I’ve written about the trails at Valley Forge National Historic Park here, here, here, and here. But while I’ve covered the high points – the Visitor’s Center, Washington’s Headquarters, the Chapel, the Memorial Arch, and the literal high point of Mount Misery – I’ve neglected the “other side” of the park.
Perhaps its because most of the attractions are near the Visitor Center, or because I usually approach the park from Route 422 and Route 23. Regardless of my reason, there’s another side to Valley Forge when you go past Washington’s Headquarters, past the Knox Covered Bridge, past Valley Creek and Mount Joy and Mount Misery. And the other Valley Forge is worth some time for a short hike.
On a drizzly Friday morning I met my friend Josh and his better half for a walk at the other Valley Forge. I drove onto Route 252 south from Route 23, and went past Yellow Springs Road about a half mile to a parking lot on the right. And for a couple of miles we explored a less monument-heavy, more agricultural area along the paved trail.
Its easy to forget that while Valley Forge is a national park, it wasn’t a park for a century after Washington’s army left. This was farmland, like most of the rest of Chester County. And so the paved walking trail led us through a farm, as well as to the covered bridge and the General Wilcox’s headquarters, and along the slope of Mount Joy. While the rain literally seemed to put the damp on the fall colors, it is clear autumn is here. We will close this post with five thousand words of photographs, as they speak better than I can.