Every year on February 22nd, the United States celebrates our first president and Founding Father George Washington. While the National Park Service may not have been around during his time, there are many areas in the National Park Service that commemorate Washington. As a tribute to Washington’s Birthday (and because there can never be enough lists about the National Parks!), today we are posting about the national parks honoring George Washington and his role in American history.
13 National Parks Honoring George Washington
The colonial plantation where George Washington was born in 1732 was originally established by his great-grandfather. Washington lived at this site until he was three and then returned later in his teenage years. Many consider the birthplace an influential part of the future leader Washington was to become.
At 555 feet and 5 1/8 inches tall, the Washington Monument is the largest stone structure in the world. Shortly after the Revolutionary War, there were proposals to build a monument to George Washington. It wasn’t until after his death that the Washington National Monument Society was formed to begin planning and funding the project. Today the National Park Service maintains the monument as part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
Longfellow House in Cambridge Massachusetts played an influential role in not one, but many stories in American history. It was here that George Washington took control of the Continental Army during the Siege of Boston in 1775. He maintained his headquarters at this location until April 1776. The mansion later became the home of famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Visitors can tour the home, learn about Washington’s role in the Revolution, and see hundreds of furnishings and artifacts collected by the Longfellow family.
When sculptor Gutzon Borglum began planning Mount Rushmore, he looked to the most influential Presidents at different points in American history. George Washington (along with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln) represents the leadership and critical foundation of our nation’s Constitution. Visitors to Mount Rushmore can learn about how George Washington paved the way for American democracy. We especially recommend the Night Ranger Program.
Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia
This 25 mile stretch of historic road along the Potomac River connects some of the most critical locations in the life of George Washington. The route is both a busy transportation corridor for the Washington DC metro and a historical route It includes the Arlington Memorial Bridge, a gateway to the nation’s capital and the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve one of the most popular bird-watching areas in DC.
Valley Forge was a central location in the Revolutionary War and one of the most well-known Washington sites. Visitors can learn more about the 1777-1778 winter encampment of Washington and the Continental Army. Museums and the grounds of the Historical Park are dedicated to the sacrifices and triumphs of colonial soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
In 1933, Morristown became our nation’s first National Historical Park. It protects four major historical landmarks including Jockey Hollow, the Ford Mansion, Fort Nonsense, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment site. All are in the immediate area where George Washington and the Continental Army stayed in the winter of 1779 to 1780. While Valley Forge is the most famous encampment, Morristown is where the Army experienced its worst winter. Many historians consider it the worst winter in the 18th Century.
No conversation about our first President would be complete without Independence Hall National Historical Park. The area preserves many sites where George Washington and the Founding Fathers created American democracy. The National Park Service maintains more than 1.5 million artifacts among the buildings and museums in the area.
Many visitors travel to Colonial National Historical Park to visit Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in North America. However, the site also preserves the Yorktown Battlefield, where the last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. It was here that Washington and his army defeated British General Charles Lord Cornwallis and the British suffered their ultimate defeat.
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C.
In 2009, Congress protected more than 680 miles of historic roads, land, and waterways critical to the Yorktown campaign. Visitors to the trail travel the land and water route taken by George Washington and the Continental Army to Yorktown in 1781. The accompanied sites tell the story of how the French Army and General Rochambeau joined forces to defeat the British and end the Revolutionary War.