A Day At Fort Washington Park

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One of our family goals this year is to travel more. My kids and I love going on road trips! One thing that we're planning to do this year is to try and visit as many national parks as we can.

We decided to start somewhere local. We visited Fort Washington Park in Fort Washington, Maryland. I grew up in Fort Washington and the park was definitely a big part of my childhood. We celebrated birthdays in the park. My Dad taught me how to ride a bike in the park. I practiced driving around in the park. My family and I spent a lot time in the park. So, it was great to be able to show my husband and the kids around the park.

Fort Washington was historically used as a site for defense and training. It defended the Potomac River approach to Washington, D.C. and later housed the Adjutant General's School, where over 1500 soldiers trained during World War II. Today, the park features hiking trails, fishing, picnic areas, in addition to the historic fort.

We visited the park on Martin Luther King Jr Day. The kids were off from school and it just happened to be a National Park Service Free Entrance Day. With the National Park Service celebrating its 100th birthday, they are offering several free entrance days throughout the year. 

As we drove through the park, I pointed out all the changes from the last time I had visited (which was probably over 10 years ago). The picnic tables that used to be throughout the main part of the park were gone. Now, they're only in the reserved area of the park. When we were little, we would drive early to reserve the picnic spot that we wanted. The swings and basketball court in the main part of the park were also gone.

We drove past a few deer in the park.
We parked and started walking towards the fort. We stopped and looked at the map of the park.  My one son wasn't too thrilled about visiting the park until he saw that there was a playground.

One of the first structures you encounter is this concrete gun emplacement.

After I told the kids that we used to run down this hill towards the fort when we were little, they enjoyed doing the same.

Before going into the fort, we walked down towards the Potomac River and the Lighthouse.

Then, we walked up to the fort.

Don't they look cute, holding hands, as they walk up the stairs?
Entrance to the fort.
The kids had fun exploring the old rooms and seeing the cannons inside the fort.

Rooms by the drawbridge of the fort.

After visiting the fort, we drove over to the reserved area of the park and visited the playground. There are several picnic areas that you can reserve. One area has the playground, while another has the basketball court.

Overall, it was a fun day. We're excited to plan our next national park trip!

Fort Washington Park
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744 
Open year round

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