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“great place to explore”

Fort Washington Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors can take a ranger-led tour to explore this historic fort's features and its role as the only defense for the Nation's Capital until the Civil War.
Jessup, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
210 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“great place to explore”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

On a warmish January Day I took my three children (11, 6, 9) to explore this Fort. I had no expectations and WOW were we surprised by what a huge place it is! LOTS of walking - bear that in mind, but if you don't mind the walking, it's an incredible place for active kids to explore. We never actually saw a single park ranger (seasonal, I'm guessing) but honestly, we had a great time all on our own and reading the signs there. The view of the Potomac here is incredible.

We did take a walk along the shoreline but were very disappointed by all the TRASH. I know it isn't the park's fault but it did make it sort of nasty to walk along there. I had my kids help clean some up and they actually had a ball exploring there too.

There are lots of hills to climb, underground doorways and passages - really, my younger sons especially were like kids in a candy store.

I'm glad my expectations weren't particularly high because the rooms in the fort that you WERE able to go in weren't well-cared for at all, and there was STUFF everywhere, but my people didn't notice. They just enjoyed the freedom to roam and pretend and smash ice with sticks. Again, those rooms might be different in the summer time but it was nice to have the place nearly to ourselves.

Had lunch at the highly-recommended National Harbor, which is only a fifteen minute drive away.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank crayolabird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Tampa, Florida, United States
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A must SEE”
Reviewed June 18, 2012

By far the best fort we saw in the DC area. So glad we stopped by. Rolling hills and free to explore. Well worth the $5.00 car full fee.

Visited June 2012
Thank Final5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntingtown, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“History and scenic views”
Reviewed June 4, 2012

My husband and I stopped here on a whim yesterday, and I'm so glad we did. The fort offers a lot of interesting nooks and crannies to explore, and men in period costumes were doing an artillery demonstration. Aside from the fort, there is a small and charming lighthouse and excellent views of the Potomac that stretch for miles (on a clear day, anyway).

Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and be prepared to climb steps.

We passed the picnic areas as we drove through the park and they looked like a nice place for group gatherings.

Fort Foote National Park is also nearby (we haven't been there yet), so you could easily do both in a day.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank prosodic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“a treasure”
Reviewed May 14, 2012

a great nature preserve on the Potomac for power walking and great views.

Visited May 2012
Thank broadcreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“So Much Fun I almost wish my kids were little again...”
Reviewed May 10, 2012

Probably the best tour of a nationakl park outside of Gettysburg. Make sure and ask Wesley Gant, the park ranger, why we fought the War of 1812! His lively and informative description of people and events brought history to life. He introduced us to characters and local history we never knew... and we grew up here! Very exciting and rejuvenating.

This is a great place to bring kids too. Forts, dungeons, tunnels, motes, drawbridges, lookouts, armaments... It has it all.

The view of course is exceptional. Watch tour boats, airplanes, eagles and osprey from the tallest bluffs outside of DC... and, in the open fields, bluebirds and swallows. The natural beauty of this vista has not been spoiled. It is as grand and impressive as it was in the 19th century.

The grounds are lovely to walk or cycle. There are nice walking paths with plenty of benches and well-paved park roads for cycling. Bring a picnic lunch for a relaxing afternoon or evening sunset.

We did not plan to visit today. As a matter of fact, we headed to Mount Vernon, but the crush of tour buses and a hefty admission fee ($30 for two adults) caused a change of plans. So glad we caught a glimpse of the fort across the river and changed course.

Highly recommend for history buffs, nature lovers, and families.

Tip: If you are 62 years of age or older, obtain a National Park Service "Senior Pass" for free lifetime admission to national parks and monuments. A great value.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank HumminAlong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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