The course of the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run® is not only accessible on race days. In fact, you can enjoy the loop through the historic acreage of Valley Forge National Historical Park year-round! Take advantage of the up-close-and-personal views of the statuary, exhibits and memorials, which are much more engaging when viewed on foot, rather from the distance of a passing car. The trail follows the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail. Maps are available online and in the Visitor Center.
Steps in Time
Muhlenberg Brigade: This section of the park included the outer line of defense against the British housed in Philadelphia. Peter Muhlenberg and his 8th Virginia Regiment were housed here, in huts much like those that have been historically re-created for visitors. The stack of logs near the Rev Run starting line will soon become four new huts in the brigade.
Redoubts and Redans: Take note of several of the hilly mounds to the left and right. These are redoubts, a trench-like manner of fortified defense. The v-shaped earthwork are redans, a projected form of fortification.
End of mile 1
National Memorial Arch: The United States National Memorial Arch is probably the park's most recognizable symbol. Standing 60 feet high, the arch has towered above Valley Forge since its dedication in 1917. The inscription reads:"Naked and starving as they are We cannot enough admire The incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery"
Pennsylvania Columns Mile: These Pennsylvania Columns were erected in 1912 and feature two bronze plaques containing the bas-relief busts of Colonial military officers. Atop each column is a bronze eagle with outspread wings, standing on a granite ball.
"Mad" Anthony Wayne Statue: Memorialized forever on horseback, General Anthony Wayne saw action in some of the most strategic battles of the Revolution, including Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. During his presidency, Washington appointed Wayne Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army.
Site of the Marquee: "Marquee" (or "marquise") is a Britishism for a large tent with open sides. This marker notes the spot where Washington's original canvas quarters were located for a few days in December 1777, before he relocated the Isaac Potts House, a onetime grist mill.
Trace road: The road on which the Continental Army marched out of Valley Forge in June 1778. Their destination? New Jersey and further engagement of the British troops.
Von Steuben Statue: The transformation of the Continental Army into a unified force was an initiative of General Washington, but carrying out the plan was General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben of Prussia (now Germany). His training regimen became the basis for Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, which served the United States Army through the War of 1812.
Varnum's Quarters: General James Varnum arrived in Valley Forge with a brigade of troops from Connecticut and Rhode Island, his home state. During his stay, Varnum took up quarters in a stone farmhouse owned by David Stephens.
The Grand Parade: Much of the training done by General von Steuben took place in this wide, open area, from marching to defensive/offensive formations to firing sequences.
Washington Memorial Chapel: The Chapel was erected as a tribute to George Washington and the entire Continental Army, but it is also is home to an active and welcoming Episcopal congregation.
Patriots of African Descent Monument: This marker, erected in 1993, commemorates the estimated 9,000 soldiers of African Descent who served during the Revolution, including the encampment at Valley Forge.
Location of new Sullivan Bridge: This project will connect Valley Forge to the Schuylkill River trail heading westward, with a linkage to the Perkiomen Trail and the northwest part of Montgomery County. Completion of the bridge is estimated for 2016.
Visitor Center: On the right is the park's Visitor Center, a source of information on not only the site's ties to the Revolutionary War, but also on tourism possibilities throughout Montgomery County.