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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Northern Early America

Picture of Fort Washington
Picture courtesy of Phil Payette at American Forts Network.
Fort Washington
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744
Phone: 301-763-4600
History

Picturesque Fort Washington sits on high ground overlooking the Potomac River and offers a grand view of Washington and the Virginia shoreline. Today, only one silent gun stands behind the masonry wall-the last armament of the powerful fort that once guarded the water approach to our Nation's Capital. The old fort is one of the few U.S. seacoast fortifications still in its original form.

When ocean-going warships had wood sides and carried smoothbore cannons, no enemy would attempt to ascend the river before destroying the fort. But changing technology made the fort useless. Our government built concrete emplacements to meet the threat of iron-sided ships and rifled guns. When they became obsolete the post was turned over to the infantry and finally became a military training facility. Over 200 years of army presence has left the park with a diverse group of military structures and a rich history of service to our country and the Nation's Capital.

The 341 acre park offers an assortment of recreational opportunities. Picnic areas can be reserved for group activities and fishermen try their luck along the shore. There are also hiking and biking trails and a playground for children. It is not unusual to see eagles circling the river or deer feeding in the park during morning and evening twilight. You can always discover something interesting at Fort Washington Park.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Historic Fort and Visitor Center 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., daily April 1 thru September 30. 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., daily October 1 thru March 31.

Park Grounds 8:00 a.m.-Dark

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

Getting There

From Washington DC: Capital Beltway (I-495) to Exit 3A (Indian Head Highway or MD210), continue to Fort Washington Road, turn right, follow to the park entrance.

Public Transportation

No public transportation to the park.

Communities and Related Links
Washington, DC, Official Tourism
NPS Fort Washington

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