Explore the PHT
Fort DeRussy was built on a hill to provide cross fire on the approaches to Fort Stevens on the 7th Street Pike (now Georgia Avenue) and to control the countryside to west of today's Rock Creek Park. It supported Fort Stevens in only battle fought in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, July 11-12, 1864. It was built in 1861 by the 4th New York Heavy Artillery and named after its commander, Colonel Gustavus A. DeRussy. It is relatively well-preserved. The parapet's earthworks still display the openings where guns were mounted. The moat around the parapet is still evident, and rifle trenches outside the parapet can be seen.
Originally named Fort Pennsylvania for the 119th Pennsylvania Regiment which constructed it, the fort was renamed for Major General Jesse Lee Reno, who died from wounds received at the Battle of South Mountain in 1862. It was built during the winter of 1861 shortly after the the Union Army's defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. Situated at the highest point in Washington, Fort Reno eventually became the largest and most heavily armed fort circling the city. Its commanding views of the surrounding countryside made it an important link in the defense of Washington. Today, in addition to serving as parkland, the Fort Reno site contains reservoirs for Washington's drinking water.
Glover Archbold Park
A three-mile trail runs the length of the park, which stretches from the Potomac River nearly to Tenley Circle. With seven stream crossings along the way, the defining feature of the route is Foundry Branch. For a 3.5 mile circuit hike, begin at Tenley Circle and hike south into Glover Archbold (at mile 2.3 above). Turn right at the trail to Battery Kemble (mile 4.1). Once in Battery Kemble, turn right and follow the trail to Nebraska Avenue, then follow Nebraska back to Tenley Circle.
People who grew up in Washington, D.C., know Battery Kemble Park as one the best sledding hills in the city. During the Civil War it was one of 93 batteries supporting the 68 forts defending the city. A potential future route for the Potomac Heritage Trail leads to Battery Kemble then south to the C&O Canal Towpath.