Ranger programs are offered on weekends in November.
Weekend ranger talks at Muhlenberg's Brigade take place on Saturdays and Sundays in November around 12:05 PM and 2:05 PM in order to meet the 12 PM and 2 PM trolley tours that depart from the Visitor Center at Valley Forge. Ranger talks over the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov 24, 25, and 26) are scheduled at 11:05 AM, 1:05 PM and 3:05 PM. See below for list of ranger program topics.
Weekend indoor programs or outdoor ranger roves take place from 10 AM to 11 AM and 2 to 3 PM, weather and staffing dependent. Indoor programs are located in the Visitor Centery at Valley Forge. The location of outdoor ranger roves varies. Ask at the information desk for detailed information about the day's programming! See below for a list of program topics.
Ranger programs are typically scheduled between 10 AM and 12 PM, or between 1 PM and 3 PM. Locations vary according to season and staffing.
Call the information desk at 610-783-1099 or ask a ranger inside the Visitor Center at Valley Forge for the most current information about daily times, topics, and locations of ranger programs.
Park rangers and volunteers are on site during operating hours to interpret the house and answer visitor questions.
Open daily 10 AM to 4 PM.
Historic Valley Forge Station
Open daily 10 AM to 4 PM.
Learn about the medical practices used to treat soldiers during the American Revolutionary War. The presentation includes a medical display of various drugs, surgical tools, and a hands-on activity with a mortar and pestle.
The War in Winter: Combat Operations During the Valley Forge Encampment
Contrary to popular belief, there was never a cease-fire while the army was camped at Valley Forge. Learn about all the combat operations that happened around the Philadelphia area during the six months of the Valley Forge encampment.
Black Powder Cartridge Making
Learn about the importance of black powder cartridges and other military supplies. Join this interactive program and make your own cartridge, just like a soldier who fought in the American Revolutionary War would have done.
A Global Conflict
Learn where and how France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the Kingdom of Mysore in India all fought against Great Britain during the American Revolution in what become essentially a world war. The display features more than 40 present-day flags representing locations around the world where, from 1776 to 1784, battles were fought against the British outside the territory of the original 13 states.
Ancient Bones of Valley Forge: Fossils of the Port Kennedy Bone Cave
The Port Kennedy Bone Cave, one of the most significant Pleistocene-era fossil finds in this part of the country, gives us a fascinating glimpse of what life was like at Valley Forge 750,000 years ago, and of the different species that made this area their home.
Lenape Pottery and Connections to the Land
Learn about the indigenous peoples of the Valley Forge area and how they lived with the land prior to the arrival of European colonizers. Try your hand at making a small, coil-style clay pot to take home.
Pelts and Skulls: Animals of Valley Forge
Learn about common animals that live in the Valley Forge area by examining select skulls and pelts.
Join rangers each month at a different beautiful location in the park to practice your photography, sketching, drawing, or painting in a stress-free, judgment-free environment! Bring your own equipment and supplies. The program is free — advance registration is not required.
Programs are scheduled in the morning from 8 AM to 11 AM on either Saturdays or Sundays.
Check the event calendar and search using the keyword "Art in the Park" to find upcoming programs.
Join the program's Facebook community here.
Ranger-led walks are scheduled daily at 10:20 AM from June through August, and are weather and staffing dependent. 40-minute walks depart from the Theater at Valley Forge and follow the paved Joseph Plumb Martin trail for 1/4-mile to the soldier huts at Muhlenberg's Brigade.
Call the information desk at 610-783-1099 or ask a ranger for the most current information about topics.
What's Special About Valley Forge
Take a closer look at why the army chose Valley Forge, how they transformed it from farmland to military encampment, and what made this winter different from other encampments.
Why This Land?
Although we know Valley Forge for the American Revolution, this region's geology and biology have sustained several populations over many years including prehistoric seas, space for the Lenape, fields for colonial farmers, strong defenses for the Continental Army, and eventually enjoyable public lands for the modern public, animals, and plants.
