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Best Hikes with Historic Features

The sun setting over three historic soldier huts at Valley Forge National Historic Park
Soldier huts at Valley Forge National Historic Park

If you are a history buff and looking for the best hikes with historic features to combine your love of nature and hiking with your love of history, 60 Hikes Philly has got you covered. Philadelphia was the original capitol of the United States, so the city and surrounding area is steeped in history. Here are a few spots to check out.

Valley Forge National Historic Park is where the American soldiers went to camp after their staggering defeat in the Battle of Germantown during the American Revolution. You can actually visit the home where George Washington stayed. There are soldier huts throughout the landscape and you can even go inside to see how the soldier’s lived. There are two hikes throughout Valley Forge National Historic Park in the 3rd edition of 60 Hikes Philly.

Keeping with the battle against the Brits, you can also check out Washington Crossing State Park in New Jersey. This is the place where Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Eve, marking the turning point in the American Revolution. This hike is on the New Jersey side, and is an easy, forested stroll. There’s some historic signage at the turn-around point with great views of the Delaware River.

Saunders Woods Preserve is a new hike in the 3rd edition of 60 Hikes Philly and takes you to a gorgeous forested hike filled with ferns in Montgomery County. There’s a lovely old spring house you’ll come across on the hike, as described in the book. You can peak inside and hear the spring water trickling through. I love historic old out buildings, and if you do too, definitely add this hike to your list.

Another new hike in the 3rd edition of 60 Hikes Philly takes you to another spot in Montgomery County. I discovered Laurel Hill West Cemetery during the pandemic and it quickly became one of my favorite spots to walk. The stones and mausoleums are gorgeous and there are so many historic Philadelphians buried there and at the sister site, Laurel Hill East in Philadelphia. What I love most about Laurel Hill West is the abundant nature and gorgeous old trees. One of my favorite trees, a weeping European Beech, is on the hike and is a state champion tree. You will love hanging out under the enormous canopy. It’s a great spot to read a book or just sit and enjoy the sounds of all the birds.


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