Showing posts with label Pennsylvania. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pennsylvania. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where in the World Wednesdays - Destinations to Explore Before Leaving This Life


Valley Forge National Historical Park - Valley Forge, PA

In the picturesque, rolling hillsides of eastern Pennsylvania, only about 23 miles northwest of Philadelphia, lies the 3,500-acres that make up the Valley Forge National Historical Park - a peaceful reminder of the hard-fought war, and sacrifices were given long ago (nearly 235 years ago) helped secure the national freedoms we still enjoy today. It was here at Valley Forge that General George Washington forged his Continental Army into a fighting force during the winter encampment of 1777-78.

Though no battles were fought there; and no bayonet charges or artillery bombardments took place, some 2,000 soldiers died (more Americans than were killed at the battles of Germantown and Brandywine combined); Valley Forge tells the epic story of an army’s very real struggle to survive.  The odds were immense – hunger, frigid temperatures, and disease. But survive they did. And their tenacity was a turning point in the War for Independence – the Revolutionary War. 

The Park serves as a reminder of those troubled times.  Visitors are able to see for themselves Washington’s original stone headquarters, which has been lovingly restored and furnished; along with several log soldier huts that have been reconstructed. Nearby a train station from 1913 features interactive exhibits of Washington and his confidantes and the town just to the west of the Park is a very quaint reminder of America’s Colonial past.  Throughout the Park statues and monuments illuminate America’s heritage for Park visitors, including statues of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne and Baron Friedrich von Steuben as well as the Monument to Patriots of African Descent. 



Many visitors will find the Visitor Center’s exhibits and artifacts to be very informative and interesting. The Encampment Store offers books, souvenirs, gifts, light refreshments and more. The Park offers both self-guided auto and walking tours, as well as Ranger-led hikes and during the summer months, a trolley tour, as well as bicycle rentals.  Valley Forge National Historical Park includes roughly 20 miles of multi-use trails that wind throughout the park’s rolling hillsides.
George Washington, as depicted in
the American Adventure at
Walt Disney World's Epcot

Valley Forge is quite easily accessible via the Valley Forge exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  The Park itself is located at Route 23 and North Gulph Road in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The Visitor Center and other park buildings are open from 9 am to 5 pm year-round, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day - while the park grounds themselves are open from dawn to dusk.

For more information about Valley Forge or other National Parks, Monuments, or Historical Parks, or to reserve your next vacation, contact me at 317.776.1733.