A verdant tract of land popular for walking and cycling, Valley Forge is a Philadelphia-area escape. Located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Center City, the National Historical Park housed George Washington’s Continental Army during the winter of 1777–1778. See Revolutionary War–era log cabins, cannons, memorials, and more.
As a National Historical Park, Valley Forge opens daily to the public from 7am till dusk; park facilities are all free to access. Tours from Philadelphia typically include bus or car transit, as public transportation is relatively limited in the area. Most itineraries stop at the park’s most significant historical landmarks, among them the Washington Memorial Chapel, George Washington’s headquarters, and the Visitor Center (home to the park’s museum collection).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Valley Forge Park is a must-visit for history buffs looking to discover more about American history and the Revolutionary War.
- Visitors are free to explore beyond the designated trails, in which case bug spray is recommended.
- Pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots, particularly if you plan to explore during the winter months.
- Hike the 6.6-mile (10.6-kilometer) Joseph Plumb Martin Trail to see most of the major historical landmarks.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Valley Forge is on a guided, round-trip tour from Philadelphia or another nearby town. For independent travelers, the park is located off US Route 422; it’s a roughly 30-minute drive from Philadelphia along 1-76 West. SEPTA Bus Routes 125 and 139 also stop near the Visitor Center.
When to Get There
Valley Forge National Historical Park is open year-round, though the Visitor Center closes on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. In spring, there are plenty of scenic, blossoming plants, and in autumn, vibrant foliage. Valley Forge is busy during the summer, particularly around Independence Day, which is typically celebrated here with a range of activities and events. If you plan to visit in the winter months, conditions may become muddy and slippery.
Other Attractions in the Area
It's only a 5-minute drive from Valley Forge National Historical Park to King of Prussia, home to one of the country's largest malls. If you're planning to spend the day outside of Philadelphia, then complement your outdoor adventures with a shopping excursion at the King of Prussia Mall. With more than 400 shops, multiple food courts, and other attractions, it's the perfect place to while away a few hours.