Andy Smith Photography

Forsters Tern

Valley Forge
National Historical Park

Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington. On December 19, 1777, when Washington's army marched into camp at Valley Forge, tired, cold, and ill-equipped, it was lacking in much of the training essential for consistent success on the battlefield. On June 19, 1778, after a six-month encampment, this same army emerged to pursue and successfully engage Lt. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton's British army at the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey. The ordered ranks, martial appearance, revived spirit, and fighting skill of the American soldiers spoke of a great transformation having occurred amidst the cold, sickness, and hardship that was Valley Forge. The man most responsible for this transformation was Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, onetime member of the elite General Staff of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. No longer in the Prussian army, indeed without employment of any kind, von Steuben offered his military skills to the patriot cause. When he arrived at Valley Forge from France on February 23, 1778, he was armed with a letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin. Washington saw great promise in the Prussian and almost immediately assigned him the duties of Acting Inspector General with the task of developing and carrying out an effective training program. (Text aove from official NPS VF website)

Besides being an important historical site, Valley Forge NHP is one of the largest open spaces in southeastern Pennsylvania with 3,500 acres containing habitats for hundreds of plants and animals including 200 species of birds. in addition to many footpaths the park has a five mile loop trail that provides recreation for walkers, runners and bikers as well as horseback riding. The Schuylkill River and one of its important tributaries, Valley Creek, pass through the Park.

sunrise on a foggy morning cannon at sunrise Misty Morning at Valley Forge dogwood in the spring falll at valley forge fall sunrise with cannon

winter at vallley forge bright winter day at valley forge winter sun at valley forge winter morning cannon in the snow two huts in winter

valley forge chapel tower chapel arch on a snowy nmorning chapel arch in the snow covered bridge on a winter morning benches in the snow walking along valley creek on a winter morning

Valley forge farm in winter valley forge farm on a winter morning looking up in winter Statue of General VonSteuben Varnum's quarters  

quarters for the Commander in Chief's guards View from Washington's House to the guards quarters Valley Forge Train station, now a vistor center Cannons in the snow cannons on a winter morning 

Walking on the 5 mile loop Sun on a misty Morning in Valley Forge park fall woods Valley Forgge Woods in Fall sunrise on the Schuylkill River in VF Park Sunrise on the Schuylkill River 

buck fox kit male bluebird in flight EAstern Bluebird Pair scarlet tanager great Crested Flycatcher

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