Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is famed for its historical significance and natural beauty. Located just a short drive from from Philadelphia, this place was once the site where General George Washington and the Continental Army endured a grueling winter encampment during the American Revolutionary War. Today, student groups can visit Valley Forge National Historical Park, plus enjoy train excursions, hiking trails, and other living history attractions.
Hop on the Colebrookdale Railroad for a two-hour journey into the “Secret Valley,” one of the most historic, geologically unique, and naturally unspoiled valleys in the country. Themed train excursions, rides featuring entertainment, and special holiday journeys are available, too.
Be sure to make a stop at Valley Forge National Historical Park where Gen. George Washington and his troops encamped during the winter of 1777-78. Year-round programming captivates students in the story of the soldiers and their struggles to ensure liberty. Students can watch the orientation film, hike some of the park’s 30 miles of trails, attend ranger programs, and tour the encampment via their motorcoach, bicycle, or a seasonal trolley.
At Peter Wentz Farmstead, students can tour the 18th-century historic home and working farm as it appeared in 1777 when Washington and his staff used the property as a temporary headquarters. Student programs include a tour and historical activities and lessons.
Get adrenaline pumping at iFLY Indoor Skydiving—King of Prussia, which combines education with indoor skydiving fun. For wintertime recreation, head to Spring Mountain Adventures, which offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing down the groomed mountain.
The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove continually inspires students with natural history and art. The site includes the original 18th-century farmhouse (where Audubon lived when he came to America at age 18), miles of nature trails along the Perkiomen Creek, and indoor and outdoor exhibits focused on birds, art, and conservation.
Continue nature discoveries at Elmwood Park Zoo, home to endangered and exotic animals from across the globe. Students can join in on a live animal feeding or schedule an education program. Additional historic properties in the area for touring include Pottsgrove Manor and Pennypacker Mills.
Main Image: Valley Forge National Historical Park; Credit: Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board