Fort Washington State Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:420 Militia Hill Road, Fort Washington, PA
Hours:8 A.M. to sunset daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: At Militia Hill and Flourtown day-use areas parking lots
Water/Snacks: Water fountains at restrooms
Map: (click on Find a Park)

Start with superb views from the Hawk Watch platform before enjoying hiking over wooded hills or fishing in the creek.

Fort Washington State Park
Photo by: Susan Charkes

You’ll find no trace of the fort that was here when 12,000 members of George Washington’s army camped in winter 1777 before marching to Valley Forge. Nowadays the nearly 500 acres of peaceful wooded hills and streams are alive with families enjoying the fruits of the soldiers’ service to a country in the making.

Two day-use areas offer plenty of picnic tables. A good place to start is in the Militia Hill Day Use Area, where the most prominent landmark is the Hawk Watch platform, an observation deck that provides an expansive view of the landscape south toward Philadelphia. Birders flock to the platform in September and October to watch migrating raptors on their southward journey. At all times of the year kids will have fun getting a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings. The platform is ADA-accessible and stroller-friendly.

Below the Hawk Watch deck, a short trail winds down to a wide, level footpath paralleling railroad tracks, which connects to the creekside Green Ribbon Trail; this is a pleasant walk for all ages in any season. For older children, unpaved, hiking-only trails of moderate difficulty loop through the woods of Militia Hill west of the Joshua Road crossing. The Wissahickon Creek is troutstocked in spring and offers warm-water fishing in summer.

In snowy winters, the wide fields and trails in the park are good for skiing or snowshoeing, and the 400-foot slope near Militia Hill is very popular for sledding.

A short trail heads downhill from below the Hawk Watch to a large playground; alternatively, you can drive past the Hawk Watch to Parking Lot 3. The Flourtown Day Use Area has a playground and picnic tables; you can get there on the Green Ribbon Trail but it is easier to drive (see the park map).

Remember: Dogs must be leashed.

Plan B:

From the Flourtown Day Use Area you can gain access to the Green Ribbon Trail along Wissahickon Creek. The level, 2.5-mile paved and hardened trail surface is open to hikers and bikers and is stroller-friendly. The trail continues past PA 73 up the Wissahickon Creek valley to North Wales. For the remainder of its distance the trail is primarily a natural footpath and is limited to pedestrians.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The commercial area of Fort Washington extends along Bethlehem Pike and Skippack Pike.


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