennsylvania during the summer and fall of 1777. The British, already in possession of New York City, captured Philadelphia, then the largest city in North America, in October, 1777. George Washington brought the Contiental Army to this site as a defensible positon some distance from Philadelphia. Huts were built to house the troops and the American army, short on supplies, prepared to wait out the winter. By spring, Prussian Baron von Steuben had come to help drill the American troops at Valley Forge and form them into a professional army.
At Valley Forge today one can still get a sense of the terrain and the size and layout of the site as it was during the Revolutionary War. The park has been very well preserved, though it is located near a large Philadelphia suburb. The visitor center has exhibits and shows a film about Valley Forge and the experiences of the winter encampment. The 12,000 diverse troops (including many African-Americans and Native Americans) dug in for the winter by constructing log huts and did their best to forage for food and stave off illness.
A driving tour through the large park leads one to the significant sites, including reconstructed log huts, defensive lines, and the stone farmhouse where Washington made his headquarters. (The park can also explored via hiking trails.) The National Memorial Arch dates from 1917.
Part of the Pennsylvania Peregrinations travel blog
Part of the list Andy's Philadelphia
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