• Log huts are coated in a fresh layer of snow

    Valley Forge

    National Historical Park Pennsylvania

Outdoor Activities

To ensure your safety and to protect sensitive historic and natural resources in the park, please abide by these trail use rules and regulations:
Trails are designated for certain uses, as shown on the trail map, in order to prevent resource damage. Using trails for un-designated uses damages resources and is prohibited. Some former trails have been closed to public use because they were either unsafe and cannot be made safe, or because using the trails destroys natural or historic resources. If a trail is not shown on the park map, it is closed and public use is not permitted. Please be a part of protecting your natural and cultural heritage by staying off closed trails.

  • Off-trail use by bicycles causes profound damage to cultural and natural resources and is prohibited.
  • Parking is permitted only in areas shown on the map. Parking on the grass damages cultural and natural resources and is prohibited.
  • The use of skates, in-line skates, skateboards, and roller skis endangers other trail users and is prohibited throughout the park. |
  • Trail use is at your own risk. Please use caution when using the trails as you may come in contact with raised roots, ice, and other naturally occurring elements.
View a complete list of Valley Forge National Historical Park's Rules and Regulations.
View and download park maps and brochures.
 
Dirt trail in the summer time following along a river.

Valley Forge NHP

Hiking

The park contains 19.5 miles of designated, marked, hiking trails. The 6.6 mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail connects the key historic and interpretive sites. The Horseshoe Trail begins near Washington's Headquarters and runs to the Appalachian Trail. Other hiking trails include such footpaths as the relatively flat River and Valley Creek trails, and the hilly trails on Mount Joy and Mount Misery. In addition, hiking is permitted in most open areas of the park. While hiking in the park please keep your pets on a leash at all times.

 
Two people bike past reconstructed huts on the Valley Forge Joseph Plumb Martin trail.

Valley Forge NHP

Biking

There are 21 miles of authorized biking trails in the park. The paved, 6.6 mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail on the south side of the park connects the key historic and interpretive sites. On the north side, two miles of the paved, regional Schuylkill River Trail run through the park, with connections to sites in Montgomery County and Philadelphia. There also are 12 miles of flat, unpaved biking trails.

 
Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Over 227 species of birds have been observed within the park. Some of the best areas to observe birds are on Mount Joy, along Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River, and in meadows throughout the park.
Bird Watching Brochure and Checklist

 
A girl sitting on a horse.

Valley Forge NHP

Horseback Riding

Seventeen miles of designated horse trails are available to riders. In addition, horseback riders may also cross most open fields to link up with other horse trail sections to complete circuit rides. Caution should be used when crossing open areas because of holes and other hazards. To prevent damage to fragile historic resources and unsafe encounters in busy visitor areas, horses are prohibited in picnic areas, the vicinity of historic buildings, and tour stops (historic zones). Horse trailers may be parked in one of the following areas: the horse trailer area of the main Visitor Center parking lot, the Pawlings Road parking lot, or along the south side of the Walnut Hill access road.

Did You Know?

Maxwell's Library 2nd floor pictured are books and research material in the collection

Access to many National Park Library catalogs is available on-line. Valley Forge NHP is currently in the process of creating an electronic catalog. We will use this site to keep you up-to-date on our progress. Until then you might wish to access other national park libraries currently on-line. More...