Hiking Around Valley Forge
King of Prussia Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
I tried to visit Valley Forge Historic Park the night before, and was able to see the museum collection in the visitor center. But when trying to drive around the park, it just got too dark to see anything. So I decided to end it, and come back the next day, as I wanted to see the fall foliage. More about the museum part and visiting the park in the review here.
I always remember going to this park with my family for a picnic during the warmer months. Even enjoyed the drive to get there, as we would drive along the Schuylkill (pronounced "Skool-kill") River.
The next day, on November 9, I arrived in the morning. First to the visitor center, where I picked up some maps and then went to see the short film.
So I walked on the main trail, passing by some really nice, looking fall foliage, which was the leaves changing into bright colors. Just really nice to look at, as I also passed by the cabins, where some of the soldiers stayed. I did look inside one of them.
I continued on, until I got to the National Memorial Arch. This was a memorial to George Washington and all the soldiers who spent the winter of 1777-78 in Valley Forge. While not the coldest winter, the soldiers faced major shortages in food, medicine, and clothes, which led to disease. A lot of soldiers died due to starvation and disease.
I would meet some people from other places in Pennsylvania, and had a friendly chat.
Then decided to take the "short cut", walking on a gravel road called the Baptist Trail Road. Not easy on the feet, but it saved a bit of time. I would pass by Artillery Park, which had a bunch of cannons lined up. This was in case of an attack from the British. And an old schoolhouse, which was not open, and nothing inside.
I came onto pavement, and continued on, passing by the statue of General von Steuben, a Prussian officer who trained the American troops after the winter. This would prove very helpful for them when fighting resumed against the British. Then passed by another building and memorial, until I came to the Washington Memorial Chapel. Then went inside, to look around.
While looking around, I had a friendly chat with the guy who was overseeing the place, and he would tell me some history and the story behind the place. More about all that in the review here.
After walking around the chapel grounds, I resumed hiking, deciding to hurry up. Not much else to see for this part, as I arrived back at the visitor center. Not sure how long it took me, but probably around 4 hours, as I did make some stops along the way. I got back in the car, and drove around the park.
I would drive to Washington's Headquarters, where Washington stayed during the encampment. It was open, and I did not need to see it on a guided tour, as previously thought. I walked through the buildings in the area, and walked around. After that, I resumed driving, looking for more fall foliage. But there was not much else, so I would leave the park, and head home.
It was nice to visit this place, and do something different for a change. And I did get some exercise.