In July 1777, British General William Howe set out to capture the city of Philadelphia.
And for good reason: It was the largest existing city in English North America, the seat of Congress, populated by numerous Loyalists, part of a fertile region, and could be supplied from the sea using the Delaware River. In the course of its march, the British engaged the Continental Army at Brandywine Creek near Chadds Fords, and later at Paoli.
After camping for 3 days, the British finally moved on to Philadelphia. When Washington launched an attack on October 4, 1777 designed to retake the city, The Battle of Germantown dissolved into another defeat for his army. They retreated into winter quarters at Valley Forge, where they endured for six months, reorganizing and retraining, emerging as a new, formidable fighting force.
History is of vital significance when it comes to the conservation of Valley Forge. There’s no doubt that our park is a beautiful place; but effective, informative storytelling is a time machine that breathes life into otherwise still space. It brings our visitors back to a time before our freedom was a guarantee, eliciting a sense of meaning, duty, and wonder.
The Valley Forge Park Alliance makes education our mission. See how we work to achieve this below. For a downloadable children’s activity guide, click here.
The Speaker Series
In 2019-2020 there will be a change to our long-standing Speaker Series which generally ran from October through May. Instead of monthly offerings, the Valley Forge Park Alliance and Washington Memorial Heritage will provide educational events on an occasional basis.
Cell Phone Tour
Valley Forge is full of great stories- and now, you can hear them come to life from the convenience of your cell phone. The cell phone tour is entirely self-guided: choose what you want to hear & when you want to hear it. Prompts are organized by Encampment Tour Stop. Please see full instructions for the tour HERE.
Guided Bird Walks
Join local birders Tom and Mary Ellen Heisey and Tony Nastase on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month for a fascinating bird walk. Tom and Tony will bring scopes for close-up views for all birders to enjoy. See or hear different species in a variety of seasons and habitats such as meadow, edge and woods. Walk is intended for birders of all levels, all ages, and beginners are welcome and encouraged.
Meet in the Artillery Park Parking lot on East Inner Line Drive. Near-by restrooms & water fountain available as of May. Bring binoculars, a hat, sturdy closed-toe shoes, water, bug spray, and sun protection. It is a mostly paved trail but includes short sections of gravel and grass. Walks will be canceled during electrical or ice storms.
To see an official schedule of bird walks
The Muster Roll project is a volunteer effort of the Valley Forge Park Alliance and is dedicated to the memory of those who were at winter quarters from December 19th, 1777 to June 19th, 1778 and includes more than 25,000 entries. The Muster Roll project continues today and is supported by purchases and donations made. Our work continues in maintaining and working through the 395 online inquires in 2018 alone, resulting in 35 new additions of soldiers that encamped at Valley Forge with General George Washington. Learn more about the Muster Roll HERE.
Home School Day at Valley Forge
Home School students visited Valley Forge in May 2019 for a free, unique, and educational experience. Multiple learning stations and curriculum sessions encouraged students to explore topics such as 18th century life, the American Revolution, and natural resources. Park rangers and dedicated volunteers were on-site to help facilitate learning. Home School Day at Valley Forge was launched thirteen years ago by the Friends of Valley Forge Park - now the Valley Forge Park Alliance - presenting a program they had offered to public and private schools for decades. The Valley Forge Park Alliance continues to support Hone School Days with volunteers and programming.