Fort Washington State Park
Rich in modern recreational facilities and historical significance, Fort Washington blossoms with flowering dogwood in the spring. The park takes its name from the temporary fort built by George Washington’s troops in the fall of 1777, before heading to Valley Forge. The park is popular with hikers and picnickers. Birders enjoy the seasonal migration of raptors from the Observation Deck.
Trash Disposal and Recycling: Fort Washington State Park participates in a carry-in/carryout trash disposal program. There are no trash collection or recycling facilities. Visitors are asked to limit the amount of disposable items brought to the park and to take all trash, garbage and recyclables home.
Picnicking: Flourtown Day Use Area and Militia Hill Day Use Area provide over 300 picnic tables. Two picnic pavilions are available for year-round use, weather conditions permitting. The pavilions are available for rental with advance reservations. If not reserved, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Large playfields offer ample room for group or individual picnic activities.
Flourtown Day Use Area is a carry-in/carry-out trash disposal area. There are no trash collection or recycling facilities. Visitors are asked to limit the amount of disposable items brought to the park and to take all trash, garbage, and recyclables home.
ADA accessible picnic tables and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park. Militia Hill Day Use Area has an accessible picnic pavilion, mini-pavilion, playground and restrooms.
Softball Field: The softball field in the Flourtown Day Use Area is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fishing: Wissahickon Creek passes through the park offering trout fishing in the spring. During the summer, it offers warm water fishing for carp, catfish, panfish and suckers.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
No Hunting: Hunting is prohibited at Fort Washington State Park.
Law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Hiking: 3.5 miles of trails
Green Ribbon Trail: This 2.5-mile multi-use trail provides opportunities for biking, hiking and cross-country skiing along Wissahickon Creek. It connects the Militia Hill and Flourtown Day Use areas via Montgomery County Park land. The trail also extends through local communities to the south and connects with Fairmount Park’s Forbidden drive in Chestnut Hill.
Dog Walking: Pets are permitted in Fort Washington State Park. All pets must be controlled and attended at all times and on a leash or otherwise safely restrained. Be considerate when walking your dog and carry a container to clean up after your pet. Also, please try to stay away from playfields, ball fields, picnic areas and the organized group tenting area.
Disc Golfing: The wooded, 9-hole course begins in Lot 2 in the Militia Hill Day Use Area at a kiosk with a map of the course.
Organized Group Tenting: This rustic area is open year-round and has a maximum capacity of 220 people.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: Both beginner and expert skiers can enjoy the 1.7-mile loop trail in the Militia Hill Day Use Area.
Sledding: Near Lot 5 in the Militia Hill Day Use Area is a 400-foot slope for sledding.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Observation Deck: Park volunteers built the ADA accessible deck in 1995.
The deck provides a scenic overlook year-round, and also provides great views of the butterfly garden.
All 16 species of raptors that migrate on the East Coast can be seen here. The “Watch” begins on September 1 and lasts through October 31. Volunteer compilers are on duty every day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., counting raptors that migrate past the deck.
For more information, or to bring a group to the Hawk Watch Observation Deck, call: 215-591-5250.
Fort Washington State Park and the community of Fort Washington take their name from the temporary fort built here by soldiers of the American Revolution in the fall of 1777. Whitemarsh, as the area was called then, was the scene of the encampment of 12,000 soldiers of General Washington’s army from November 2 until December 11, 1777.
Following the unsuccessful battle of Germantown, Washington chose the heights of the Whitemarsh Valley as an easily defendable position. From here he pondered the possibility of launching an attack against General Howe’s British army in Philadelphia.
Although Washington decided against an attack, the British marched out from Philadelphia on December 5 to try to engage the Americans in battle. Because of Washington’s strong position, only local skirmishes took place. After much marching back and forth, Howe led his army back to Philadelphia on December 8.
Knowing his poorly clad men needed better quarters, and also to protect the iron forges and foundries in the Schuylkill Valley, Washington left Whitemarsh on December 11, 1777, and marched the Continental Army to Valley Forge. There the American spirit had its first rendezvous with destiny.
Although Fort Washington State Park is beyond the boundaries of Philadelphia, the city’s famous Fairmount Park Commission began acquiring land here in the early 1920s. The commission, with the assistance of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, administered the park until 1953 when an act by the state legislature turned the park over to the former Department of Forests and Waters, now the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Fort Hill: This hill was the western end of the Continental troop positions and was the site of the fort. All traces of the original fort have been lost.
Militia Hill: The Pennsylvania Militia, under the command of generals Armstrong, Cadwalader and Irvine, held positions along this ridge.
Clifton House: Built in 1801, Clifton House lies just north of Fort Hill on Bethlehem Pike. Formerly the Sandy Run Tavern, it now houses a valuable library and museum of local importance. It is operated by the Fort Washington Historical Society and is periodically open to the public. More information regarding the Clifton House can be obtained from: Fort Washington Historical Society, 473 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA 19034.
Keep in Touch
Add yourself to the DCNR's online community to receive info on this park, or parks in general.
Like to spend time in the outdoors, meet friendly people and help make Pennsylvania State Parks great? Volunteering at a park might be for you.
Becoming a Conservation Volunteer is easy.
Scouts and organized groups can earn free camping by completing service projects.
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of good conservation, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) was created in 1999 to give supporters and users of Pennsylvania's parks and forests a positive way to contribute to the conservation of our publicly-owned properties. The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation welcomes the support of individuals and businesses who share a commitment to conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural, scenic, and recreational areas of this commonwealth. www.paparksandforests.org
Make a Donation
To a park - find this park's address below
To a park or the Bureau of State Parks - Pennsylvania Parks and Forestry Foundation www.paparksandforests.org
Through a purchase at a park gift shop
Thank you for your support!
We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
Do you take conservation personally? iConservePA is a Web site managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources whose vision is to inspire citizens to value their natural resources, engage in conservation practices and experience the outdoors. Take conservation personally.
Come Work with Us
Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offer a wide range of civil service and non-civil service jobs, from foresters, to rangers, to engineers, to educators, to botanists and so much more. Learn what is currently available.
Tell us What You Think
Contact this park with compliments, concerns and issues about the park.
Fort Washington State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau. www.valleyforge.org
Norristown Farm Park: Visitors enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, and watching wildlife.
Hope Lodge: Just south of Fort Hill on Bethlehem Pike is Hope Lodge, a fine example of early Georgian Colonial Architecture. Built circa 1750, Hope Lodge is managed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is open to the public. www.ushistory.org/hope/
Valley Forge National Historical Park: This park is 15 miles to the south and provides the visitor with an understanding of the winter encampment of General Washington's forces. www.nps.gov/vafo/index.htm
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
You must have the free Adobe Reader to view the maps and brochures that are in pdf format (.pdf).
Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Fort Washington State Park consists of 493 acres in eastern Montgomery County. The park lies between the towns of Fort Washington and Flourtown along the Bethlehem Pike. It is about two miles from PA Turnpike Exit 339.
For GPS users of the Flourtown Day Use Area:
For GPS users of the Militia Hill Day Use Area:
Park Office GPS DD: Lat. 40.13027 Long. -75.21764
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Fort Washington State Park