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Welcome to
Valley Forge National Historic Park

 

1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: (610) 783-1077

GPS: 40.096944, -75.438889


View Larger Map 

The men and women of the Continental Army were ordinary, like many of us, but these ordinary people were thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates more than the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation -- it honors the ability of citizens and their leaders to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.

Of all the places associated with America's War for Independence, none conveys more the impression of suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph than Valley Forge. No battles were fought here, no bayonet charges or artillery bombardments took place, but during the winter of 1777-78 approximately 2,000 soldiers died at hospitals in the surrounding area nonetheless. 

Valley Forge is the story of an army's epic struggle to survive against terrible odds, against hunger, disease, and the unrelenting forces of nature.

The campaign that resulted in the Valley Forge encampment began in late August 1777 when Sir William Howe, commander in chief of British forces in North America, landed his veteran army at the upper end of Chesapeake Bay. His objective was Philadelphia, the patriot capital. 

The American commander, George Washington, maneuvered the Continental Army into position to defend the city. Howe's skillful tactics, combined with errors made by Washington's army, led to a British victory at the Brandywine; the flight of the Continental Congress to York, Pa.; the British occupation of Philadelphia; and a defeat at Germantown.

With the winter setting in, the prospects for further campaigning were greatly diminished, and Washington sought quarters for his men. Though several locations were proposed, he selected Valley Forge, 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It proved to be an excellent choice. 

Named for an iron forge on Valley Creek, the area was close enough to the British to keep their raiding and foraging parties out of the interior of Pennsylvania, yet far enough away to halt the threat of British surprise attacks. The high ground of Mount Joy and Mount Misery, combined with the Schuylkill River to the north, made the area easily defensible.

From Philadelphia, New Jersey and points southeast,
via I-76 Schuylkill Expressway west:

  • I-76 Schuylkill Expressway west to Exit 328A

  • Stay Right and merge onto US 422 west

  • Take Valley Forge exit onto Route 23 west

  • Turn right at exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight through the first set of traffic lights (at intersection with N. Gulph Road)

From Baltimore, Wilmington, DE, and points southeast, via US 202 north:

  • US 202 north to US 422 west

  • US 422 west to Route 23 west (1.8 miles)

  • Turn right at the exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight ahead

From New York and points northeast, via the Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • I-276 Pennsylvania Turnpike west to Exit 326

  • Exit 326 for Valley Forge **Use the right side of the tollbooth

  • Turn Right at N. Gulph Road immediately after the tollbooth

  • Travel on N. Gulph Road (1.8 miles)

  • Park entrance is on the left at the Route 23 traffic light

From Harrisburg and points west, via the Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike east to Exit 326

  • Exit 326 for Valley Forge **Use the right side of the tollbooth

  • Turn Right at N. Gulph Road immediately after the tollbooth

  • Travel on N. Gulph Road (1.8 miles)

  • Park entrance is on the left at the Route 23 traffic light

From Pottstown and Reading PA, and points northwest, via US 422 east:

  • Exit at Route 23 west

  • Turn right at the exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight ahead

Park grounds open daily, year-round 6 am to 10 pm

Welcome Center 9 am to 5 pm daily

Washington's Headquarters January 1 to February 18 closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open 9 am to 5 pm all other days.

Washington Memorial Chapel open 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

You find picnic grounds at:

  • Betzwood

  • National Memorial Arch

  • Varnum's Quarters

Did You Know?
Precision marching was the key to victory on the 18th century battlefield. Inspector General Baron von Steuben made marching the central element of his training proAgram at Valley Forge. By May the army was able to stay in formation while advancing and retreating over all types of ground.

The men and women of the Continental Army were ordinary, like many of us, but these ordinary people were thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates more than the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation -- it honors the ability of citizens and their leaders to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.

Of all the places associated with America's War for Independence, none conveys more the impression of suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph than Valley Forge. No battles were fought here, no bayonet charges or artillery bombardments took place, but during the winter of 1777-78 approximately 2,000 soldiers died at hospitals in the surrounding area nonetheless. 

Valley Forge is the story of an army's epic struggle to survive against terrible odds, against hunger, disease, and the unrelenting forces of nature.

The campaign that resulted in the Valley Forge encampment began in late August 1777 when Sir William Howe, commander in chief of British forces in North America, landed his veteran army at the upper end of Chesapeake Bay. His objective was Philadelphia, the patriot capital. 

The American commander, George Washington, maneuvered the Continental Army into position to defend the city. Howe's skillful tactics, combined with errors made by Washington's army, led to a British victory at the Brandywine; the flight of the Continental Congress to York, Pa.; the British occupation of Philadelphia; and a defeat at Germantown.

With the winter setting in, the prospects for further campaigning were greatly diminished, and Washington sought quarters for his men. Though several locations were proposed, he selected Valley Forge, 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It proved to be an excellent choice. 

Named for an iron forge on Valley Creek, the area was close enough to the British to keep their raiding and foraging parties out of the interior of Pennsylvania, yet far enough away to halt the threat of British surprise attacks. The high ground of Mount Joy and Mount Misery, combined with the Schuylkill River to the north, made the area easily defensible.

From Philadelphia, New Jersey and points southeast,
via I-76 Schuylkill Expressway west:

  • I-76 Schuylkill Expressway west to Exit 328A

  • Stay Right and merge onto US 422 west

  • Take Valley Forge exit onto Route 23 west

  • Turn right at exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight through the first set of traffic lights (at intersection with N. Gulph Road)

From Baltimore, Wilmington, DE, and points southeast, via US 202 north:

  • US 202 north to US 422 west

  • US 422 west to Route 23 west (1.8 miles)

  • Turn right at the exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight ahead

From New York and points northeast, via the Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • I-276 Pennsylvania Turnpike west to Exit 326

  • Exit 326 for Valley Forge **Use the right side of the tollbooth

  • Turn Right at N. Gulph Road immediately after the tollbooth

  • Travel on N. Gulph Road (1.8 miles)

  • Park entrance is on the left at the Route 23 traffic light

From Harrisburg and points west, via the Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike east to Exit 326

  • Exit 326 for Valley Forge **Use the right side of the tollbooth

  • Turn Right at N. Gulph Road immediately after the tollbooth

  • Travel on N. Gulph Road (1.8 miles)

  • Park entrance is on the left at the Route 23 traffic light

From Pottstown and Reading PA, and points northwest, via US 422 east:

  • Exit at Route 23 west

  • Turn right at the exit ramp and merge to the center lane

  • Park entrance is straight ahead

Park grounds open daily, year-round 6 am to 10 pm

Welcome Center 9 am to 5 pm daily

Washington's Headquarters January 1 to February 18 closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open 9 am to 5 pm all other days.

Washington Memorial Chapel open 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

You find picnic grounds at:

  • Betzwood

  • National Memorial Arch

  • Varnum's Quarters

Did You Know?
Precision marching was the key to victory on the 18th century battlefield. Inspector General Baron von Steuben made marching the central element of his training program at Valley Forge. By May the army was able to stay in formation while advancing and retreating over all types of ground.

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