Residents of Valley Forge
Join Ranger Jennifer to learn about the local residents of the historic Valley Forge encampment, as well as the opportunities and challenges residents faced whenever an army came through this area.
The Road to Valley Forge
The army's march from Whitemarsh (today's Ft. Washington) to Valley Forge was treacherous; plagued by enemy patrols, bad weather, and poor supplies. The journey foreshadowed the challenges the army would face at Valley Forge in the coming months. Join Park Guide Dave Lawrence as he recounts the soldiers' experiences in their own words and follow in their footsteps as they marched towards an uncertain future.
Hardships, Realities, and the Preservation of the Army
The continental army faced many hardships at Valley Forge, to overcome these realities the army worked together to solve these problems to persevere and gain our independence.
Human use of landscapes has always been dictated by geography and geology. Valley Forge is no exception. Join us for a guided walk as we explore how people have used this land before, during, and after the Continental Army’s famous encampment.
Von Steuben’s Training
When the Continental Army marched into Valley Forge, it had many problems that needed to be solved. Chief among them was a uniform system of training. Find out how Baron von Steuben turned this ragtag army into an effective fighting force.
The Conway Cabal
George Washington is well-known as the man who led the Continental Army to victory against the British, but during the Valley Forge encampment there were men who were not confident in Washington’s abilities as a leader. The Conway Cabal critiqued Washington’s leadership and attempted to remove him as Commander-in-Chief.
Selected Saturdays in the fall at 7 PM
Hot fire, warm conversation.
Join a park ranger for an interactive evening by the campfire as we discuss unique stories of Valley Forge and the American Revolution. The programs are located at Conway’s Brigade, and run for about an hour.
Conway’s Brigade & Parking: Accessible from PA Route 23. Park at the Von Steuben Statue parking lot or the Varnum’s Picnic Area parking lot, then walk down the historic trace road to Conway’s Brigade.
What to Bring: Flashlight, blanket, jacket.
Weather: The program will be canceled for rain, call 610-783-1099 before 5 PM to check on the status of the program.
Below are dates and topics from the 2023 fall campfire programs.
September 30 - The Caribbean During the American Revolution
The empires of Spain, France, and Great Britain all had colonies in the Caribbean, and the control of a single island was worth more than the whole thirteen American colonies combined. Each island played an important role in smuggling, transporting goods, and harboring armies and navies. Without the strategic benefits of colonizing the islands of the Caribbean, there may well never have been an American Revolution.
October 7 - The Great Cow Chase!
In the darkest moments of the Valley Forge Encampment, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne led troops into New Jersey to gather supplies. What followed was a deadly game of cat and mouse between American and British forces through the forests and farms of South Jersey, all while driving cattle.
October 14 - Cancelled due to Inclement Weather
October 21 - First Peoples, First Allies
At Washington's request, a delegation of 47 Oneida warriors joined the Continental Army at Valley Forge, but they were not the only Native nation to join the fight during the Revolution. Take a closer look at the allegiances of the different nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the factors that drove their decisions, and the lasting effects of those choices for generations to come.
October 28 - John Laurens: Complicated Hero
John Laurens was dedicated to serving his country with virtue and loyalty, but just like anyone he had his flaws. What do we know about who John Laurens really was, and why is he considered one of the unsung heroes of the American Revolution?
November 4 - The Conway Cabal
George Washington is well-known as the man who led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War and then became the first president of the United States, but during the Valley Forge encampment there were officers and Congressmen who were not at all confident in his ability to achieve victory against the British and unite a nation. Learn about how the Conway Cabal critiqued Washington’s leadership and attempted to remove him from his role as Commander-in-Chief.
Seasonal Programming Changes
(June through August). Ranger programs are offered most days during the summer months.
(September through November) Ranger programs are offered on weekends in the fall.
(December through Februrary) No regularly scheduled ranger programs, but special events like March-In provide great opportunities for learning and fun.
(March through May) Ranger programs are offered on weekends in the spring.
Last updated: November 6, 2023