Visiting Hours, Closures, Public Use Limits
I. 36 CFR §1.5(a)(1) - Visiting hours, public use limits, closures and area designations for specific use or activities
(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain activity:
Park buildings are open based upon personnel availability.
The following areas are designated as DAY USE and are open from 7:00 am until dark:
The following areas are closed at 10:00pm
These conditions are established to provide a safe visitor experience and operational efficiency.
Varnum’s Picnic Area parking lot opens at 7 AM and closes at dark between March 1 and October 31. This parking lot is closed at all other times.
These conditions are established to provide operational efficiency for the management of that area.
Public Use Limits
The maximum occupancies for the buildings listed above were determined by the fire marshals office and are in place for reasons of life safety.
The use of some vehicles which are used to enhance the mobility of physically impaired visitors may be verbally approved for temporary use by a park ranger.
This is to provide better accessibility to the visitors of Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The following locations are closed to general public access or use:
This area is located on South Outer Line Drive and is fenced and marked with signage. The area has received heavy visitor use and has exceeded its carrying capacity. The resource has received heavy damage. The area is closed to allow the resource to rest and be reclaimed. The picnic area located in front of the parking lot is open to the public year round.
During the winter months there is little to no visitor activity in this area. Due to the lack of use during the winter months, and to promote the efficient operation of the park, this area is closed between the above dates.
These closures are in place for visitor safety.
Exposure to asbestos can be hazardous to human health. The park has closed these areas to limit any possible exposure.
Canadian Geese and Herons are nesting on the Island during this period. Human activity will disrupt their nesting habits which could be fatal to their survival.
In general, the park does not have the capacity to host large events based on the south side of the park. Heavy visitor and vehicle use makes managing events in a manner that is safe and resource friendly difficult. However, in an effort to reach out to the local community, the park has agreed to hold one large event based on the south side of the park in connection with National Park Week.
This area is closed because there is no permitted public access across the railroad tracks as well as to preserve rare riparian habitat.
The propellant used to launch model rockets has caused wildland fires in the park. Falling rockets cause unsafe hazards to visitors using the park. The park is also not geared for the safe launching and recovery of these items. Falling rockets are a hazard to visitors who are not aware of the event.
The creek is shallow and is difficult to navigate in certain locations. A dam, low hanging covered bridge and water level gauges on the creek make navigation dangerous.
This closure is in place to assure that visitors to the historic zones are not distracted by activities that could detract from their appreciation of the historic scene.
(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:
This area has been designated for reasons of safety and to reduce impact on other areas of the park.
The Betzwood Boat Ramp is designated for boat launching since there is a ramp available for boat trailers and there is trailer parking available at that site.
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.