After a year of studying the Revolutionary War (more smaller units on that to come!) we took a trip out to Valley Forge to take the Encampment Tour. Valley Forge is where the Continental Army spent the brutal winter of 1777-1778.
First, we went inside the visitor center for the ranger books. As a national park your kids can earn their ranger badges here, and have their ranger certificates stamped after completing certain tasks in the books. My 9 year old had no problem finishing the book since we were taking the driving tour. My 5 year got just enough 🙂 They are a great hands on lesson during your visit, even if you don’t stay long enough to finish it.
Once we had our books we drove out to the first stop on the driving tour. When I first heard “driving tour” I thought, “Should we walk it instead to get the full experience?” I definitely recommend the driving tour – there is parking at each stop to get out and explore! It was fantastic. There is also a Cell Phone Tour you can call in to and get even more history about each stop! There are signs all along the way to let you know where each stop is.
We saw huts along the encampment that soldiers would have been cramped into. You can even test it out to see how comfortable (or not!) it is. Here we learned the reasons why Washington chose Valley Forge for his army.
We saw plenty of cannons along the way also – we even saw the artillery park, which is where they kept a lot of the weaponry that wasn’t in use during battle.
One of my favorites was the National Memorial Arch.
Along the encampment tour is also the Washington Memorial Chapel. The driving tour takes you along the main road where the chapel is located. It is the last stop on the tour. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop out back!
You can visit the Valley Forge National Historical Park’s website to plan your trip here!